August Wilson's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom is getting an amazing production right now at the Writers Theatre in Chicago [sic], directed by Ron OJ Parson and starring Tony-nominee Felicia P. Fields in the title role, and the four outstanding actors who play her musicians -- David Alan Anderson as Toledo, Kelvin Roston, Jr. as Levee, A.C. Smith as Slow Drag, and Alfred H. Wilson as Cutler (pictured above, left to right) -- sat down for a roundtable discussion about the roles they play; the extraordinary bond they've forged; comparisons to Shakespeare; dialogue as music and words turned into poetry; the familiarity of the characters; shout-outs to King Oliver and Buddy Bolden; strong communities; August Wilson's incredible legacy, the shape of his ten-play Pittsburgh Cycle, and his ability to turn innate speech into poetry and familiar characters into titans. A one an’ a two…y’all know what to do… (Length 22:01) Photos by Michael Brosilow. Courtesy of Writers Theatre.
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