Theatre Information

Cort Theatre (New York, NY)
138 West 48th St.

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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.



BWW Interview: Chante Adams in August Wilson's MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM at TRT 9/10 to 10/9
by Marina Kennedy - Sep 8, 2016

Two River Theater launches its 2016/2017 season with August Wilson's 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom' from 9/10 to 10/9. The show is directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson. Broadwayworld.com interviewed Chante Adams who will play Dussie Mae in the show. (more...)

Photo Flash: First Look at Lillias White and More in MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM at the Taper
by BWW News Desk - Sep 7, 2016

Now in previews, August Wilson's hard-hitting 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom' opens September 11 and continues through October 16, 2016, at the Center Theatre Group/ Mark Taper Forum. 'Ma Rainey...' is part of Wilson's American Century Cycle of 10 plays chronicling African American experience in 20th Century USA. BroadwayWorld has a first look at the cast in action below! (more...)

Now Playing Onstage in Los Angeles - Week of 9/04/2016
by BWW - Sep 4, 2016

Upcoming Shows - Week of 9/04/2016 for Los Angeles (more...)

BWW Review: MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM at TRT is a Must-See Show
by Marina Kennedy - Sep 28, 2016

Start the fall theater season off right. Get your tickets for August Wilson's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom now at Two River Theater through October 9th. The superb direction of Ruben Santiago-Hudson along with a stellar cast makes it a must-see production. (more...)

Now Playing Onstage in Los Angeles - Week of 9/25/2016
by BWW - Sep 25, 2016

Upcoming Shows - Week of 9/25/2016 for Los Angeles (more...)

1st Stage's Critically Acclaimed LOBBY HERO Extended Until October 16
by BWW News Desk - Sep 22, 2016

1st Stage, Tysons Corner's award-winning professional theater, announces the extension of their critically-acclaimed production of Lobby Hero by Kenneth Lonergan, directed by 1st Stage Artistic Director, Alex Levy.   (more...)

Hartford Stage Announces Cast and Creative Team For August Wilson's THE PIANO LESSON
by BWW News Desk - Sep 21, 2016

Hartford Stage Artistic Director Darko Tresnjak and Managing Director Michael Stotts announced today the cast and creative team for August Wilson's The Piano Lesson, directed by Jade King Carroll, who helmed our critically-acclaimed production of Having Our Say: The Delaney Sisters' First 100 Years last spring. (more...)

MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM to Host Pre-Show Conversations at the Taper
by BWW News Desk - Sep 21, 2016

Center Theatre Group's Community Conversations for August Wilson's 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom' will feature two pre-show panel discussions on September 21 and 30 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at The Music Center Annex building, 601 W. Temple Street, in rehearsal room 'A.' (more...)

Now Playing Onstage in Los Angeles - Week of 9/18/2016
by BWW - Sep 18, 2016

Upcoming Shows - Week of 9/18/2016 for Los Angeles (more...)

STAGE TUBE: Watch Highlights and Behind the Scenes of Lillias White and More in MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM at the Taper
by Stage Tube - Sep 16, 2016

August Wilson's hard-hitting 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom' opened September 11 and continues through October 16, 2016, at the Center Theatre Group/ Mark Taper Forum. 'Ma Rainey...' is part of Wilson's American Century Cycle of 10 plays chronicling African American experience in 20th Century USA. BroadwayWorld has a first look at highlights of the show below, along with behind the scenes with the cast and celebrities! (more...)

MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM, Starring Arnetia Walker, to Launch Two River Theater's 2016-17 Season
by BWW News Desk - Sep 16, 2016

Two River Theater, under the leadership of Artistic Director John Dias and Managing Director Michael Hurst, launches its 2016/17 Season with an extended four-week run of August Wilson's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson. (more...)

Photo Flash: MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM at Two River Theater
by BWW News Desk - Sep 16, 2016

Two River Theater (Artistic Director John Dias, Managing Director Michael Hurst) presents August Wilson's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson. The press opening is Today, September 16 at 8pm and performances will continue throughSunday, October 9 in Two River's Rechnitz Theater, 21 Bridge Avenue, Red Bank, NJ.  Tickets are available from 732.345.1400 ortworivertheater.org. (more...)

