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Ma Rainey's Black Bottom - 1984 - Broadway

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.

Schedule

Cort Theatre (Broadway)

(New York, NY)
138 West 48th St.
Category:
by BWW News Desk - Sep 16, 2020
As part of Rubicon Theatre's continuing September Blitz of more than 30 events in 30 days, the company presents the world premiere of a new play written in this moment and for this moment by TAYLOR FAGINS -- A SONG.
by BWW News Desk - Sep 16, 2020
As part of Rubicon Theatrea??s continuing September Blitz of more than 30 events in 30 days, the company presents the world premiere of a new play written in this moment and for this moment by TAYLOR FAGINS -- A SONG. Helmed by by Rubicona??s new Associate Artistic Director CHRIS BUTLER, A SONG will be livestreamed for free on Saturday, September 19 at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, September 20 at 2:00 p.m.
by BroadwayWorld TV - Nov 21, 2019
BroadwayWorld has an exclusive clip of Phylicia Rashad singing on an episode of Disney Junior's The Rocketeer on Disney Channel. 
by BWW News Desk - Nov 15, 2019
Writers Theatre, under the leadership of Artistic Director Michael Halberstam and Executive Director Kathryn M. Lipuma, continues its 2019/20 Season with Stick Fly, written by Lydia R. Diamond and directed by WT Resident Director Ron OJ Parson. Stick Fly runs February 5, 2020 a?" March 15, 2020 in the Alexandra C. and John D. Nichols Theatre at 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe. 
by BWW News Desk - Nov 14, 2019
Presented by Center Theatre Group, performances for August Wilson's a?oeJitneya?? will begin on November 22 at the Mark Taper Forum. Performances will continue through December 29 with the opening set for November 24. Originally presented by Manhattan Theatre Club, a?oeJitneya?? is directed by Tony Award winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson. 
by Stephi Wild - Nov 13, 2019
Today's top stories: Slava's Snowshow officially opens tonight, and more!
by Stage Tube - Nov 12, 2019
Whoopi Goldberg was a guest on Monday night's episode of Late Night with Seth Meyers to talk about putting her own unique twist on hosting guests and her return to the stage for Sister Act. 
by BWW News Desk - May 27, 2020
Writers Theatre Artistic Director Michael Halberstam and Executive Director Kathryn M. Lipuma announce plans for the company's 2020/21 Season with a new adaptive producing model, one committed to remaining flexible and responsive to current events and that allows the theatre to welcome patrons back to the theatre when the time is right. 
by BWW News Desk - May 21, 2020
Huntington Theatre Company has announced that their annual Spotlight Spectacular Gala will take place virtually on the Huntington's Facebook and YouTube channels Monday, June 15, 2020.
by BWW News Desk - May 13, 2020
During this time when productions all over the world have been put on pause, we are coming together to celebrate plays that have left their mark on theater history.
by BWW News Desk - Mar 3, 2020
Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater presents August Wilson's Seven Guitars. Tazewell Thompson (Arena's Jubilee) will direct this Tony Award-nominated play. Set in 1940s Pittsburgh, seven lives are interconnected when old friend and blues singer Floyd Barton vows to turn his life around after a surprise windfall leaves him hopeful for a second chance.
by BWW News Desk - Jun 23, 2020
The winner of the 2020 annual Stiles and Drewe Best New Song Prize will be announced during a 'virtual concert' and online ceremony on Sunday 5 July.
by BWW News Desk - Jun 23, 2020
Broadway Theatre Project welcomes Brett Scott as the Head of the Acting Department for the summer 2020 program! A veteran teacher and theatre practitioner, Scott will be a part of BTP's virtual musical theatre intensive and inaugural Creative Works Lab.
by BWW News Desk - Jul 16, 2020
National Theatre concludes its National Theatre at Home program, with Amadeus, streaming tonight at 7pm UK time, 2pm EST.
by BWW News Desk - Jan 8, 2020
The Muny announced today the directors, choreographers and music directors for its 2020 season, which opens June 15 with Kander and Ebb's internationally-acclaimed Chicago. Among the talented list are a mix of Muny favorites and newcomers. In addition to casting, a comprehensive list of design teams for each production will be released later this spring. Telsey + Company is the official casting partner for Muny.
