I Can Do Bad All by Myself (play)

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I Can Do Bad All by Myself
Written by Tyler Perry
Characters Keisha, Cora, Maylee, Vianne, Bobby, Mr. Brown, Anthony, and Madea
Original language English
Subject I Can Do Bad All By Myself
Genre Comedy
Official site

I Can Do Bad All by Myself is a 1999 play directed by, written by, and starring Tyler Perry. The play marks for the first official appearance of the well-known fictional character Madea, who is portrayed by Perry.

Plot summary[edit]

Act One[edit]

Vianne Griffin, who is settling a divorce with her ex-husband Anthony Griffin – a successful stock broker, has moved in with her grandmother, Mable "Madea" Simmons. Madea didn’t like Anthony at all. Madea just got home from the hospital because she is diabetic. Another person Madea is helping out is Bobby Mitchell, a total stranger who just got out of doing 12 years in prison for possession of drug paraphernalia – even though, according to him, it was his two older brothers and since he was the youngest they told him to say it was his and he did. Bobby is Madea’s handyman and usually cuts her grass and both Madea and Vianne think he is attractive. Vianne doesn't want to admit it.

Vianne sister, Maylee and her fourteen-year-old daughter, Keisha, are also staying with Madea. When Maylee was very young about Keisha’s age, her mother wanted drugs, so she put Maylee in a room and brought a guy in and let him do whatever he wanted to her, all for money. She got pregnant and had Keisha.

Keisha resents her mother because of the way she acts and for never having been there for her. When Maylee showed up to Keisha’s school wearing a mini-skirt, this embarrasses Keisha. Maylee comes home having a new car bought by Anthony Griffin, and announces she’s getting married to Vivanne's ex-husband!

Keisha is still resentful towards her mother and while her mother tries to help with her homework Anthony calls and Maylee runs to him. (Motherless Child)

Cora Simmons, Madea’s daughter, arrives and announces she is staying with her mother. She mentions she is just staying for the weekend, as she lives out of town. Keisha confides in her Aunt Cora and tells her the kids bully her except one kid, Kelly.

Madea’s next door neighbor, Leroy S. Brown, whom everyone calls Mr. Brown brings in Madea’s mail, says hi to Cora, who he hasn’t seen in a long time and leaves. Madea thinks that Anthony cheated on Vianne because there is no way they would have got engaged that fast and Vianne agrees.

Everyone is getting ready to eat over at Madea’s house and Bobby is taking a shower and needs to run downstairs to get the soap. First him and Vianne flirt and then Madea tries to flirt with him but he won’t buy it. Madea can tell Vianne likes Bobby. Mr. Brown comes back over to eat at Madea’s house and brings a dish to share and everyone has a little fun before supper. (Old Time Mix) Madea has her two cents to put in. (The Bible According to Madea) And once more. (The Bible According to Madea, part 2)

Anthony starts to insult Vianne really bad, but she won’t have it and she pulls a knife on him, which freaks everyone out. Everyone tries to calm Vianne down and make her feel better, but nothing will work except when Cora talks to her.

Bobby continues to flirt with Vianne and he tells her his story of how he got put in prison. As she tells Bobby she’s not ready for a relationship, she starts to go upstairs. (Let Me Hold You)

Act Two[edit]

Maylee gets a call from the school nurse about Keisha. Anthony tells Maylee that she either must choose him or her daughter, not both because he says she is an out of control teenager. When Keisha arrives home Maylee tells her to put her stuff down and they are going to go to the clinic because Keisha is pregnant from Kelly(one of her friends), but Kelly and Maylee want her to have an abortion. Cora tries to stop her, but Maylee won’t have it. Maylee tells Cora about the man Maylee’s mother let do whatever she wanted to her, the end result Keisha. Maylee forces Keisha out of the house and Cora is left alone praying to Keisha. (Grace)

Madea gets a call from an Eric Jones offering Bobby a job and when Bobby and Vianne come back from a date, Madea relays the message. When Maylee and Keisha get back from the clinic, Madea has already heard about the abortion from Cora and gets both Keisha, for getting pregnant, and Maylee, for suggesting an abortion.

Vianne tries to get Maylee to understand that Anthony doesn’t love her. He’s only marrying her to get back at Vivanne, which Maylee doesn’t think so and Madea agrees with Vianne. Bobby tells everyone that he got offered a job in California as Head Foreman. He’s reluctant to accept.

Vianne and Bobby force Madea to go upstairs as they talk about the future. Bobby wants marriage and kids, etc., but Vianne doesn’t right now. As they talk to doorbell rings and Mr. Brown is there, mad at Madea for giving his dog sleeping pills and they battle it out in a friendly manner.

The next day Bobby is packing his bags to move out to California. Anthony tries to turn him against Vianne by saying all she’ll do is sleep and eat and Bobby tells him that because she never loved him. Anthony then tells him he either moves away to California or if he stays here then Anthony will call his probation officer and get him sent back to prison, as he went to school with his probation officer.

Police sirens are heard and Madea runs inside. Apparently Madea and Maylee were getting their nails done and one of the employees was talking about Madea and called her Godzilla, so she shot up the place and ran like hell back home.

