Oh Lord, Not Madea Again: Why Are Tyler Perry’s Plays So Good, But His Movies Aren’t?

September 17, 2012  |  

While surfing the web today, I came across the news that Tyler Perry was canceling a leg of his upcoming “Madea Gets A Job” tour because of the powerful impact of pesky bootleggers. In a long letter on his website, Perry broke down specific reasons, saying that while he had set ticket prices for the stage play at as low as $25 so that most people could afford to come, bootleggers were selling tickets for his show to unsuspecting fans for double the price, and even pretending they were Perry, scheduling alleged “meet-and-greet” opportunities after the shows for about $125. (“DON’T FALL FOR THIS!! That’s not me.”) He went on to vent his frustration with the leeches of the world to his fans:

“This is so frustrating! Why are people so evil? Why can’t people just get legitimate jobs and stop trying to do the wrong thing all the time? If they put the same amount of energy into doing the right thing as they do in doing the wrong thing they could make it. It’s so sad.”

“To all of you who have bought tickets and made plans to be there I am so sorry. I really am but my hands are tied.”

“This was the last live Madea tour and I’m super sorry that you won’t get to see it live. All refunds should be given back to you.”

As frustrated as Perry seemed to be, his fans were just as heated, if not more. Many got on the website and told stories about their children missing out on their first Madea stage play, and the struggles they had to go through to get tickets. Because this stage tour was set to be Perry’s last for a while, as he continues to balance a career that involves acting, directing, producing and screenwriting, people were understandably upset:

“OH NO……This was going to be my 10 year old’s first Madea play. She LOVES Madea, I will have to wait until the last minute to break this news. I just hate that greed messes things up for everyone else. Stay true to yourself Tyler. Hopefully Madea can do a one hour special on tv oneday.”

“Although I am crushed I think I can manage to still support him and his projects in the future.”

“I really was so excited to see the play.Madea always uplifts my spirits. My family is going through some trying situations.I needed to laugh from crying,…”

Reading the responses, and hearing about the number of people who were going to travel to see Perry dress up and act a fool as Madea one last time live, at first, I thought they were being a little over the top. But then, I remembered the last time I saw a Tyler Perry stage play (on DVD of course, not live), and the first time, and in a way, I could understand–those plays are hilarious!

It was maybe 2001 when I saw my first Tyler Perry stage play, and I was watching “I Can Do Bad All By Myself” at the recommendation of my hairdresser. Always the skeptic/hater (you should know this by now), I went into it expecting the corniest thing to ever appear on a television, but was pleasantly surprised when I was rolling with laughter at the rachetness of gun toting, weed smoking Madea, and adding my own extra dialogue to the play when the female characters would fall for the okie-doke from their men. From the minute Madea stepped out with her random attempts at praying, with her gray wig, horrid house dress and penchant for pronouncing things like diabetic as diabetical, I thought she (aka, he) was hilarious. The character also seemed to be very deep, dropping knowledge when folks needed it most, even if she (once again, he) was a mess 90 percent of the time. The singing in the plays, depending on who was crooning the gospel tracks, and what they were singing about, was a nice addition, and they were actually all-around fun and positive plays.

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