BWW Review: MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM Offers a Searing Look at a Tension-Filled Recording Session
by Shari Barrett - Sep 15, 2016

Like all of August Wilson's plays, this one contains more dialogue than perhaps is needed, with the first act seemingly bogged down at times as you listen to four musicians (Damon Gupton as Cutler, Glynn Turman as Toledo, Keith David as Slow Dawg, Jason Dirden as Levee) stuck in a rehearsal room as they banter about life, women, music, and a much-loved pair of new shoes. It's a shame these brilliant musicians were not allowed to share their skills in more than just one song during the show as they rocked the house. Make no mistake; this play is NOT a musical but a hard-hitting drama about the inequities of life. (more...)

Photo Flash: MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM at Two River Theater
by BWW News Desk - Sep 14, 2016

Two River Theater (Artistic Director John Dias, Managing Director Michael Hurst) presents August Wilson's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson. The press opening is Friday, September 16 at 8pm and performances will continue throughSunday, October 9 in Two River's Rechnitz Theater, 21 Bridge Avenue, Red Bank, NJ.  Tickets are available from 732.345.1400 ortworivertheater.org. (more...)

Photo Flash: Lillias White, Phylicia Rashad and More Celebrate MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM Opening at the Taper
by BWW News Desk - Sep 12, 2016

August Wilson's hard-hitting 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom' opened September 11 and continues through October 16, 2016, at the Center Theatre Group/ Mark Taper Forum. 'Ma Rainey...' is part of Wilson's American Century Cycle of 10 plays chronicling African American experience in 20th Century USA. BroadwayWorld has photos from the opening night festivities below! (more...)

Now Playing Onstage in Los Angeles - Week of 9/11/2016
by BWW - Sep 11, 2016

Upcoming Shows - Week of 9/11/2016 for Los Angeles (more...)

MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM, Starring Arnetia Walker, to Launch Two River Theater's 2016-17 Season
by BWW News Desk - Sep 10, 2016

Two River Theater, under the leadership of Artistic Director John Dias and Managing Director Michael Hurst, launches its 2016/17 Season with an extended four-week run of August Wilson's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson. (more...)

Coming Up This Week in Theatre - 9/10/2016
by - Sep 10, 2016

BroadwayWorld.com's Upcoming Events calendar for the week - updated on 9/10/2016. (more...)

Arnetia Walker, Michael Cumpsty and More Set for MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM, Starting Tonight at Two River Theater
by BWW News Desk - Sep 10, 2016

Two River Theater presents August Wilson's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson. The production will run tonight, September 10, through October 9, 2016, with the opening night on Friday, September 16 at 8pm. (more...)

Now Playing Onstage in Los Angeles - Week of 10/09/2016
by BWW - Oct 9, 2016

Upcoming Shows - Week of 10/09/2016 for Los Angeles (more...)

Writers Theatre Continues 25th Anniversary Season with EAST TEXAS HOT LINKS
by BWW News Desk - Oct 3, 2016

Writers Theatre, under the leadership of Artistic Director Michael Halberstam and Executive Director Kathryn M. Lipuma, continues its 25th Anniversary Season with East Texas Hot Links, written by Eugene Lee and directed by Ron OJ Parson. The show runs October 19, 2016 - January 22, 2017 in The Gillian Theatre: 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe.  (more...)

Cherry Jones to Make West End Debut in John Tiffany's THE GLASS MENAGERIE with Michael Esper, Brian J. Smith, and Kate O'Flynn
by BWW News Desk - Oct 20, 2016

John Tiffany returns to the West End for the first time since the international critical hit Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Parts One and Two, to bring his acclaimed production of The Glass Menagerie to the Duke of York's Theatre for a limited season. (more...)

Now Playing Onstage in Los Angeles - Week of 10/02/2016
by BWW - Oct 2, 2016

Upcoming Shows - Week of 10/02/2016 for Los Angeles (more...)