Bobby debates whether to stay or go to California and when Vianne tells him to follow his heart, he really wants to stay with her. She’s not ready for a relationship yet. Maylee comes back from the nail salon and is mad at Madea for what she did.

Bobby walks out the door going to head to California. Madea tells Vianne that she needs to go after her man and after a few minutes of hesitation she decides to go chase him down before he leaves, but as soon as she opens the door Bobby is standing right there. He never left. He walks in and proposes to her and under Madea’s direction, she says yes!

Before Vianne drives Madea to the casino, Madea makes sure nothing is going to happen with Maylee stealing Bobby away, or making a play on him. They leave and even though Maylee congratulates Bobby she is still jealous of Vianne and Cora doesn’t understand why and finally gets Maylee to see a brighter light as Maylee and Keisha make up and hug. (It’s Gonna Be Hallelujah)

Later that day, Maylee brings Anthony’s bag downstairs and tells him he is driving alone, as she is leaving him. Maylee apologizes for everything after he leaves. (Lord I’m Sorry) Cora comes in and reminds her to always be there for her daughter. (Talkin’ Properrr/Bye Baby )

And with that Bobby and Vianne get married, Mr. Browns dog survives, and as for Madea, she’s still alive.


  • Tyler Perry as Madea
  • Kisha Grandy as Vianne Griffin-Mitchell Dallas Texas July 30
  • Tamela Mann as Cora Jean Simmons Fort Worth Texas June 9
  • David Mann as Leroy S. Brown Fort Worth Texas August 7
  • Tyga Graham as Bobby Mitchell
  • Donna Stewart as Maylene "Maylee" Griffin
  • Elaine O'neal as Keisha Griffin
  • Carl Pertile as Anthony Mitchell Midland Texas April 24

Live Tour Cast[edit]

  • Tyler Perry as Madea (Mabel Simmons)
  • Kisha Grandy as Vianne Simmons
  • Tamela Mann as Cora Jean Simmons
  • David Mann as Leroy S. Brown
  • Tyga Graham as Bobby Mitchell
  • Donna Stewart as Maylene "Maylee" Griffin
  • Elaine O'neal as Keisha Simmons
  • Carl Pertile as Anthony Griffin

The Original Songs From I Can Do Bad All By MySelf (Play Version) 2005 Written, Directed, & Created By: Tyler Perry:

(1st): "The Beginning Opening Song: I Can Do Bad By, MySelf:

(2nd): "Motherless Child"-Performed By, Kisha Griffin (Elaine O' Neal)

"Old Time Gospel Song Mix" Performed By, Mr Brown-(David Mann), Cora Simmons-(Tamela Mann), Maylee Griffin-(Donna Stewart), Vianne Griffin-(Kisha Grandy), Anthony Griffin-(Carl Pertile),

(3rd): Lord I'm Sorry, Performed By, Vianne Griffin (Kisha Grandy)

(4th):I Rebuke You in the Name Of Jesus( Grace) Performed By, Cora Simmons (Tamela Mann)

(5th): Hallelujah Performed By, Cora Simmons ( Tamela Mann)

(6th): God Is The Answer; Come Unto Jesus: Performed By, Cora Simmons, (Tamela Mann) Maylee Griffin, (Donna Stewart) Kisha Griffin, (Elaine O' Neal) Vianne Griffin, (Kisha Grandy) Bobby Michele, (Tyga Graham)

Those are The Original Musical Numbers/ #'s Songs In This Performance Of this Play

DVD recording musical numbers[edit]

  • Overture/I Can Do Bad By Myself
  • Motherless Child – Keisha Griffin
  • Old Time Mix – Mr. Brown, Maylee Griffin, Viviane Griffin, Cora Simmons, and Anthony Griffin
  • The Bible According to Madea – Mable "Madea" Simmons
  • Lord I'm Sorry – Viviane Griffin
  • Let Me Hold You – Bobby Mitchell
  • I Rebuke You in the Name Of Jesus (Grace) – Cora Simmons
  • It’s Gonna Be Hallelujah – Cora Simmons
  • God Is the Answer - Cora Simmons, Maylee Griffin, Keisha Griffin, Viviane Griffin, Bobby Mitchell


  • In the beginning of the play, Keisha tells Madea and Vianne that Maylee came to her school "with a big, old wig and a mini skirt". Later in the production, however, Maylee herself said that she wore a dress (which was clearly not a mini skirt) to Keisha's school. While she is dressed in a blonde wig, she is still arguably more presentable than Keisha implied.
  • The scene right before the song 'Motherless Child' when Maylee is talking to Keisha, you can hear Anthony's voice coming from what sounds like the backyard. You can even clearly see Maylee talking out the door, too. However, when she goes to "check on him", she is seen going upstairs.
  • When Vianne calls the police she says the address that is backwards from what's on the door. The number is 678 but she says 687.

Film Adaptation[edit]

A film adaptation titled I Can Do Bad All By Myself, was released on September 11, 2009.

The film has a completely different storyline from the play. The only thing that remains the same is the title. Despite this, Tyler Perry appears as Madea.

External links[edit]