Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s Lackawanna Blues — Broadway is Back! - AmNews Curtain Raiser


Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s Lackawanna Blues — Broadway is Back!

All photos © Lia Chang, 2021

Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s Lackawanna Blues — Broadway is Back!

There is no question, that the city of New York is excited, to the point of bursting, that Broadway is roaring back!

Last week at the MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre (261 West 47th Street) Manhattan Theatre Club (Lynne Meadow, Artistic Director and Barry Grove, Executive Producer) reopened its doors with the Broadway premiere of Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s Lackawanna Blues.

All photos © Lia Chang, 2021


Before the performance, MTC celebrated the occasion with a ribbon-cutting ceremony outside the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre. Special guests and speakers included NYC Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Vicki Been, President and CEO of New York & Company Fred Dixon, President of Times Square Alliance Tom Harris, New York State Council on the Arts Executive Director Mara Manus, New York State Senator Brad Hoylman, and Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney; MTC Executive Producer Barry Grove and Board Chairman David Hodgson; actors Brian Stokes Mitchell and S. Epatha Merkerson; and a Musical Performance by Nanny's Band.


Written, performed, and directed by Tony Award-winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson, with original music by Bill Sims Jr. performed on stage by Grammy Award-nominated blues guitarist Junior Mack, Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s Lackawanna Blues will celebrate opening night on Tuesday, September 28.

Tony Award winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson - © Lia Chang, 2021

Tony Award winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson returns to MTC for the Broadway debut of his brilliant solo play celebrating the strong, big-hearted woman who raised him: Miss Rachel. In a 1950s boarding house outside Buffalo, Nanny, as she was affectionately called, opened her doors to anyone and everyone in need of kindness, hope, compassion, and care. Giving a tour-de-force performance accompanied by live music written by acclaimed composer Bill Sims Jr. and performed by Blues Hall of Fame Guitarist Junior Mack, Santiago-Hudson embodies more than 20 vibrant characters, creating a richly textured reminiscence that’s inspiring, uplifting, and right at home on Broadway.


The creative team for Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s Lackawanna Blues includes Michael Carnahan (scenic design), Karen Perry (costume design), Jen Schriever (lighting design), and Darron L West (sound design); with music performed by Junior Mack and original music by Bill Sims Jr. Kamra A. Jacobs is the Production Stage Manager.

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