The story of Vincent and Ruben should be a novel waiting to happen. Ruben Santiago-Hudson met Vincent early in both of their careers. This manager/talent relationship is a long and rare one in the entertainment business. Vince did indeed have many long-standing relationships with his clients. Loyalty, trust and patience are ever important. Ruben had already won a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in August Wilson’s play “ Seven Guitars” (1995) and wanted to tell the story of the woman who helped raise him. Ruben told Vince he wanted to write a one-man show. Vince was encouraging and totally onboard. With the assistance of George C Wolfe Ruben crafted the one-man show and the first reading was in Vince’s living room in Los Angeles. Vince was moved to tears. “Lackawanna Blues” was first performed in New York City at the Joseph Papp Theater.
This story of Ruben’s nanny and the 18 characters that inhabit the house’s rooms were all beautifully, perfectly portrayed by Ruben. The play was a hit and received a Special Citation Obie and many other awards.