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Netflix premieres movie about Columbus native, ‘The Mother of Blues’ Ma Rainey


A long anticipated Netflix film that focuses on Ma Rainey, a Columbus native who grew up to become The Mother of Blues.

‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,’ which stars Viola Davis as Rainey and Chadwick Boseman in his final role, is based on August Wilson’s award-winning play of the same name.

The play is a fictionalized portrayal of the recording of Rainey’s song of the same name and part of Wilson’s Pittsburgh Cycle, a series of ten plays that tell the stories of African Americans throughout each decade of the 1900s.

Ma Rainey was born as Gertrude Pridgett in Columbus in the 1880s before becoming a pioneer in the world of music and ultimately returning to her hometown to run several theatres

Netflix describes the R-rated, 94 minute film as cerebral and emotional with a synopsis that reads,

Tensions and temperatures rise at a Chicago music studio in 1927 when fiery, fearless Blues singer Ma Rainey joins her band for a recording session.

Being released alongside the film is a documentary called ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom: A Legacy Brought to Screen’ which features famed actors, actresses and filmmakers describing the process of bringing the timeless play to life on the big screen. More at WTVM.


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