Thursday, November 21, 2013

Shrines, Soup and the Seventies | Review | Tucson Weekly

Invisible Theatre's Miracle on South Division Street is the perfect play for a season that celebrates family

by , Tucson Weekly

...Playwright Tom Dudzick unfolds the story of the Nowak family with a very light touch. The result is a good-natured piece that has us laughing from start to finish at a wonderfully contrived setup and characters who are not so very different from people we know and love.

...Miracle on South Division Street gives us a spirited and very funny story. The IT gang does a fine job, and chances are this will be a hot ticket this season. Nab yours soon.

Carley Elizabeth Preston, Alida Holguin Gunn and Seth Fowler in Miracle on South Division Street.
  • Carley Elizabeth Preston, Alida Holguin Gunn and Seth Fowler in Miracle on South Division Street.

Read the entire review here: Shrines, Soup and the Seventies | Review | Tucson Weekly

Monday, November 18, 2013

Review: Miracle on South Division Street

Review: Miracle on South Division Street
November 17, 2013 12:00 am  •  


What this wispy comedy lacks in substance is made up in charm and heart.
Director Gail Fitzhugh has assembled a cast that’s committed to the outrageousness and to fleshing out the characters....
Miracle
Sibling rivalry reigns supreme in this rollicking comedy with Ruth (Carley Elizabeth Preston), Bev (Alida Holguin Gunn) and Jimmy (Seth Fowler). -- Credit: Tim Fuller
It’s tough not to laugh at this play, even when it uses broad strokes and goes for easy laughs. Fitzhugh and company have, happily, given us something to smile about.
Read the entire review here: Review: Miracle on South Division Street

Saturday, November 16, 2013

SWEET PHILOSOPHY IN“MIRACLE ON SOUTH DIVISION STREET”

by Chuck Graham, TucsonStage.com

  photo by Tim Fuller
Shocking news surprises the Nowak family (from left) Beverly (Alida Holguin Gunn), Clara (Toni Press-Coffman), Jimmy (Seth Fowler) and Ruth (Carley Elizabeth Preston).

A lovely warm-up for an ecumenical holiday season is found at Invisible Theatre in its sprightly production of “Miracle on South Division Street” by Tom Dudzick. Not to be confused with Kris Kringle’s Christmas shopping “Miracle on 34th Street,” this miracle of a much different kind is set in Buffalo, New York, in 2010.
Gail Fitzhugh directs a tightly knit cast of four to deliver plenty of laughs while reminding us that family devotion will always be more important than religious differences. Anyone who grew up back east will recognize the spot-on characterizations in three generations of the Nowak clan of Polish-American Catholics who staked their claim to the New World just before World War II.
First, we are reminded how urban blight has taken its toll on the once prosperous upstate city of Buffalo. Clara (Toni Press-Coffman) has grown up in this house on this street where her deceased father ran a barber shop for 60 years.
Back in 1942, Clara’s grandfather was visited by the Virgin Mary shortly after he opened his Buffalo barbershop. To honor this occasion, he had a statue of the Holy Mother erected on the spot. Although the Church has refused to recognize this miracle, Clara has become the keeper of its flame.
Her grown children – angry Beverly (Alida Holguin Gunn), bitter Ruth (Carley Elizabeth Preston) and genial Jimmy (Seth Fowler) – have not embraced their grandfather’s shrine with any particular devotion, which only increases Clara’s determination to keep the faith.
As the neighborhood has deteriorated, the shrine has become ever more important to Clara. Her sincerity and her dizzy grasp of current events are portrayed with smiling sympathy, even as Ruth and Beverly seem to lose patience with their mom.
Jimmy, the youngest, is the typical little brother in his 20s who always tries to keep balance in the family. All this interplay makes “Miracle on South Division Street” a wonderful ensemble piece that just becomes more buoyant the more complications set in.
Performed in 90 minutes without an intermission, once all the characters have established their identities, Ruth kicks over this house of traditional beliefs with her news of a deathbed confession that rattles this family to the core, but in a humorous way that has a happy ending.
“Miracle On South Division Street” continues through Nov. 24 with performances at 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays, plus 4 p.m. Saturday Nov. 23, at the Invisible Theatre, 1400 N. First Ave.
Tickets are $28. For details and reservations, 520-882-9721, or visit www.invisibletheatre.com

Theatre - Let the Show Begin

Arizona Daily Wildcat :: Stage comedy comes to downtown Tucson

By CASEY KNOX Published November 11, 2013 at 10:50pm Updated November 11, 2013 at 10:50pm

For Susan Claassen, the theater’s managing artistic director, the play epitomizes the types of productions that the Invisible Theatre likes to bring to Tucson — ones that aren’t the typical production. ...

“I think everyone can relate on some level to it,” Claassen said. “We hope that people can relate to it and look at the world a little differently.”
Calling it a “comedy with heart,” Claassen said “Miracle on South Division Street” will simultaneously tug on the heart-strings of audience members while making them laugh. The show stars Toni Press-Coffman, Alida Holguin Gunn, Carley Elizabeth Preston and UA business management senior Seth Fowler.

Read the entire preview here: Arizona Daily Wildcat :: Stage comedy comes to downtown Tucson
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Photo courtesy of Tim Fuller
Sibling rivalry reigns supreme in this rollicking comedy with Ruth (Carley Elizabeth Preston), Bev (Alida Holguin Gunn) and Jimmy (Seth Fowler).

Invisible Theatre brings us a "Miracle"

November 07, 2013 12:00 am  •  

In Tom Dudzick’s comedy, family secrets and comedic events are twisted together. Laughs are there, said [Director Gail Fitzhugh]. But there’s more.
“They are all very interesting characters. They are working class people and the play itself really deals with family, faith, and sometimes lack of, and the lies we believe,” said Fitzhugh.
“It’s about what it is we believe and how we can change and adjust to surprises in life. It is very funny and very inclusive, really heartfelt.”
Miracle
The Nowak family, clockwise,starting with seated: Jimmy (Seth Fowler), Bev (Alida Holguin Gunn) Clara (Toni Press-Coffman) and Ruth (Carley Elizabeth Preston). Credit: Tim Fuller
Read the entire preview here: Invisible Theatre brings us a "Miracle"