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Lawyer | Romantic Suspense Author | Speaker | TV Junkie | Foodie | Sweet Wine Addict | Savvy Shopper You can visit my website at www.authordeelawrence.com to learn more about my romantic suspense novel, Gotta Let It Go, which is set in Baltimore. You can also connect with me online @ thewritepen (Twitter and Facebook). Thanks for visiting with me today!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

"Ma Rainey's Black Bottom"

This evening, I enjoyed this play by August Wilson at Center Stage in Baltimore. The performance were riveting and left the audience wanting more. August Wilson has a way with teaching life lessons through his many plays. Other plays by August Wilson that I've enjoyed are: "Radio Golf," and "Joe Turner's Come and Gone."

Synopsis (Ma Rainey's...):
In a Chicago based recording studio, Ma Rainey's band players, Cutler, Toledo, Slow Drag, and Levee turn up to record a new album of her songs. As they wait for her to arrive they banter, tell stories, joke, philosophize and argue. As the play unfolds it becomes clear that the tension is between the young hot-headed trumpeter Levee who has dreams of having his own band and veteran players Cutler and Toledo.

By the time Ma Rainey does turn up in full regalia and entourage in tow the recording schedule is badly behind, throwing the white producers Sturdyvant and Irvin into more and more irate disarray. Ma's insistence that her stuttering nephew Sylvester should do the voice intro to the title song causes more havoc. As the band waits for various technical problems to be resolved the conflict between Levee and Cutler reaches boiling point and violence ensues. Finally, when Levee is simultaneously fired from the band by Ma for his insubordination and then rejected by Sturdyvant who had offered to record his songs his anger becomes too much and he stabs Toledo, killing him, thus destroying any possibility of a future for himself.

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