Arts & Culture

New Perry play coming to Wichita

The prolific writer-director-producer Tyler Perry, best known for his “Madea” movies about a feisty black grandmother determined to pound sense into everyone’s head, is bringing his newest stage play to Wichita for one performance Sunday evening.

Sorry, the Madea character herself is not part of “Hell Hath No Fury Like a Woman Scorned,” although the title would seem apropos. Nor will Perry himself, who plays Madea in drag based lovingly on his mother’s outspokenness, be in this show, which began a national tour last September.

“Woman Scorned” is a new play with music about a successful single businesswoman named Anita who seems to have everything. But she yearns to have a loving man in her life, and with help from her best friend, she meets the perfect guy, named Randy, online. The two begin a whirlwind courtship that takes them to Las Vegas for a wedding proposal.

But once Anita is locked into being part of a couple, Randy shows his true colors and tries to commandeer their relationship. Thus scorned, Anita is determined to take back her life.

Like many of Perry’s stage plays, several of which have been filmed, such as “Why Did I Get Married?” and “I Can Do Bad All By Myself,” this show is a comedy with some serious undertones about modern relationships, family ties and spiritual strengths in the African-American community.

Starring in “Woman Scorned” as Anita is Cheryl Pepsii Riley, a gospel and R&B singer best known for her 1988 ballad “Thanks for My Child.”

Also starring as Grandma Hattie Mae is Patrice Lovely, best known as Hattie in the new sitcom “Love Thy Neighbor” that Perry wrote specifically for Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network.

Rounding out the major cast are Ray Lavendar as hunky but difficult Randy and Monica Blaire as Anita’s best friend, Jasmine.

Although best known for his movies since his 2005 breakthrough with “Dairy of a Mad Black Woman,” Atlanta-based Perry began writing and producing stage plays in 1999 with “I Know I’ve Been Changed.” This is his 18th play and at least the third to come to Wichita.

Of his 21 movies (including two coming out in 2014: “Single Mom’s Club” and “Gone Girl”), the prolific Perry has personally written all but five and directed all but six. He’s played Madea in eight of them, including last month’s “A Madea Christmas.” In a notable departure, Perry ditched the dress to play the titular homicide detective in a 2012 action flick, “Alex Cross.”

Though critics have been stingy in their assessments, audiences made Perry the highest paid man in show business in 2011, according to Forbes, with a total that year of $130 million.