November 6, 2013
Updated Nov 6, 2013 at 7:38 AM EDT
South Buffalo, N.Y. (WKBW) - Tom Dudzick grew up in South Buffalo. He said things have change but there is one staple in the community.
“All the businesses are gone, my boyhood friends are gone but the statue remains,” Dudzick said.
This shrine is of the Blessed Mother. A barber, who cut Tom's hair when he was a child, claimed that the spirit appeared to him. That's when he built the statue.
“When we were little kids we used to pray to it and wonder did the Blessed Mother make an appearance in our neighborhood,” Dudzick said.
Now, Dudzick is using that unique story as the basis for his play that he is directing at the Kavinoky Theatre.
“It’s called Miracle on South Division Street. Our lady here is called Our Lady of Seneca Street but my story is not a documentary, it's a comedy and fiction,” Dudzick said.
Fiction he says based on fact. He showed off the set that he says came directly from his imagination and reflex a home in South Buffalo today.
“I visited people in the neighborhood and they never updated their kitchen. They modeled in the 70's and stayed that way,” Dudzick said.
The cast and crew are also professionals from Buffalo bringing life Tom's memories.
“The audience will recognize the kitchen and the people in the kitchen. They will say that is my grandma, that is my aunt Lily,” Dudzick said.
His father also owned a tavern in the area when he was a boy he wrote a play about that, which turned into a trilogy and an international sensation.
“That play has caught on like wildfire. There are 200 productions all over the country. I rewrote and Irish version that won awards in Ireland,” Dudzick said.
Dudzick said this plays have show across the country and the world but there is no place like home.
“I hope they will enjoy it. It's a love letter to Buffalo. I was so excited the Kavinoky wanted to do it. This is a gorgeous theatre. Then I said how would you feel about me directing and they said of course, I know you want to get it right. I was delighted. Thank you Buffalo,” Dudzick said.