Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom by August Wilson (1984)

ACT ONE

  • Sturdyvant and Irvin set it up
  • Ma is a problem and they have to handle her
  • They have a list of songs for her
  • Cutler, Slow Drag, Toledo arrive
  • Only Toledo can read
  • Where is Ma?
  • Where is Levee?
  • Levee arrives with new shoes
  • Slow Drag: “I wanna get out of here.”
  • Cutler: “You play Ma’s music.”
  • Levee can’t spell music.
  • Levee in conflict with the band
  • Where’s Ma?
  • Ma’s gonna do what she wants to do

The Inheritance by Matthew Lopez (2018)

300 pages.  A lot of hugely overheated and improbable melodrama, where street prostitutes write novels and billionaires give away homes and playwrights become rich and buy new cars off the lot for an impulsive road trip.  Almost feels like a princess book.  The voiceover narration seems like an easy way out.  The essence of the writer’s statement seems to be: “I want to be rich and escape Florida.”  Which is understandable.  Pretty hollow though.  Still quite an effort.