Ma Rainey's Black Bottom is a 1982 play; one of a ten-play cycle by August Wilson that chronicles 20th Century African American experience. The play is set in Chicago in the 1920s (the only play in the group not set in Pittsburgh).
Summary: In a Chicago based recording studio, Ma Rainey and her band--exploited by the white-run music industry of the time, fall into strife among themselves.
It was produced on Broadway in 1985 and starred Charles S. Dutton and Theresa Merritt. It received the 1985 Tony Award nomination for Best Play; Dutton and Merrit were nominated for acting awards.
Charles S. Dutton reprised in a critically-panned revival which costarred Whoopi Goldberg.