Art & Culture in Chicago

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Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom at Court Theatre

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Ma Rainey

(This post was originally published on 10/14/09 on Gapers Block.)

Every good play should have sex, drugs, and timeless moral lessons. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom has all three, plus good jokes and even better music.

August Wilson’s 1984 play, part of his Pittsburgh cycle, describes the plight of the black musician in depression-era Chicago. The story is masterfully directed by Ron OJ Parson and equally well executed by a small team of talented actors. Wilson’s story is a quintessential drama, simultaneously timeless and modern, drawing from traditions of storytelling that go back to biblical times, and building up to an explosive ending. Read the rest of this entry »

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Written by Kelly Reaves

October 25, 2009 at 10:49 pm