Madea Goes to Jail (play)

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Madea Goes to Jail
Written byTyler Perry
CharactersMadea, Ella, Sonny, and Katie
SettingMadea's house; County Jail
[Official website Official site]

Madea Goes to Jail is an American musical play, touring from 2005 to 2006, created, written, produced, and directed by Tyler Perry. It stars Tyler Perry as Mabel "Madea" Simmons, Cassi Davis as Ella, Cherly Pepsi Riley as Wanda, and Judy Peterson as Katie.


The play opens on Vanessa, an aspiring business student whose stress over school (and natural disposition) leads her to be tempestuous towards the people who come and go throughout the scene. Her husband is Sonny Andrews, the child of Madea's deceased sister, Irene. He enters looking for his work shirt, as he is on his way to the prison to work one of many long shifts to pay for Vanessa's schooling and support their child, who is never seen but in the bedroom upstairs. Vanessa refuses to help him, insisting on completing her studying. Ella Kincaid, Madea's best friend and next door neighbor, enters the house asking for Madea (Tyler Perry), who is absent. Unbeknownst to the rest, Madea has been arrested in Conyers for refusing to pay for gas for her car, and is currently in custody at the prison where Sonny works. Ella notices Vanessa's ambivalence over her husband's dilemma, and chastises her for her negligence as a wife and mother, insisting that a real woman takes care of her man, cooks him breakfast, irons his clothes, and doesn't trifle with school, though Vanessa's counter to this is to remind Ella of her current single relationship status. Nate, Sonny's Jamaican boss and friend, comes to the house to drive Sonny to work, and remains in the living room for Ella to ogle while Sonny tries to placate his flustered wife upstairs, promising her some loving and affection after he returns from work. He leaves with Nate. Ella receives a phone call at Madea's house with information that Madea is in jail, and the scene cuts.

Meanwhile, at the jail, we see Sonny getting ready for work where he sees long-time friend, Wanda, who is now the head Defense Attorney at the prison. After a brief conversation, Wanda leaves and Leo explained that all the ladies, except Madea, were all calm. Madea, later, came in the jail after being left in the yard and tells Sonny that Leo was trying to rape her. She tells Sonny about the Conyers incident, and asks Sonny to go home for the bail money. She later meets Chico, a young woman with 3 boys (one in jail, one "strung out", and one dead) and Katie (Judy Peterson) who has been in jail for nine years for stabbing her ex-husband (Ron Andrews), a pimp that tried to hurt his and Katie's daughter (Anndretta Lyle), but now that she's in jail, her daughter has been continuously jumping from foster home to foster home. Katie's daughter, Toni, comes to visit and is shown to have a nasty attitude and when she gets one with Madea, she stabs her with her cigarette. Later, we see Jeremy and Katie's ex-husband, Pete the Pimp. After bail is made for Madea, and a brief encounter with Pete, she decides to take care of Toni until Katie gets out of jail.

Once Madea is back at home, she notices a strange perfume on the clothes she washed, believing Vanessa was responsible. Ella stops by asks about Toni and Madea reveals she has been disobedient. Madea gave Toni Cora's old dresses to wear for school, but Toni wears a mini skirt, red boots, a pink top and jacket. Madea becomes annoyed when Toni starts ignoring her and Ella. Toni has an attitude toward Madea and Ella and after receiving a spanking with one of Madea's belts, she is forced to go back upstairs and change. Leo and Sonny arrive, and Leo leaves with Ella, while Sonny receives his food and leaves with Madea and Toni.

Sonny forgets his keys and has to return home to pick them up but the frantic Vanessa tries to get him to leave quickly, due to Nate being upstairs in the bedroom. Sonny then leaves and Nate and Vanessa start to kiss but the baby is in the tub, Vanessa tells Nate he`s fine but Nate hears water running and they both run into the bathroom.

The next scene starts with Madea upset that Vanessa let that happen to the baby, Then when Vanessa, Sonny, and Nate come in from the emergency room, Madea smells the same thing on Nate that was on Vanessa clothes. Ella and Madea realize that and when it's revealed to be Kente Oil, Madea soon tells Vanessa that she is sleeping with Nate. Soon Wanda comes in and tells him that Sonny isn't the father of that child, then everybody gets angry then, after a brief confrontation, everyone leaves and Wanda sings her number.

The next day, Sonny, Toni, and Wanda come back from church, and Sonny says he'll go back to work, to take his mind off the incident. During this, it is revealed that Nate wasn't the father of the baby either, and that Vanessa was charged with child endangerment. After learning that Vanessa gave up her parental rights, and that the baby will be given to foster care, Sonny expresses his desire to adopt and raise the child. Ella and Leo arrive, and then sing a number with Sonny and Wanda.

