Ruben Santiago-Hudson brings "Lackawanna Blues" to Broadway

About six months ago, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, the creator of the play “Lackawanna Blues”, asked a friend to open a vacant theater for him...


About six months ago, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, the creator of the play “Lackawanna Blues”, asked a friend to open a vacant theater for him.

“I just needed that – to sit in the seats, to walk on the stage,” Santiago-Hudson said in an interview this week. “For about fifty years, I have had time every year at the theater: see a play, be in a play, direct a play, write a play. All of a sudden it was taken away.

On Tuesday, Santiago-Hudson was able to return to the theater in a big way: “Lackawanna Blues” – which he wrote and directed, and in which he plays all the roles – began his Broadway premieres, in a Manhattan Theater production Club at the Samuel J Friedman Theater on West 47th Street.

The play, presented for the first time Off Broadway in 2001, and adapted in a TV movie in 2005, is reminiscent of the youth of Santiago-Hudson near Buffalo, and centers on the character of Nanny, who ran a boarding house and passed on strength and morality to the generations around her.

At a ribbon ceremony outside the theater on West 47th Street, where ticket holders and onlookers avoided rush-hour traffic, Representative Carolyn Maloney offered the shameless defense of a New Yorker of Broadway. “What would New York be without Broadway?” she asked. “Seriously, that’s what makes the city feel so good. If we didn’t have Broadway, we might as well be in Chicago or some other big city.

S. Epatha Merkerson, who played Nanny in the “Lackawanna Blues” TV movie (and was a longtime feature of “Law & Order”), was on hand for the pre-show festivities.

“We are baaaack! She said, referring to Broadway.

A Broadway production of “Lackawanna Blues” by the Manhattan Theater Club had been scheduled for several years. Lynne Meadow, longtime artistic director of the company, said in an interview that she sees it as a celebration of “heroism,” which she says is even more appropriate now. The piece was presented with music by Bill Sims Jr., performed by blues guitarist Junior Mack.

“It’s a play about healing,” Santiago-Hudson said. “It’s a play about community, about how we help each other, about what generosity means. This is what we need. “

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Newsrust - US Top News: Ruben Santiago-Hudson brings "Lackawanna Blues" to Broadway
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