White Bear Theatre Announces Cast for TUESDAY
by BWW News Desk - Oct 10, 2016

Following £1.3m redevelopment, Kennington's White Bear Theatre reopens with Tuesday, Michael Bhim's painfully funny new play about disaffected multi cultural modern Londoners. (more...)

Photo Flash: HARVEY Hops His Way to the Court Theatre
by BWW News Desk - May 15, 2017

Court Theatre, under the leadership of Marilyn F. Vitale Artistic Director Charles Newell and Executive Director Stephen J. Albert, concludes the 2016-2017 Season with the Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy Harvey by Mary Chase, directed by Devon De Mayo. Harvey runs May 11 - June 11, 2017 at Court Theatre, 5535 S. Ellis Avenue in Chicago. The Press Opening is Saturday, May 20 at 8:00 p.m. (more...)

August Wilson's Tour-de-Force MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM Comes to Life at 1st Stage
by BWW News Desk - May 10, 2017

From the extraordinary mind of Pultizer, Tony, and Academy Award recognized playwright, August Wilson comes one of America's most renowned stories of race and music. Inspired by the real life of legendary blues singer, Gertrude "Ma" Rainey, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom is a powerful installment in August Wilson's Pulitzer Prize winning Century Cycle- 10 illustrious plays that explore the African-American experience in each decade of the 20th century. (more...)

1st Stage Presents Lisa Kron's Riveting Play WELL
by BWW News Desk - Mar 9, 2017

"This play is not about my mother and me," begins the character, Lisa. But, of course, it is about her mother, and her mother's extraordinary ability to heal a changing neighborhood, despite her inability to heal herself. Lisa Kron's "theatrical exploration of a universal experience" spans from her childhood in an integrating neighborhood in Lansing, Michigan to her stay at an allergy unit in Chicago when she was 19; exploring the interaction between those two stories of healing. This compelling exploration spins out of control into riotously funny and unexpected territory as Lisa takes the audience on a journey to discover why some people are sick and some people are well and the lengths to which we will go to understand each other.  (more...)

JANE EYRE Begins Performances at Milwaukee Rep 4/25 - 5/21
by BWW News Desk - Mar 23, 2017

Milwaukee Repertory Theater presents the critically acclaimed adaptation of Charlotte Bronte's classic storyJane Eyre in the Quadracci Powerhouse beginning April 25 through May 21. Directed by KJ Sanchez (Harvey, The Diary of Anne Frank), Jane Eyre is a passionate romance meets thrilling psychological drama performed by ten actors playing more than 20 roles.  The production combines Victorian-era costumes with inventive staging to bring new creativity and vitality to the classic story, considered one of the most widely read novels in the English language. (more...)

Irresistible Comedy BAD DATES to Complete Huntington's 2017-2018 Season
by BWW News Desk - Mar 23, 2017

The 15th anniversary production of Theresa Rebeck's irresistible comedy Bad Dates will complete the Huntington Theatre Company's 2017-2018 season. Bad Dates will be directed by Huntington favorite Jessica Stone (This season's Ripcord and Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike at the Huntington), and the play joins the previously announced seven titles in the 2017-2018 season. (more...)

Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Announces Winners For Theatrical Achievement In 2016
by BWW News Desk - Mar 21, 2017

The Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle announced the recipients of its 48th annual awards for distinguished achievement in theatre tonight, Monday, March 20, at the Colony Theatre in Burbank. (more...)

Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Announces Special Award of Achievement to Honor Gordon Davidson
by BWW News Desk - Mar 15, 2017

The Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle is proud to announce a new special award to be presented at its upcoming awards ceremony on March 20: The Gordon Davidson Award for distinguished contribution to the Los Angeles theatrical community. The award is sponsored by the Center Theatre Group, where Gordon Davidson served as the founding Artistic Director from 1967 to 2005, and will be presented this year to Pro99. (more...)

