Ruben Santiago Hudson’s LACKAWANNA BLUES Celebrates Broadway Debut at MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre

Manhattan Theatre Club (Lynne Meadow, Artistic Director and Barry Grove, Executive Producer) was thrilled to reopen its doors last night, Tuesday, September 14, when the Broadway premiere of Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s Lackawanna Blues began performances at MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre (261 West 47th Street).

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.

Nanny’s Band (Ayode Maakheru on vocals/guitar, Booker King on bass, Barry Harrison on drums,
Matthew Skoller on harmonica) in front of MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre in New York on September 14, 2021. Photo by Lia Chang
Nanny’s Band (Ayode Maakheru on vocals/guitar, Booker King on bass, Barry Harrison on drums,
Matthew Skoller on harmonica) in front of MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre in New York on September 14, 2021. Photo by Lia Chang

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.

Ruben Santiago-Hudson at the first preview curtain call of Lackawanna Blues at MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre in New York on September 14, 2021. Photo by Lia Chang

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.

Junior Mack and Ruben Santiago-Hudson at the first preview curtain call of Lackawanna Blues at MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre in New York on September 14, 2021. Photo by Lia Chang

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.

S. Epatha Merkerson at MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre in New York on September 14, 2021. Photo by Lia Chang
Brian Stokes Mitchell at MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre in New York on September 14, 2021 . Photo by Lia Chang
S. Epatha Merkerson and Brian Stokes Mitchell at MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre in New York on September 14, 2021 . Photo by Lia Chang
MTC Board Chairman David Hodgson, NYC Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Vicki Been, New York State Council on the Arts Executive Director Mara Manus at MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre in New York on September 14, 2021 . Photo by Lia Chang
MTC Executive Producer Barry Grove at MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre in New York on September 14, 2021 . Photo by Lia Chang
Brian Stokes Mitchell at MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre in New York on September 14, 2021 . Photo by Lia Chang
(from left to right) – New York State Senator Brad Hoylman, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney, Brian Stokes Mitchell, MTC Executive Producer Barry Grove, S. Epatha Merkerson, MTC Board Chairman David Hodgson, NYC Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Vicki Been, and New York State Council on the Arts Executive Director Mara Manus at MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre in New York on September 14, 2021 . Photo by Lia Chang
MTC Board Chairman David Hodgson, NYC Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Vicki Been, and New York State Council on the Arts Executive Director Mara Manus at MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre in New York on September 14, 2021 . Photo by Lia Chang
New York State Senator Brad Hoylman at MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre in New York on September 14, 2021 . Photo by Lia Chang
NYC Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Vicki Been at MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre in New York on September 14, 2021 . Photo by Lia Chang
(from left to right) – Brian Stokes Mitchell, New York State Senator Brad Hoylman, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney, MTC Executive Producer Barry Grove, S. Epatha Merkerson, MTC Board Chairman David Hodgson, and NYC Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Vicki Been at MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre in New York on September 14, 2021 . Photo by Lia Chang
New York State Senator Brad Hoylman, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney, S. Epatha Merkerson, MTC Executive Producer Barry Grove, Brian Stokes Mitchell at MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre in New York on September 14, 2021. Photo by Lia Chang
(from left to right) – New York State Senator Brad Hoylman, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney, MTC Executive Producer Barry Grove, S. Epatha Merkerson, Brian Stokes Mitchell, MTC Board Chairman David Hodgson, NYC Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Vicki Been, New York State Council on the Arts Executive Director Mara Manus, Commissioner of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment Anne Del Castillo, President and CEO of New York & Company Fred Dixon and President of Times Square Alliance Tom Harris at MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre in New York on September 14, 2021. Photo by Lia Chang
(from left to right) – New York State Senator Brad Hoylman, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney, MTC Executive Producer Barry Grove, S. Epatha Merkerson, Brian Stokes Mitchell, MTC Board Chairman David Hodgson, NYC Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Vicki Been, New York State Council on the Arts Executive Director Mara Manus, Commissioner of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment Anne Del Castillo, President and CEO of New York & Company Fred Dixon and President of Times Square Alliance Tom Harris at MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre in New York on September 14, 2021. Photo by Lia Chang
(from left to right) – New York State Senator Brad Hoylman, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney, MTC Executive Producer Barry Grove, S. Epatha Merkerson, Brian Stokes Mitchell, MTC Board Chairman David Hodgson, NYC Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Vicki Been, New York State Council on the Arts Executive Director Mara Manus, Commissioner of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment Anne Del Castillo, President and CEO of New York & Company Fred Dixon and President of Times Square Alliance Tom Harris at MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre in New York on September 14, 2021. Photo by Lia Chang
(from left to right) – New York State Senator Brad Hoylman, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney, MTC Executive Producer Barry Grove, S. Epatha Merkerson, Brian Stokes Mitchell, MTC Board Chairman David Hodgson, NYC Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Vicki Been, New York State Council on the Arts Executive Director Mara Manus, Commissioner of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment Anne Del Castillo, President and CEO of New York & Company Fred Dixon and President of Times Square Alliance Tom Harris at MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre in New York on September 14, 2021. Photo by Lia Chang
Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney, MTC Executive Producer Barry Grove, New York State Senator Brad Hoylman, New York State Council on the Arts Executive Director Mara Manus at MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre in New York on September 14, 2021 . Photo by Lia Chang
Manhattan Theatre Club’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre. Photo by Lia Chang
Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer, an Award winning filmmaker and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. Her short film, When the World Was Young, written and directed by Garth Kravits, recently garnered a 2021 DisOrient Film Audience Choice Award for Best Short Narrative. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young. She is also the Executive Producer for The Cactus, The Language Lesson, The Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2021 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

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