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Photos: Manhattan Theatre Club Celebrates Re-Opening with First Preview of LACKAWANNA BLUES

Lackawanna Blues has officially begun performances at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre.

On Tuesday night, Ruben Santiago-Hudson's Lackawanna Blues debuted on Broadway at Manhattan Theatre Club's Samuel J. Friedman Theatre (261 West 47th Street, NYC), following the theater going dark for 18 months during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The special evening included a musical performance by Nanny's Band (Ayode Maakheru on vocals/guitar, Booker King on bass, Barry Harrison on drums, Matthew Skoller on harmonica), pre-show remarks by S. Epatha Merkerson, Brian Stokes Mitchell, NYC Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Vicki Been, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney, and a pre-show ribbon-cutting ceremony and confetti celebration to reopen Manhattan Theatre Club's Samuel J. Friedman Theatre.

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.

Photo Credit: Bruce Glikas

Lackawanna Blues
Ruben Santiago-Hudson

Lackawanna Blues
Ruben Santiago-Hudson

Lackawanna Blues
Junior Mack and Ruben Santiago-Hudson

Lackawanna Blues
Ruben Santiago-Hudson

Lackawanna Blues

Lackawanna Blues
Will Hochman

Lackawanna Blues
Jesse Tyler Ferguson

Lackawanna Blues
Barry Grove and Brian Stokes Mitchell

Lackawanna Blues
Brian Stokes Mitchell and Allyson Tucker

Lackawanna Blues
Justin Mikita, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, U.S. Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney and Allyson Tucker

Lackawanna Blues
Justin Mikita and Jesse Tyler Ferguson

Lackawanna Blues
U.S. Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney, Barry Grove, New York State Senator Brad Hoylman, Executive Director of the New York State Council on the Arts Mara Manus

Lackawanna Blues
New York State Senator Brad Hoylman, U.S. Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney, S. Epatha Merkerson, Brian Stokes Mitchell, David Hodgson, NYC Deputy Mayor Vicki Been, Executive Director of the New York State Council on the Arts Mara Manus

Lackawanna Blues
New York State Senator Brad Hoylman, U.S. Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney, Barry Grove, S. Epatha Merkerson, Brian Stokes Mitchell, David Hodgson

Lackawanna Blues
S. Epatha Merkerson, Brian Stokes Mitchell

Lackawanna Blues
U.S. Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney, Barry Grove, S. Epatha Merkerson, Brian Stokes Mitchell, David Hodgson, NYC Deputy Mayor Vicki Been

Lackawanna Blues
S. Epatha Merkerson, Brian Stokes Mitchell

Lackawanna Blues
S. Epatha Merkerson

Lackawanna Blues
S. Epatha Merkerson

Lackawanna Blues
U.S. Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney

Lackawanna Blues
New York State Senator Brad Hoylman

Lackawanna Blues
Executive Director of the New York State Council on the Arts Mara Manus

Lackawanna Blues
NYC Deputy Mayor Vicki Been

Lackawanna Blues
Brian Stokes Mitchell

Lackawanna Blues
David Hodgson

Lackawanna Blues
Executive Producer Barry Grove

Lackawanna Blues
Nanny's Band

Lackawanna Blues
Brian Stokes Mitchell

Lackawanna Blues
S. Epatha Merkerson

Lackawanna Blues
S. Epatha Merkerson, Brian Stokes Mitchell

Lackawanna Blues
Nanny's Band

Lackawanna Blues
Nanny's Band

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