Lackawanna Blues

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Lackawanna Blues is an American play written by Ruben Santiago-Hudson in 2001. It was later adapted as a television movie that aired in 2005. The play dramatizes the character of the author's primary caregiver when he was growing up in Lackawanna, New York, during the 1950s and 1960s.


The play debuted off Broadway April 14, 2001, at the Joseph Papp Theater in New York City.Weber, Bruce. "Thanks, Miss Rachel, Thanks for Raising Me", New York Times. April 17, 2001. It was directed by Loretta Greco, produced by George C. Wolfe, and executive produced by Fran Reiter. Rosemarie Tichler was the artistic producer.

The play is a montage of reminiscences, memories, testimonials and roman a clefs of "Miss Rachel," or Nanny, as the young Ruben Santiago, Jr. calls her. Largely abandoned by his parents, Ruben finds that Nanny becomes his surrogate family. Various incidents in Ruben's and Nanny's life are portrayed, with a large cast of quirky minor characters—friends, boarders, family members, visitors, relatives, and so on—providing commentary on Nanny's strength of character, intelligence, and morality.

The play included several songs, either sung by the characters in the play or as ambient music heard via a radio or through a window. Bill Sims Jr....
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