City of Miracles and Wonders

by David Allison Crespy

Doudoun Toledano is a girl of 15 in Salonica (Thessaloniki, Greece) circa 1897 and desperately wants to go to Paris to study at the the Alliance Israelite Universelle. Because of this, she is driving her parents crazy. She is headstrong, bold, and wants to go to school because if it is good enough for boys it is good enough for her. But her father, Isaac Toledano forbids it as she is expected to marry her fiancé Saul Vitale, though her mother, Esther, encourages her ambition, and her brother Chaim thinks she is crazy, because wishes he did not have to go to Talmud Torah. In the end, Doudoun must make her case with Rabbi Covo, the Grand Rabbi of Salonica – and the entire story is narrated by a fool – Joha, the most foolish wise man or the most wise foolish man of middle-eastern culture. The play explores Jewish Salonica of the late 19th century, with its first electric lights, a railroad, and early automobiles in competition with donkey-drawn carts and horse-drawn trolleys, barefoot Jewish porters with their Ottoman Fezzes, and Jewish lemonade sellers, wealthy Pashas in military uniform, Greek and Bulgarian farmers and fishermen, and working Jewish girls who fold tobacco in factories. The play is the beginning of my Madre de Israel Cycle of plays, that detail the story of this haunted Jewish community from 1897-1957.

  • Cast Size: 3M 3W 1YM 7YW 1M/W
  • Running Time: 120+ minutes
  • Royalty Rate: $75 per performance

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