BWW Review: Virginia Repertory Theatre's MIRACLE ON SOUTH DIVISION STREET is the Surprise Hit of the Season!
Head on over to Hanover Tavern to see one of the smartest, funniest and, surprisingly, most charming plays of the year. Wrapped in twists, MIRACLE ON SOUTH DIVISION STREET features a powerhouse cast-delivering some of their best dramatic and comedic work.
Sibling rivalry. An overbearing mother. And secrets. Lots and lots of secrets. These seem like the perfect ingredients for a bitingly devastating and gripping drama. While there's enough drama to go around, Tom Dudzick's play, concerning the identity of a Roman Catholic family living in a run-down, working class neighborhood, serves up revelation after life-changing revelation with a side of vigorous laughter. To say more about the plot could spoil the playgoer's experience.
Debra Clinton keeps the actors moving at a rabbit's pace to keep Dudzick's dialogue snappy. Terrie Powers' flawless set design tends to the smallest details to bring authenticity to the run-down Buffalo home. BJ Wilkinson's lighting and Derek Dumais' sound design add value to the top-notch production.
As the deeply conflicted Ruth, Audra Honaker strikes a rich balance between comedy and drama, and delivers some of the funniest and most uncomfortable moments of the production with such ease. With a convincing Buffalo accent and impeccable comedic timing, John Mincks disappears into the role of Jimmy. Donna Marie Miller is perfectly cast as the egocentric oldest daughter Beverly. Catherine Shaffner commands the stage and the audience's attention and delivers an explosive performance as their overbearing and exhausted mother.
Exceptional performances and tight direction make MIRACLE ON SOUTH DIVISION STREET a must-see this holiday season. The production runs through December 31 at the Hanover Tavern.