I Can Do Bad All by Myself (play)

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Tyler Perry's I Can Do Bad All by Myself
Written byTyler Perry
CharactersMadea, Vianne, Bobby, Maylee, Anthony, Cora and Mr. Brown
Original languageEnglish
GenreComedy, Drama, Gospel play
Official site

Tyler Perry's 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 (Keisha Grandy), who is settling a divorce with her ex-husband Anthony Griffin (Cart Pertile) – a successful stock broker, has moved in with her grandmother, Mable "Madea" Simmons (Tyler Perry). Madea did not like Anthony at all. Madea just got home from the hospital because she is diabetic. Another person Madea is helping out is Bobby Mitchell (Tyga Graham), 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 really think he is attractive. Vianne does not want to admit it.

Vianne sister, Maylee (Donna Stewart)’s fourteen-year-old daughter, Keisha (Elaine O'Neal), is also staying with Madea. When Maylee was very young about Keisha's age, her mother wanted money for drugs. So her mother put her in a room with a guy who paid to do whatever he wanted to Maylee. As a result, Maylee got pregnant and had Keisha. Keisha resents her mother because of the way she acts and has never been there for her. When Maylee shows up to Keisha's school wearing a mini-skirt, Keisha is embarrassed. Later, Maylee comes to Madea's house with a new car bought by Anthony Griffin, and announces her upcoming marriage to Vianne's ex-husband!

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

Cora Simmons (Tamela Mann), 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 at school bully her except one kid, Kelly.

Madea's next door neighbor, Leroy S. Brown (David Mann), whom everyone calls Mr. Brown brings in Madea's mail. Mr. Brown says hi to Cora, who he has not seen in a long time. Madea thinks that Anthony cheated on Vianne because there is no way they would have gotten engaged that fast. Vianne agrees.

While everyone is getting ready to eat over at Madea's house, Bobby is taking a shower and has to run downstairs to get the soap. First Bobby and Vianne flirt with each other and then Madea tries to flirt with him but he will not 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. Everyone has a little fun before supper. (Old Time Mix) Madea puts in her two cents. (The Bible According to Madea) And once more. (The Bible According to Madea, part 2)

Anthony starts to insult Vianne, but Vianne will not put up with it. She pulls a knife on Anthony freaking everyone out. Everyone tries to calm Vianne down and make her feel better, but nothing seems to 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. While walking upstairs, Vianne tells Bobby she is not ready for a relationship.(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 will not 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 for 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 mad at both Keisha for getting pregnant, and Maylee for suggesting an abortion.

Vianne tries to get Maylee to understand that Anthony does not love her. He is only marrying her to get back at Vianne. Maylee does not believe Vianne; however Madea does. Bobby tells everyone that he got offered a job in California as Head Foreman, but he is reluctant to accept.

Vianne and Bobby force Madea to go upstairs as they talk about their future. Bobby wants marriage and kids, etc., but Vianne does not want that right now. As they talk, the doorbell rings and it is Mr. Brown. Mr. Brown is mad at Madea for giving his dog sleeping pills. Madea lies about it but finally comes clean. Mr. Brown thought it was because she wanted him. But he later finds out it is because the dog would not stop barking. Vianne and Bobby call the vet. They battle it out in a friendly manner.

Act Three[edit]

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

Police sirens are heard and Madea runs inside the house. Apparently Madea and Maylee were getting their nails done at a nail salon, when one of the employees begins talking about Madea. The employee calls Madea Godzilla, so she shoots up the nail salon and runs like hell back home. Maylee comes back from back from nail salon angry at Madea for what she did.

Bobby debates whether to stay or go to California. Vianne tells him to follow his heart. Bobby realizes he really wants to stay with Vianne even though she is not ready for a relationship right now. However, Bobby still walks out the door and heads for California. Madea tells Vianne that she needs to go after her man. Then, after a few minutes of hesitation, Vianne decides to go chase Bobby down before he leaves. However, as soon as Vianne opens the door, Bobby is standing right there. He had never left. Bobby comes inside and proposes to Vianne. Under Madea's direction, Vianne says yes!

Before Vianne drives Madea to a casino, Madea makes sure Maylee does not try to steal Bobby away, or try to make a play on him. The ladies leave. Maylee congratulates Bobby even though she is jealous of Vianne. Cora does not understand why and finally gets Maylee to see the brighter side. Finally, Maylee and Keisha make up and hug. (It’s Gonna Be Hallelujah)

Later that day, Maylee brings Anthony's bag downstairs and she tells him that he is going be driving home alone because she is leaving him. After Anthony leaves, Maylee apologizes to everyone for everything. (Lord I’m Sorry) Cora reminds Maylee 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 is still alive.

Original Cast[edit]

2002 Film Cast[edit]

  • Tyler Perry as Madea
  • Kisha Grandy as Vianne
  • Tyga Graham as Bobby
  • Donna Stewart as Maylee
  • Carl Pertile as Anthony
  • Elaine O'Neale as Keisha *
  • Tamela Mann as Cora Simmons
  • David Mann as Mr. Brown
  • The character, Keisha, was a new character added to the show for the taped version in 2002.

Musical numbers[edit]

Original production[edit]

  • "Gospel Medley" - Company
  • "Bye Baby" - Vianne
  • "Let Me Hold You" - Bobby
  • "Hallelujah" - Cora
  • "Lord, I'm Sorry" - Maylee
  • "Bye Baby (Reprise)" - Madea

Taped 2002 performance[edit]

  • "Motherless Child" – Keisha
  • "Angels Watching Over Me / There's a Leak in This Old Building" – Brown, Maylee, Vianne, Cora and Company
  • "Lord, I'm Sorry" – Vianne
  • "Let Me Hold You" – Bobby
  • "In the Name of Jesus" – Cora
  • "Hallelujah" – Cora
  • "God Is the Answer" - Company

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]