It's a Family Affair

Nothing says “holiday season” quite like an African-American, pistol-toting gramma with attitude. Or so says Tyler Perry, who’s taken his fictional matriarch, Madea, on the road for the first time in five years.

The 40-year-old playwright and filmmaker is reprising the character – whose full name is Mabel Simmons and who has appeared in much of Perry’s work for both stage and screen – in a new stage play called Madea’s Big Happy Family. Fans of Perry, who plays Mabel in drag, are so excited she’s back that they’ve launched petition campaigns, pleading that Perry add their cities to his already long list of tour dates. (The last Perry play to feature Madea in a leading role was Madea Goes to Jail

Madea will make her local appearance at the Dodge Theatre. Tell them Flip Wilson sent you.

Tue., Jan. 5, 8 p.m., 2010
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Robrt L. Pela has been a weekly contributor to Phoenix New Times since 1991, primarily as a cultural critic. His radio essays air on National Public Radio affiliate KJZZ's Morning Edition.
Contact: Robrt L. Pela