It's been nearly 20 years since Tyler Perry developed his character Madea, a tough grandmother figure who's starred in 10 stage plays and 10 films that have grossed hundreds of millions of dollars.
Now that Perry is a successful multimedia mogul, it's time for Madea to retire. But it won't happen without one last farewell tour.
Perry is bringing a new stage show, Tyler Perry's Madea's Farewell Play, to the Straz Center in Tampa for shows on Feb. 6 and 7. Joining him are performers Tamela Mann, David Mann and Cassi Davis. Tickets to the shows start at $48.75 and go on sale Friday. Click here for details.
Based on Perry's mother and aunt, Mabel "Madea" Simmons made her debut in Perry's stage play I Can Do Bad All By Myself, and the film version that came out several years later. The comedic character has drawn some criticism from artists like Spike Lee, who viewed Perry's broad, cross-dressing performance as stereotypical. Others, including Oprah Winfrey, have celebrated Madea's message of tough love, as well as how Perry has used the character to open doors from Atlanta to Hollywood. It's propelled him to a strong career of his own, including roles in Gone Girl, Star Trek and as Colin Powell in the upcoming Dick Cheney biopic Vice.
As with several Madea films, Madea's Farewell Play will serve as a precursor to the last film in the series, Tyler Perry's A Madea Family Funeral, also due next year. If you're a Madea fan, get your tissues ready.
Contact Jay Cridlin at email@example.com or (727) 893-8336. Follow @JayCridlin.