On Broadway, Manhattan Theatre Club’s Broadway premiere of Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s Lackawanna Blues will begin performances Tuesday, September 14, 2021 at 6:45pm and open Tuesday, September 28, 2021 at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre (261 West 47th Street). Lackawanna Blues is written, performed, and directed by Tony Award winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson (August Wilson’s Jitney, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”on Netflix), with original music by Bill Sims, Jr. performed on stage by Grammy Award-nominated blues guitarist Junior Mack.
Tickets can be purchased online at Telecharge.com, by phone at 212-239-6200, or in person at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre box office (261 West 47th Street).
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 includes Michael Carnahan (scenic design), Karen Perry (costume design), Jen Schriever (lighting design), Darron L West (sound design), Bill Sims Jr. (original music), and Kamra A. Jacobs (production stage manager).
Lackawanna Blues runs approximately 90 minutes with no intermission.
RUBEN SANTIAGO-HUDSON (Writer, Director, Performer) Tony, Drama Desk, and Obie Award winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson is the director of the recent Tony Award-winning Broadway revival of August Wilson’s Jitney which garnered several awards including the Drama Desk Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, Drama League, and the NY Drama Critics Circle Awards, along with six Tony nominations. Mr. Santiago-Hudson won a Tony Award as featured actor for his performance in August Wilson’s Seven Guitars and later went on to direct the play himself to critical acclaim. Other directing credits include:The Piano Lesson, Skeleton Crew, Othello, Gem of The Ocean, Paradise Blue, My Children! My Africa!, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Cabin in the Sky, The Happiest Song Plays Last, Two Trains Running, Things of Dry Hours, The First Breeze Of Summer, and Your Blues Ain’t Sweet Like Mine, among many others. He made his Broadway acting debut alongside Gregory Hines in Jelly’s Last Jam. Other Broadway credits include Stick Fly and Gem of The Ocean. The multi-award winning director and actor most recently adapted August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom for producer Denzel Washington and NETFLIX starring Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman. Ruben wrote, executive produced, and co-starred in the HBO film Lackawanna Blues based on his OBIE Award-winning play. The movie received several honors including Emmy, Golden Globe, NAACP Image Award, Humanitas, National Board of Reviews, Black Filmmaker’s Foundation and Christopher Awards. Recently, Ruben co-starred in BET’s drama The Quad and played the role of Captain Roy Montgomery on the hit show Castle for three seasons on ABC. Ruben currently co-stars in Tarell Alvin McCraney’s new series David Makes Man for Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network. Ruben has been seen in over three dozen movies. Among his favorites are Lackawanna Blues, American Gangster, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Coming to America, Forgotten Genius, and The Devil’s Advocate. Ruben earned his MFA in acting from The Hillberry Classical Repertory Theater at Wayne State University, his BA in theatre from Binghamton University, and he also holds Honorary Doctorate degrees from both Wayne State University and Buffalo State College. In a career that spans over four decades, Ruben considers opening The Ruben Santiago-Hudson Fine Arts Learning Center in 2014 in his hometown of Lackawanna, NY as one of his proudest and most cherished accomplishments.
JUNIOR MACK (Guitarist) A self-taught blues-rock musician and soulful vocalist, Junior Mack has been playing guitar since 1968. Influenced by countless blues, rock and gospel musicians and singers, he’s combined years of listening and learning into one unique style. Aside from his own band (The Junior Mack Band) and solo efforts, he’s currently the front man for Jaimoe’s Jasssz Band and a founding member of the Grammy Nominated Heritage Blues Orchestra. His style of music has been enthusiastically received by audiences within the United States, Europe and as far away as India. Junior has sat in or worked with numerous artists including The Allman Brothers Band, Warren Haynes, Derek Trucks, The Marshall Tucker Band, Honeyboy Edwards and Cyndi Lauper among others.
MTC has aligned with its Broadway colleagues in setting safety protocols. From September 4 – October 31, proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test, and a valid I.D. will be required to enter the theatre. Masks must be worn at all times. For more specific information go to: manhattantheatreclub.com/protocols. Protocols for performances after November 1 will be announced at a later date.
Subscriptions to MTC’s new season of plays are now available by calling the MTC Clubline at 212-399-3050 or going to www.Manhattantheatreclub.com/subscribe.
To sign up for MTC’s “30 Under 35” program, offering $30 tickets for theatregoers age 35 and under, visit www.manhattantheatreclub.com/30under35/.