I had my reservations about seeing August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom because I didn’t think it was Wilson’s strongest work. I was on the fence about Phylicia Rashad’s direction after seeing her production of Joe Turner which was very good, but weak in some areas. This production blew us both away! The emotions and life that Rashad brought out of her actors was spellbinding. The story felt fresh and relevant even though it took place in 1927. Ma Rainey definitely raised in my ranks of Wilson’s Cycle.
This was Broadway level quality. You could take this production, move it to New York, and I guarantee Lillas White and Gylnn Turman would receive Tony Award Nominations. CTG does a wonderful job of bringing August Wilson’s works to life with their productions and Monologue Competition. Keep up the powerful work!
Jerusha: Fun fact, Trevor was once an intern for the August Wilson Monologue Competition program at CTG….awwww!