The next scene starts with Vanessa in jail, shouting to request a phone call when Leo (and later, Sonny) arrives. Vanessa attempts to weasel her way back into Sonny's graces, due to her job interview (she will lose the job if not out by Monday). She signs the divorce papers and accidentally calls Sonny, "Nate". Sonny meets with Jeremy, and Nate arrives, and after brushing off Vanessa out of anger and disgust, gives Sonny more jobs (working four back to back doubles). Jeremy intervenes and decides to help Sonny by talking to the warden. He also schedules Toni to pay a visit to Katie. Also, Katie convinces Chico to turn her life over to God, which she does, in hopes to find a brand new life (which someday, she will).

The next day, Nate arrives and almost ends up in another confrontation with Sonny, before Leo breaks it up. Jeremy then reveals that he had a conversation with the Warden, saying that another officer was needed at the F-Unit. Nate takes the position and finds out that Sonny has his job now, at which point he leaves. Leo becomes jealous that Sonny is now his boss and denounces his friendship with Sonny. Wanda arrives and Sonny talks with her about her relationship status. He then reveals his love for Wanda, and she is initially unsure of her emotions, but leaves with Sonny. Ella arrives and forces Leo to apologize to Sonny. Madea arrives with Toni to talk to Katie, while Ella, Sonny and Wanda leave. When Katie is properly greeted by her daughter, she is pleased with the change. Madea then persuades Katie to tell Toni the truth about everything, and subsequently exits. Katie prepares to tell her daughter the truth, but Toni does not believe her and runs out of the jail.

The scene cuts to Sonny singing his number, before being joined in by Madea, and Toni doing her homework. Sonny is clearly brooding over his breakup with Vanessa, and mentions to Madea, that he tried to change her but Madea says that it is a waste of time. When he reveals that he did not see this coming, Madea does not believe him and instructs him to start paying attention to his head. She also instructs him to move on from this experience. After some more pep talk, Ella, Wanda, Leo, and Jeremy arrive and soon everyone (bar Toni and Sonny) sings their numbers, to try and cheer Sonny up.

After this, it is revealed by Wanda that Leo is in fact, the father of Vanessa's baby, which leads to him running out of the house quickly and Ella, livid of the news, exiting as well. She pursues Leo with a knife in her hand. This proves that Leo was no more of a friend to Sonny than Nate was. It seems that Sonny and Wanda are becoming a couple as they share a kiss right before Madea goes upstairs to Toni's room.

Toni is on the phone with a 16-year-old boy named "Lil Wilson" and hangs when Madea enters. Madea picks up the receiver and after learning about how young all of his family gets pregnant, she advises her not to talk to him anymore. She spends the rest of her time with Toni giving her advice about being what she wants to be, not caring about others' opinions of her, as well as giving Toni her interpretations of the Bible, when Toni reveals that she doesn't know how to pray. After leaving the room, she asks Jeremy to teach her about prayer. (Jeremy sing his number at this point)

The next day, Toni is confronted by her father, but Madea and Ella arrive just in time to save her and chase out. Wanda, Sonny, and the released Katie enter the house. After the revelation is made that Katie is ready to take Toni back, Toni wants to stay with Madea, but she insists. Madea leaves, and Toni is still unsure of what to feel, until Katie sings her number. Toni gathers her things, says goodbye to Ella, Sonny, and Wanda and leaves with her mother. And with that Sonny and Wanda are married and Toni leaves with her mother.


  • Tyler Perry as Mabel "Madea" Simmons
  • Christian Keyes as Sonny Andrews Detroit Michigan July 24
  • Cassi Davis as Ella Kincaid Holly Springs Mississippi July 11
  • LaVan Davis as Leo
  • Cheryl Pepsii Riley as Wanda Simmons-Andrews
  • Judy Peterson as Katie
  • Chantell Christopher as Vanessa Andrews
  • Brian Hurst as Jeremy Tucker
  • Anndretta Lyle as Toni
  • Ryan Gentles as Nate Brooklyn New York November 28
  • Ron Andrews as Pete
  • Crystal "Crissy" Collins as Chico Lithonia Georgia November 27

Musical numbers[edit]

  1. "How Does That Feel?" – Ella
  2. "Wait Till I Get Home Tonight" – Sonny
  3. "Down on My Luck" – Ella, Katie, Madea, Leo and Chico
  4. "We Need a Word" – Wanda
  5. "Whaddaya Know About Jesus?" – Ella, Wanda, Leo and Sonny
  6. "Jesus Loves Me" – Chico and Katie
  7. "Ain't No Sunshine" – Sonny and Madea
  8. "Give It to Me Too" – Madea
  9. "It Takes a Fool" – Madea
  10. "Makin' It Easy" – Ella
  11. "Sweet Love" – Wanda
  12. "Let's Get It On" – Leo
  13. "Before I Let Go" – Jeremy
  14. "His Name Is Jesus" – Jeremy
  15. "I Want to Be Free" – Katie

Film adaptation[edit]

A film adaptation of the same name was released on February 20, 2009.

Past productions[edit]

External links[edit]