Photo Flash: Blues Inspired MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM to Croon at 1st Stage
by BWW News Desk - Jun 3, 2017

From the extraordinary mind of Pultizer, Tony, and Academy Award recognized playwright August Wilson comes one of America's most renowned stories of race and music. Inspired by the real life of legendary blues singer, Gertrude "Ma" Rainey, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom is a powerful installment in August Wilson's Pulitzer Prize winning Century Cycle- 10 illustrious plays that explore the African-American experience in each decade of the 20th century. (more...)

Photo Flash: Full Casting Announced for New Production of FIVE GUYS NAMED MOE
by BWW News Desk - Jun 21, 2017

Underbelly Productions have today announced full casting for a brand new production of Clarke Peters' Olivier Award-winning and Tony-Award nominated musical, Five Guys Named Moe. The production will open on 14 September 2017 in a new temporary theatre in Marble Arch, London. Check out photos of the cast below! (more...)

BWW Review: MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM at 1st Stage
by Jenny Minich - Jun 12, 2017

Important content and several exceptional performances outweigh 1st Stage's flawed production of August Wilson's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom.  (more...)

Rubicon Theatre Company Presents THE DEVIL'S MUSIC: THE LIFE AND BLUES OF BESSIE SMITH
by BWW News Desk - Feb 9, 2017

Rubicon Theatre Company celebrates Black History Month with THE DEVIL'S MUSIC: THE LIFE AND BLUES OF BESSIE SMITH, starring singer and actress Miche Braden of the original Off-Broadway production (named one of the 10 Best Off-Broadway productions of the year by the N.Y. Daily Times). Described by CBC as a, "bawdy, bluesy, boozy rollicking night out at the theatre," the show follows the life, loves and career of blues and jazz singer Bessie Smith, called the "Empress of the Blues." (more...)

Photo Flash: Rubicon Theatre Company Celebrates Black History Month with THE DEVIL'S MUSIC: THE LIFE AND BLUES OF BESSIE SMITH
by BWW News Desk - Feb 26, 2017

Rubicon Theatre Company celebrates Black History Month with THE DEVIL'S MUSIC: THE LIFE AND BLUES OF BESSIE SMITH, starring singer and actress Miche Braden of the original Off-Broadway production (named one of the 10 Best Off-Broadway productions of the year by the N.Y. Daily Times). Described by CBC as a, "bawdy, bluesy, boozy rollicking night out at the theatre," the show follows the life, loves and career of blues and jazz singer Bessie Smith, called the "Empress of the Blues."  (more...)

Central Piedmont Community College Theatre Announces the Cast of August Wilson's MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM
by BWW News Desk - Feb 17, 2017

It's 1927 in a rundown studio in Chicago Ma Rainey, The Mother of the Blues, is recording new sides of old favorites. During a tense recording session in Chicago's South Side, August Wilson's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom exposes the exploitation of African American musicians in the white-dominated commercial music industry. (more...)

1st Stage's Critically Acclaimed TREVOR Extended Until 3/5
by BWW News Desk - Feb 16, 2017

1st Stage, Tysons Corner's award-winning professional theater, announces the extension of their critically-acclaimed production of Trevor by Nick Jones, directed by 1st Stage Artistic Director, Alex Levy until March 5.   (more...)

Denzel Washington to Adapt August Wilson's MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM for HBO
by TV News Desk - Dec 14, 2016

August Wilson's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom will be the next project that actor and director Denzel Washington will adapt for the screen. The play, which recently ran at theUK's National Theatre, will be part of Washington's previously announced plan to bring all 10 of the playwright's works to the screen over the next ten years. (more...)

Photo Flash: First Look at Lillias White, Phylicia Rashad, Keith David and More in Rehearsal for MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM in L.A.
by BWW News Desk - Aug 31, 2016

Rehearsals have begun for August Wilson's blazing masterpiece 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom' which begins previews September 1, opens September 11 and continues through October 16, 2016, at the Center Theatre Group/Mark Taper Forum. BroadwayWorld has a peek at the company in rehearsal below! (more...)

