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Ma Rainey's Black Bottom Essay & Criticism

This Study Guide consists of approximately 65 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Ma Rainey's Black Bottom.
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Critical Overview

Reviews of Ma Rainey's Black Bottom were mixed when it debuted in 1984. Writing for Women's Wear Daily, Howard Kissel notes the freshness of the dialogue and says the cast is "excellent." New York Times reviewer, Frank Rich notes that Wilson is a find for American theater and lauds the production by the Yale Repertory Theater. Those finding fault with the play include the New York Post's John Simon, who complained about the play's weak structure, saying that, as a play it is only "intermittently drama." Edwin Wilson, writing for the Wall Street Journal, agrees, noting that the play is long on theme and short on plot. Wilson writes, "Polemics don't make a play." Academics have also paid attention to the play. Kim Pereira, for example, in August Wilson and the African-American Odyssey, examines the themes of separation, migration, and spiritual reunion in the play and the significance...

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This section contains 201 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Ma Rainey's Black Bottom Study Guide
Copyrights
Ma Rainey's Black Bottom from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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