Saturday, November 6, 2010

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom - A play by August Wilson

This play, presented by ATC is the second of August Wilson's plays to be offered by Arizona
Theater Company. Jitney was the first.Wilson's legacy is the Pittsburgh Cycle, a series of ten plays chronicling the experience of blacks in the US. Two of these plays won Pulitzer Prizes -Fences and the Piano Lesson.

In this play centering on the real life "Mother of the Blues", Madam Rainey, Wilson portrays the tension not only between the white and blacks of the 1920's but also between the generation of musicians. The older members of the band playing for Ma Rainey see life AND music differently than Levee White, who wants to take the music one step further from Ma's Blues to improvisational jazz.

This was a great production. Loved the stage setting and the costumes. All of the actors were great interpreting Wilson's characters. My only criticism is that IMO the director and the actress playing Ma Rainey could have portrayed her strength and quest for power and still made her more sympathetic. By the end of the play , I found her character a little annoying.

This plays run is done here in Tucson but it is a play to look for and see.

No comments:

Post a Comment