Lillias White Stars in MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM, Directed by Phylicia Rashad, Beginning Tonight in Los Angeles
by BWW News Desk - Aug 31, 2016

Center Theatre Group presents August Wilson's 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom' which begins previews tonight, August 31, opens September 11 and continues through October 16, 2016, at the Mark Taper Forum. (more...)

Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn Gets A Theater in the Park for the Summer
by BWW News Desk - Aug 27, 2016

August in August' is a brand new annual live performance series teaming Joseph Grant Jr., ambassador of arts and culture for the councilman and theatrical producer Andrea J. Fulton of the Anderson & Bert Cade Fulton Foundation. Joint efforts result in the mounting of August Wilson's Tony nominated Two Trains Running directed by Sabura Rashid as its upcoming offering starting August 26th 2016. The production of 'Two Trains Running' will be featured at Fulton Park in Brooklyn on Aug. 26 from 6 to 9 p.m., and Aug. 27 at Herbert Von King Park from 4 to 7p.m. Both performances are FREE. August in August actually began Aug. 13 with the first installation of the series 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom performed at Fulton Park in Brooklyn, produced by the Bed-Stuy Theatre Group. (more...)

BWW's On This Day - August 27, 2016
by - Aug 27, 2016

Here are the Broadway, Off-Broadway and West End shows which opened on August 27 along with all of the upcoming show openings, closings and special events! (more...)

Coming Up This Week in Theatre - 8/27/2016
by - Aug 27, 2016

BroadwayWorld.com's Upcoming Events calendar for the week - updated on 8/27/2016. (more...)

Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn Gets A Theater in the Park for the Summer
by BWW News Desk - Aug 26, 2016

August in August' is a brand new annual live performance series teaming Joseph Grant Jr., ambassador of arts and culture for the councilman and theatrical producer Andrea J. Fulton of the Anderson & Bert Cade Fulton Foundation. Joint efforts result in the mounting of August Wilson's Tony nominated Two Trains Running directed by Sabura Rashid as its upcoming offering starting August 26th 2016. The production of 'Two Trains Running' will be featured at Fulton Park in Brooklyn on Aug. 26 from 6 to 9 p.m., and Aug. 27 at Herbert Von King Park from 4 to 7p.m. Both performances are FREE. August in August actually began Aug. 13 with the first installation of the series 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom performed at Fulton Park in Brooklyn, produced by the Bed-Stuy Theatre Group. (more...)

MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM, Starring Arnetia Walker, to Launch Two River Theater's 2016-17 Season
by BWW News Desk - Aug 25, 2016

Two River Theater, under the leadership of Artistic Director John Dias and Managing Director Michael Hurst, launches its 2016/17 Season with an extended four-week run of August Wilson's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson. (more...)

Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn Gets A Theater in the Park for the Summer
by BWW News Desk - Aug 19, 2016

August in August' is a brand new annual live performance series teaming Joseph Grant Jr., ambassador of arts and culture for the councilman and theatrical producer Andrea J. Fulton of the Anderson & Bert Cade Fulton Foundation. Joint efforts result in the mounting of August Wilson's Tony nominated Two Trains Running directed by Sabura Rashid as its upcoming offering starting August 26th 2016. The production of 'Two Trains Running' will be featured at Fulton Park in Brooklyn on Aug. 26 from 6 to 9 p.m., and Aug. 27 at Herbert Von King Park from 4 to 7p.m. Both performances are FREE. August in August actually began Aug. 13 with the first installation of the series 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom performed at Fulton Park in Brooklyn, produced by the Bed-Stuy Theatre Group. (more...)

Photo Flash: In Rehearsals for FOLLIES at National Theatre
by BWW News Desk - Aug 1, 2017

1971, New York. There's a party on the stage of the Weissman Theatre. Tomorrow the iconic building will be demolished. Thirty years after their final performance, the Follies girls gather to have a few drinks, sing a few songs and lie about themselves. (more...)

BWW Review: Art and Business Clash in MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM
by Perry Tannenbaum - Apr 7, 2017

The ugly spectacle of art being turned into money is very much at the heart of Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, but there's also an upstairs-downstairs conflict brewing. (more...)

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