Tyler Perry brings stage play 'Madea’s Big Happy Family' to DVD
Love him or loathe him, Tyler Perry is virtually unique in today's cinematic landscape for his frequent cross-border trips between the worlds of film and theater. How many name brand moviemakers can say they've taken time out from their lucrative screen careers to tour the country in stage productions as actor, director and writer?
Perry's appeal has always been less artistically exalted than unapologetically populist in nature. His latest stage outing, "Madea's Big Happy Family," which played at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood in January as part of a national tour, will be out on DVD and Blu-ray on Nov. 23.
Earlier this year, Lionsgate -- Perry's frequent distributor -- announced that the filmmaker will be turning the same play into a movie that is scheduled to be released in 2011. Perry has adapted a number of his stage plays for the screen, including "Diary of a Mad Black Woman," "Madea Goes to Jail," "Meet the Browns" and "I Can Do Bad All By Myself."
"Madea's Big Happy Family" played for 125 performances in cities including L.A., New York and Atlanta. (Perry had to cancel parts of the tour this year due to exhaustion.) The comedy-drama tells the story of Miss Shirley (Chandra Currelley-Young), an aging single mother who has just received a diagnosis of terminal cancer. With the help of Madea (Perry), she assembles her grown children (and their significant others) for one final reunion, during which loyalties are tested and unpleasant truths are spilled.
Perry's latest movie release, "For Colored Girls," grossed an estimated $20.1 million this weekend. Adapted from the play by Ntozake Shange, the movie earned positive reviews from the L.A. Times and New York Times -- a rarity for the writer-director whose work has long been dismissed by critics.
-- David Ng
Photo (top): the DVD cover for "Madea's Big Happy Family." Credit: Lionsgate
Photo (middle): Tyler Perry, right, with the cast of the stage production of "Madea's Big Happy Family." Credit: Lionsgate
Photo (bottom): Tyler Perry. Credit: Ben Gabbe / Getty Images
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