Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

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by August Wilson
     
 

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The time is 1927. The place is a run-down recording studio in Chicago. Ma Rainey, the legendary blues singer, is due to arrive with her entourage to cut new sides of old favorites. Waiting for her are her black musician sidemen, the white owner of the record company, and her white manager. What goes down in the session to come is more than music. It is a riveting

Overview

The time is 1927. The place is a run-down recording studio in Chicago. Ma Rainey, the legendary blues singer, is due to arrive with her entourage to cut new sides of old favorites. Waiting for her are her black musician sidemen, the white owner of the record company, and her white manager. What goes down in the session to come is more than music. It is a riveting portrayal of black rage . . . of racism, of the self-hate that racism breeds, and of racial exploitation . . .

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The play's themes are not new to the stage . . . the black American search for identity . . . and the process by which any American sells his soul for what Arthur Miller calls the salemean's dream. Mr. Wilson's style, however, is all his own. . . . He has lighted a dramatic fuse that snakes and hisses through several anguished eras of American life. When the fuse reaches its explosive final destination, the audience is impaled by the impact."
—Frank Rich, The New York Times

"Extraordinary! Ma Rainey rides on the exultant notes of the blues!"
—Jack Kroll, Newsweek

"What a joy! Brilliant . . . explosive! One of the most dramatically riveting plays I've seen in years. You must see it!"
—William A Raidy, Newhouse Newspapers

"A genuine work of art . . ."
—Brendan Gill, The New Yorker

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780613364911
Publisher:
Turtleback Books: A Division of Sanval
Publication date:
04/28/1985
Pages:
112
Product dimensions:
5.32(w) x 8.02(h) x 0.57(d)

Meet the Author

August Wilson is a major American playwright whose work has been consistently acclaimed as among the finest of the American theater. His first play, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, won the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for best new play of 1984-85. His second play, Fences, won numerous awards for best play of the year, 1987, including the Tony Award, the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award, the Drama Desk Award, and the Pulitzer Prize. Joe Turner's Come and Gone, his third play, was also voted best play of 1987-88 by the New York Drama Critics' Circle. In 1990, Wilson was awarded his second Pulitzer Prize for The Piano Lesson.

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Ma Rainey's Black Bottom 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Outstanding! must own DVD!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ma Rainey is a stroy about control. August very masterfully allows his readers to form an opinion on a character before even introducing them, as is the case with Madame Rainey. Although Ma is the leader of the band and can make or break them, the supporting characters, mostly Levee, challenge this leadership with their own opinions which leads to his own demise. Had this been allowed to continue, the band would have split. However Ma kept things together. This book is very carefully done with the intent to open readers to a deeper meaning, although it is with this unclarity that some of the meaning of the main plot is lost.