by BWW News Desk - Jan 8, 2020
At once conceptually and deeply moving, with a profound exploration of what makes us human, COAL MINE THEATRE is proud to announce its upcoming presentation of Jordan Harrison's Pulitzer Prize-nominated MARJORIE PRIME, directed by Stewart Arnott. The play, making its long-awaited Toronto Premiere, features a remarkable performance by legendary stage actor Martha Henry, alongside Beau Dixon, Sarah Dodd, and Gordon Hecht. Presented at COAL MINE THEATRE, January 26 - February 23, 2020 (Opening night January 29).
by BWW News Desk - Jan 31, 2020
Since 2012, award-winning actor and director Brandon J. Dirden has made an artistic home at Two River Theater, appearing on the theater's Red Bank stage in five productions and making his directorial debut in 2015 with August Wilson's Seven Guitarsa?"a production that NJ Monthly raved a?oepoignantly captures the joys and sorrows that are the signatures of Wilson's work.a??
by BWW News Desk - Jan 30, 2020
Emotive Fruition (Artistic Director, Thomas Dooley) has announced a live poetry event, LET LIGHTNING SET US ON FIRE, a one-night-only staged reading celebrating Valentine's Day with dramatic poems of modern love.
by BWW News Desk - Jan 30, 2020
This Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning drama will be presented at Virginia Rep's November Theatre (114 West Broad Street) beginning February 7th, 2020 with two preview performances on Wednesday, February 5th and Thursday, February 6th. August Wilson's powerful masterwork will be onstage through March 1st. Fences is presented as part of the Acts of Faith Festival. 
by BWW News Desk - Jan 27, 2020
A seminal work of Jewish culture or an act of traitorous libel? Indecent explores the origins of the highly controversial play The God of Vengeance by Sholem Asch. We follow the path of the artists who risked their careers and lives to perform it in this deeply moving play accompanied by a small live klezmer band.
by Chloe Rabinowitz - Jan 22, 2020
A Soldier's Play officially opened on Broadway on January 21 for a limited engagement at the American Airlines Theatre on Broadway (227 West 42nd Street).
by Stage Tube - Jan 22, 2020
The Old Globe presents August Wilson's Jitney, directed by one of Wilson's foremost interpreters, Ruben Santiago-Hudson (directed Jitney on Broadway, performed in Gem of the Ocean and Seven Guitars). The American master and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson (the American Century Cycle of 10 plays) had a close relationship with The Old Globe, where three of his plays premiered.
by BWW News Desk - Jan 22, 2020
Producers Brian Moreland, Ron Simons, Mike Jackson, John Legend and Eric Falkenstein announced today that Blue, the play by Charles Randolph-Wright with music by Nona Hendryx and lyrics by Charles Randolph-Wright, will play a 16-week engagement at New York's Apollo Theater (253 West 125th Street), under the direction of Tony Award winner Phylicia Rashad who starred in both the play's 2000 world premiere at Arena Stage and 2001 New York premiere at Roundabout Theatre Company.
by BWW News Desk - Jan 21, 2020
The Old Globe presents August Wilson's Jitney, directed by one of Wilson's foremost interpreters, Ruben Santiago-Hudson (directed Jitney on Broadway, performed in Gem of the Ocean and Seven Guitars). The American master and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson (the American Century Cycle of 10 plays) had a close relationship with The Old Globe, where three of his plays premiered.
by BWW News Desk - Jan 2, 2020
Trinity Rep continues its 2019-20 Season with the final play from American theatrical legend August Wilson - Radio Golf. Directed by resident acting company member Jude Sandy, the show features resident acting company member Joe Wilson, Jr., as Harmond Wilks, a man determined to revive his childhood neighborhood without considering the emotional cost. Both moving and funny, Radio Golf is the culmination of August Wilson's ten-play American Century Cycle chronicling each decade of African-American life in the twentieth century. Radio Golf runs January 31 - March 1, with press opening on Monday, February 3 at 7:30 pm. Tickets start at $27. More information can be found at www.TrinityRep.com/radiogolf.
by BWW News Desk - Jan 16, 2020
Writers Theatre, under the leadership of Artistic Director Michael Halberstam and Executive Director Kathryn M. Lipuma, continues its 2019/20 Season with Stick Fly, written by Lydia R. Diamond and directed by WT Resident Director Ron OJ Parson. Stick Fly runs February 5, 2020 a?" March 15, 2020 in the Alexandra C. and John D. Nichols Theatre at 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe. The Press Opening is Wednesday, February 12, 2020 at 7:30 p.m.
