Lillias White as Ma Rainey and  musicians Slow Drag (Keith David), left, and Culter.
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‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’

Lillias White as Ma Rainey and musicians Slow Drag (Keith David), left, and Culter.
Lillias White as Ma Rainey and musicians Slow Drag (Keith David), left, and Culter.  (Damon Gupton )
‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’

Levee (Jason Dirden), left, Toledo (Glynn Turman), Culter (Damon Gupton) and Slow Drag (Keith David).

 (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)
‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’

Dussie Mae (Nija Okoro) and Levee (Jason Dirden).

 (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)
‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’

Slow Drag (Keith David), left, Culter (Damon Gupton) and Toledo (Glynn Turman).

 (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)
‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’

Dussie Mae (Nija Okordo), left, Ma Rainey (Lillias White), Sylvester (Lamar Richardson), Irvin (Ed Swidel) and Policeman (Greg Bryan).

 (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)
‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’

Levee (Jason Dirden), left, Slow Drag (Keith David), Toledo (Glynn Turman) and Culter (Damon Gupton) in their rehearsal basement.

 (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)
‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’

Sylvester (Lamar Richardson), left, Levee (Jason Dirden), Toledo (Glynn Turman), Ma Raney (Lillias White), Culter (Damon Gupton) and Slow Drag (Keith David, up in the sound booth), Irvin (Ed Swidey) and Sturdyvant (Matthew Henderson).

 (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)
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