‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’: Catching up with the Boys in the Band

Posted in Interviews, Movies, Netflix, What's Streaming? by - December 17, 2020
‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’: Catching up with the Boys in the Band

Get ready for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom! It’s a cinematic experience you won’t soon forget!

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is a stunning and beautifully acted adaptation of the play by two-time Pulitzer Prize–winner August Wilson. It features intoxicating central performances by Academy Award–winner Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman.

“Mother of the Blues” Ma Rainey finds herself stuck in a sultry recording studio in 1920s Chicago. And she tries to wrest creative control  from her band and the white executives overseeing their session.

Ruben Santiago-Hudson adapts Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom for the screen. It is a riveting story of the racial exploitation of the American music business. The film also vividly draws a character study of a woman who refused how society defines her role in it.

Directed by Tony Award–winning theater legend George C. Wolfe (Angels in America, Lackawanna Blues), the film boasts a stellar supporting cast. This cast includes Colman Domingo (If Beale Street Could Talk), Glynn Turman (Men of Honor), and Michael Potts (The Wire). The film also boasts an original score by Branford Marsalis.

The film sadly features Chadwick Boseman’s final performance of his life. Boseman passed away earlier this year at the age of 43 from colon cancer. He shot the entire film while he was having treatments. Not one person on the film knew about his illness.

Chadwick Boseman’s final performance, in the film Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, would always have been bittersweet. But this final performance also brings critics and viewers a certain expectation. That it will bring the late actor the kind of awards attention he never won in his short life. His performance is stunning and electrifying and it will surely earn him an Oscar nomination.

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom will be available on Netflix on Friday, December 18.

Bonnie Laufer spoke with the boys in the band, legendary actors Colman Domingo, Glynn Turman, and Michael Potts. They discuss the film and working with Chadwick Boseman.

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Bonnie is a 25-year broadcast entertainment reporter currently on CH Morning Live and on her YouTube channel. She's heard weekly on Sirius XM as on the Ward & Al Show. She's interviewed more than 20,000 celebs, including Angelina Jolie, Barbra Streisand, George Clooney, Jennifer Aniston, Brad Pitt and Oprah Winfrey,
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