by BWW News Desk - Jan 14, 2020
Performances begin this Saturday, January 18, as The Old Globe presents August Wilson's Jitney, 2017 Tony Award winner for Best Revival of a Play, directed by one of Wilson's foremost interpreters, Ruben Santiago-Hudson (directed Jitney on Broadway, performed in Gem of the Ocean and Seven Guitars).
by BWW News Desk - Jan 13, 2020
Producers Harriet Newman Leve, Ellen DeGeneres, Portia de Rossi, Lily Tomlin and Jane Wagner have announced a 2020 Broadway bound production of Last Summer at Bluefish Cove.
by Marina Kennedy - Feb 28, 2020
This season, Two River continues its commitment to produce all 10 plays of August Wilson's American Century Cycle with Brandon Dirden's production of 'Radio Golf,' the sixth play in the Cycle produced at the theater. Broadwayworld.com had the pleasure of interviewing Carl Hendrick Louis who plays Harmond Wilks in the show.
by BWW News Desk - Feb 21, 2020
Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati is going back to school with the regional premiere drama, Pipeline by Dominique Morisseau, the acclaimed MacArthu 'Genius' Grant playwright. This 2018 Obie Award-winning play powerfully brings an urgent conversation to the forefront, compassionately probing the limits of our education system and a mother's fight to give her son a future-without turning her back on the community that made him who he is. Directed by Ron OJ Parson. Production Sponsor is The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation.
by BWW News Desk - Feb 20, 2020
A Theatre Company presents Seven Guitars by Pulitzer winning playwright August Wilson takes an in-depth look at the plight of African Americans through the lives of seven African American characters during the nineteen forties in Pittsburgh after attending the funeral of a friend. The play reveals flashback incidents leading up to the funeral.
by BWW News Desk - Feb 20, 2020
Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater has announced the company for August Wilson's Seven Guitars. Tazewell Thompson (Arena's Jubilee) will direct this Tony Award-nominated play. Set in 1940s Pittsburgh, seven lives are interconnected when old friend and blues singer Floyd Barton vows to turn his life around after a surprise windfall leaves him hopeful for a second chance.
by BWW News Desk - Feb 19, 2020
In 'Grandma's Quilt' by Karen A. Brown, an elderly poor, unpretentious Black woman in rural Arkansas is sewing a quilt as the final act of her life. Each scrap of material is a prism into a chapter of her family's past. As she reflects on each period, she transforms into younger versions of herself to lead us through the history that she intends to pass on to her granddaughter. One actress portrays the old woman at six points in her life as well as the granddaughter. Negro Ensemble Company, Inc. will present the play's New York premiere March 11 to 21 at Theatre 80 St. Marks, 80 St. Marks Place. Two performers will share the unusual acting challenge of playing what is essentially seven characters: author Karen A. Brown from March 11 to 14 and actress Deidre Monique Benton from March 18 to 21. Director is Anthony Jay Hamilton.
by Perry Tannenbaum - Feb 13, 2020
Their third dive into August Wilson's ten-play Pittsburgh Cycle, Brand New Sheriff's FENCES may be their best yet, with an outstanding cast, led by Jonavan Adams - and an outstanding director, Corlis Hayes, who has been here before.
by BWW News Desk - Feb 1, 2020
Producers Brian Moreland, Ron Simons, Mike Jackson, John Legend and Eric Falkenstein announced today that tickets for Blue are officially on-sale. The beloved play by Charles Randolph-Wright with music by Nona Hendryx and lyrics by Charles Randolph-Wright, will play a 16-week engagement at New York's legendary Apollo Theater (253 West 125th Street), under the direction of Tony Award winner Phylicia Rashad who starred in both the play's 2000 world premiere at Arena Stage and 2001 New York premiere at Roundabout Theatre Company. Previews are set to begin on April 27th with opening night on May 10th. Blue will run through August 16th.
by Meet the Cast - Dec 27, 2019
A Soldier's Play is officially in previews on Broadway! A Soldier's Play opens officially on January 21, 2020. This is a limited engagement at the American Airlines Theatre on Broadway (227 West 42nd Street). It stars David Alan Grier, Blair Underwood, Nnamdi Asomugha, Jerry O'Connell, McKinley Belcher III, Rob Demery, Jared Grimes, Billy Eugene Jones, Nate Mann, Warner Miller, J. Alphonse Nicholson and Lee Aaron Rosen.
