Yuletide family drama arrives early through the offered-out “A Madea Christmas”
Richard L. EldredgeComments
For the curtain call of Friday night’s sold-out opening night performance of “A Madea Christmas” at the Cobb Energy Centre, writer-director-star Tyler Perry traded in his wig for his CEO hat. Bringing the house lights up, The Atlanta film and television studio owner asked the crowd how much they paid to see the show being recorded for DVD release this holiday season.
When someone up front yelled out that they had spent $90 for a ticket Perry charged $25 for, the creator of the “Madea” franchise shook his head. “I set a $25 price intentionally so you all could see the show. I know that times are hard.”
Referring to last year’s truncated national tour of “Madea’s Big Happy Family,” Perry explained: “This is what ran me off tour the last time. You see, these bootleggers buy up all the tickets and then charge you three, four, five and ten times the ticket price. Do me a favor, please: Go to the box office to buy your tickets.”
For his latest stage play, Perry selected a top-notch cast, including R&B singer Cheryl Pepsii Riley and mainstay “Madea” ensemble cast member Cassi Davis as Aunt Bam. The play had two additional performances on Saturday.
A stickler to be promptly, Perry introduced lower the home lights quickly at 8 p.m. even while late-comers groped their method to their seats with cocktails. A guy sitting behind Apple within the Grand Tier section whispered to his female companion: “Tyler isn’t playing. It’s 8 o’clock around the us dot!” Just then, having a nod to 1 of Madea’s pet peeves, a few who’d driven in from Perry’s hometown of recent Orleans demonstrated in the row before us by having an infant.
For 2 hrs on the lavish two-story home interior set, Perry’s Mabel Simmons helmed the Christmas crisis happening in the tony Cape Cod estate from the wealthy Mansell family where Madea’s niece Margaret (performed by Riley) had to exercise the holiday season. Permanently measure, Perry’s script added a boozy prepare, multiple male suitors, a brother and sister named China and Japan along with a family secret worth a “Dr. Phil” sweeps episode.
It required a looong 32 minutes for Perry’s script to border the Mansell family backstory prior to the play’s namesake thundered towards the front step. In Act Two especially, it grew to become apparent that Perry was still being exercising the ultimate texts of Madea’s monologues concentrating on the sacrifices of working parents, having to pay taxes and the significance of God in every person’s existence, yearly household earnings notwithstanding.
Perry even stopped to sort out a tale during Madea’s entrance in Act Two. After Madea cautioned her kleptomaniac kin George, telling him: “If you are taking anything, I’m gonna rip your adam’s apple from your throat and feed it for you!,Inches Perry the author opted to complete the joke over. Using the audience’s roaring approval, Madea then informed her nephew: “George, I’m gonna rip your nut sack out and feed it for you!Inches Perry the director then added: “I can invariably edit that!”
Frequently, especially throughout the play’s super-sized second act, the play felt similar to a long “Carol Burnett Show” sketch as Perry and also the stars broke one another up and stopped the experience to laugh. At some point, Perry went to date an area within the script as Madea, Riley attempted three occasions to state her line “with all due respect Mrs. Mansell” which bending because the intro on her song “Jesus Never Fails.”
After her third unsuccessful attempt, Perry broke character to praise Riley, saying “God appreciate it. You’re going to have that line out. I had been available somewhere in left field. We could have been here til 2:30 each morning!Inches
The most hilarious pieces in the three performances is going to be edited together for that finished Christmas play DVD release this fall.
For the play’s looseness in delivery, Perry’s audience clearly loved it. The offered-out crowd gave him and also the cast a standing ovation in the musical’s conclusion. After one lady lower front informed producer she’d taken a Greyhound bus from New You are able to City to determine the play, he provided to fly her home.
“My existence is a blessing to another,Inches Perry told everyone else. “I don’t take this and just what you’ve accomplished for me through the years as a given. I’m grateful.”