Ma Rainey's Black Bottom 1984

Opened: October 11, 1984
Closing: June 09, 1985

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom - 1984 - Broadway History , Info & More

Blues diva Ma Rainey and her band have come to a Chicago studio to cut a record, but their artistic differences nearly stop the session before it starts. Full of unforgettable characters and the raw power of the blues, this 1920s installment of Wilson's groundbreaking cycle of plays confronts the issues of race, fame, and generational divides through the rhythms of the African-American South.

August Wilson (1945-2005) The most-produced African-American playwright of all time, August Wilson was a self-taught writer whose distinctive style combined poeticism and everyday slang. The plays of his remarkable Pittsburgh Cycle chronicled the black experience in America in every decade of the 20thcentury, winning two Pulitzer Prizes and redefining African-American storytelling for a generation of theatergoers.

Get Ma Rainey's Black Bottom Email Alerts

Be the first to get ticket offers, news, photos & more.

BWW Feature: Building FENCES - A Journey From Stage To Screen and the Legacy of August Wilson
by Jeffrey Walker - Feb 26, 2017

From the Broadway stage to the Pulitzer Prize, back to Broadway, and now as a film adaptation with four Oscar nominations, FENCES has riveted audiences for more than 30 years. The film, directed by and starring Denzel Washington, is nominated for Best Picture, with Washington and Viola Davis nominated for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress. The fourth nomination is for the drama's original playwright August Wilson for Best Adapted Screenplay. Wilson died in 2005. Wilson left behind an indelible legacy of dramatic work, having penned the ambitious American Century Cycle of ten plays focusing on the African-American experience in the 20th century.

August Wilson's American Century Cycle, a Play-By-Play Review
by Michael Dale - Sep 23, 2015

A quick review of the 10 plays Denzel Washington will be producing for HBO.

American Stage Theatre Company Names Angela Bassett Honorary Chair For Their August Wilson Century Cycle Consortium
by Gabrielle Sierra - Sep 28, 2009

American Stage Theatre Company recently announced that famous Hollywood actress and St. Petersburg native, Angela Bassett, has been named the theatre's honorary chair for their August Wilson Century Cycle Consortium.

Other Productions of Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

1984   Broadway Original Broadway Production
2003   Broadway Broadway Revival

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom - 1984 Broadway Awards and Nominations

Note: Award winners will appear on a background
Year Ceremony Category Nominee
1985 Drama Desk Awards Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play Charles S. Dutton
1985 Drama Desk Awards Outstanding Play August Wilson
1985 New York Drama Critics Circle Awards Best Play August Wilson
1985 Tony Awards Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play Charles S. Dutton
1985 Tony Awards Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play Theresa Merritt
1985 Tony Awards Best Play Ivan Bloch
1985 Tony Awards Best Play Robert Cole
1985 Tony Awards Best Play Frederick M. Zollo