by Peter Nason - Dec 21, 2019
25 Shows & Performances in the Tampa Bay Area That Rocked Our World from 2010 to 2019!
by BWW News Desk - Dec 18, 2019
F*It Club, the New York Innovative Award-winning film and theatre company, will complete ten years of its annual series of short, commissioned world-premiere plays at the IRT Theater as part of their 3B Development Series in Manhattan's West Village with The Spring Fling: Happily Ever After, ten new short plays by Bekah Brunstetter (NBC's This Is Us, The Cake), Matthew Lee Erlbach (Showtime's Masters of Sex, The Doppelganger), Monet Hurst-Mendoza (NBC's Law and Order: SVU ), Daniel K. Isaac (Fullerton), Chelsea Marcantel (Airness), Gregory S. Moss (Indian Summer, punkplay), Leah Nanako Winkler (NBC's New Amsterdam, Kentucky, God Says This), Larry Powell (Lost Dog), Daniel Talbott (ABC's The Conners), & Pia Wilson (National Geographic's Genius).
by BWW News Desk - Dec 17, 2019
The Old Globe today announced the complete cast and creative team for August Wilson's Jitney, directed by one of Wilson's foremost interpreters, Ruben Santiago-Hudson.
by BWW News Desk - Dec 12, 2019
Casting is set for Studio Theatre's production of Pipeline, playwright Dominique Morisseau's searing drama about the school-to-prison pipeline and a mother desperately trying to keep her son from becoming ensnared in it. The production runs January 15-February 16, 2020 and is directed by Awoye Timpo. Starring are DC theatre favorite Justin Weaks (Studio's Curve of Departure) as high school student Omari and Andrea Harris Smith making her Studio debut as his mother, public school teacher Nya. In its recent People Issue, Washington City Paper's called Weaks a 'standout,' going on to say: 'D.C. theater audiences love Justin Weaks. ...Weaks came to D.C. for a job about four years ago, not expecting to stay. But he kept getting cast in shows, and lucky for local theatergoers, he's still here.'
by BWW News Desk - Aug 4, 2020
Chester Theatre Company (CTC) has announced its first virtual performance, The Story of King Lear, a 50-minute telling of the Shakespeare classic adapted and directed by CTC Producing Artistic Director Daniel Elihu Kramer. The show will air at 7:00pm (eastern) on Thursday, August 27, and will be available for viewing through Sunday, August 30.
by BWW News Desk - Aug 29, 2020
BroadwayWorld is saddened to report that actor Chadwick Boseman, best known for his performance in Black Panther, has died at age 43.
by BWW News Desk - Aug 29, 2020
Netflix has delayed a virtual preview event for for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” following the death of Chadwick Boseman, who stars in the film.
by BWW News Desk - Aug 18, 2020
Court Theatre, under the continuing leadership of Charles Newell, Marilyn F. Vitale Artistic Director, and Executive Director Angel Ysaguirre, has announced that Kelvin Roston, Jr. is the recipient of the 2019/20 Nicholas Rudall Classic Artist Award.
by TV News Desk - Aug 13, 2020
The first wave of featured performers has been announced for HBOa??s adaptation of the critically acclaimed stage show, based on the #1 New York Times bestseller of the same name by author and journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates.
by BWW News Desk - Aug 12, 2020
TheatreWorks Silicon Valley's Artistic Director Tim Bond and Executive Director Phil Santora announced today that the Tony Award-winning theatre will postpone the opening of its 51st mainstage season to March 2021, with eight plays presented through May 2022.
by Peter Nason - Apr 7, 2020
BWW Reviewer Peter Nason chooses the greatest theatrical works (non-musical) from 1920-2020; see if your favorites made the list!
by Stage Tube - Apr 26, 2020
Despite having to cancel and reschedule many of their upcoming performances, Chattanooga Theatre Centre is looking ahead to its 2020-21 season.
by BWW News Desk - Apr 24, 2020
Due to current government guidelines resulting in a delay to the production, the producers of SISTER ACT announced today that performances in London and on tour have now been rescheduled.
by BWW News Desk - Apr 2, 2020
While Broadway remains shut down, BroadwayWorld is keeping up with your favorite stars and giving you a peek at what they have been up to! Check out yesterday's videos, from stars including Patti LuPone, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Carole King, and more!