Screenwriter, director, actor and producer Tyler Perry has said goodbye to his long-beloved character, Madea, at least for the time being. Fans who did not get to see Madea’s Farewell Play on tour now have the opportunity to do so with a recording of the play (yes, like Hamilton) streaming on BET+. Whether the first viewing or revisiting, the cast has given a secret for fans to look out for.
Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Farewell Play focuses on a family gathering in celebration of Madea’s great-grandson graduating from law school. In true Tyler Perry fashion, drama ensues, secrets are revealed and let me just say this is my favorite of all Madea’s appearances. I got to talk to the amazing husband and wife duo, David and Tamela Mann (Leroy and Cora Jean Simmons-Brown) for an interview with CinemaBlend, and they revealed why viewers should pay attention to the table when watching the stage play:
David: So some nights, people didn't realize - now that I tell you, you can go back and see it, look over at the table. When we're sitting at the table, we're having our own show. People don’t even know we were doing our own thing. So go look at the table and you'll see like, ‘Oh, they're laughing. They're talking about somebody out there.’
Tamela: I did get fussed at a couple of times when Tyler was talking on the opposite side and we were at the table, then I would kind of be in my own little world, and he’d be like ‘pay attention!’
David: 'Pay attention to the scene!' We had got a pad - don't you tell nobody this, now. We had got a pad and we were writing little notes to each other back and forth. So we were having our own show while the show was going on and we were enjoying it more than the audience.
The table that the Manns are referring to is the kitchen table on the set. Most of the play takes place inside the home, with the kitchen stage left and the living room stage right. If you stay focused on the group at the kitchen table, even (or especially) when the action and dialogue is in the living area, you’ll see what the Manns described above. And yes, he said not to tell, but I went back and watched myself and this is too good not to share!
Seeing the cast have such a good time on stage enhances their chemistry as they play off of one another’s energy, and makes for an even better experience for the audience. There are a few moments where Tyler Perry himself breaks character, and it doesn’t detract from the show in the least - it supports it! We get to see him in tears over his own jokes and ad-libbing with his co-stars, which showcases their talent in going off book and picking it right back up. Tamela and David Mann shared the following of the off-script moments:
Tamela: I don't throw in as much, but sometimes I may change a word or two and they’ll just feed off - take the setup, man. They take it and do something else with it and it makes me just break - I break character so much. I'm terrible. Forgive me. But it's so much fun for me to see and to be involved in. And when [Tyler Perry] laughs of course
David: It's contagious.
Tamela: It’s just like a disease, and I really enjoy getting to see them laugh, but they know, normally they call me the cast audience member.
The best jobs are the ones that don’t feel like work because you’re having fun, right? Well this cast clearly had a good time putting Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Farewell Play together and fans are sure to enjoy it. Not only is there the comedy, but there’s also a concert where Tamela Mann will saaang you straight to church, and the other cast members put their own spice on different musical numbers as well.