Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

Drama - Original

Cort Theatre

Data not verified
  • First Preview: October 3, 1984
  • Opening Date: October 11, 1984
  • Closing Date: June 9, 1985
  • Previews: 9
  • Performances: 276

Playwright: August Wilson


Legendary blues musician "Ma" Rainey, an ambitious trumpeter who hopes she will perform his arrangement of her signature tune, and the rest of her band and hangers-on make their music and deal with the harsh reality of their business and lives in 1927 Chicago.


Opening Night Production Credits

August Wilson August Wilson Writer
  Walter Melrose Featuring "Doctor Jazz" written
  Joseph Oliver Featuring "Doctor Jazz" written by
  Louis Armstrong Featuring "Hear Me Talking to You" written
  Ma Rainey Featuring "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" and "See See Rider" written by
  Lillian Hardeway Henderson Featuring "Trust No Man" written by
See Full Opening Night Production credits
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Shows That Opened That Season: 1984 - 1985

See entire season


Drama Desk Award

Year Category Name Winner/Nominee
1985 Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play Charles S. Dutton Winner
1985 Outstanding New Play   Nominee

New York Drama Critics' Circle

Year Category Name Winner/Nominee
1985 Best Play August Wilson Winner

Theatre World

Year Category Name Winner/Nominee
1985 Theatre World Award Charles S. Dutton Winner

Tony Award

Year Category Name Winner/Nominee
1985 Featured Actor in a Play Charles S. Dutton Nominee
1985 Featured Actress in a Play Theresa Merritt Nominee
1985 Play August Wilson Nominee
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