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Ma Rainey's Black Bottom
CenterStage, '62 Center for Theatre and Dance
Williamstown, MA
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Ma Rainey's Black Bottom
Ma Raineys Black Bottom by August Wilson
Directed by Yasmin Ruvalcaba 17
April 22 & 23, 2017, CenterStage

Blues music may be pervading the streets of 1927 Chicago, but inside this Paramount
studio it is a little too quiet. Ma Rainey, the Mother of The Blues herself, is late to her
own recording session. Her producers are frantic, the band is bored, and her trumpeter
Levee wont stop talking about his new shoes. As the band  Cutler, Slow Drag, Toledo
and Levee  wait around for Ma, they swap stories about their experiences with racism,
religion, and, of course, music. Each musician has his own way of dealing with his
frustrations and anger at the unfairness of the music industry. Toledo philosophizes,
Levee rages, and Slow Drag drinks. When Ma finally arrives, she immediately asserts
her authority demanding that her stuttering nephew Sylvester be given a speaking part
on the record. Levee, who dreams of having his own band someday, is meanwhile trying
to get the producers to record his new hip version of Ma Raineys Black Bottom, and
Ma is having none of it. As Ma, her white producers, and Levee wrestle for control in
the studio, ambitions and grievances slowly build up to a shocking tragedy.


CenterStage, '62 Center for Theatre and Dance (View)
'62 Center for Theatre and Dance, 1000 Main St
Williamstown, MA 01267
United States



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