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Laugh to Keep From Crying: The Play


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Laugh to Keep From Crying: The Play + Tyler Perry's The HAVES & The HAVE-NOTS (The Play) + Tyler Perry's What's Done in the Dark... - The Play Collection
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Step into Tyler Perry’s neighborhood, peel back the rough exterior and BEHOLD! Get on the laugh wagon as some of your favorite stage stars strut, sing and remind us, no matter how tough it gets, that laughter, faith and love are the best remedies.

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The Tyler Perry entertainment machine keeps cranking across entertainment markets with this home-video entry of one of his many stage plays, Laugh to Keep from Crying. It was taped during a live performance in Perry's hometown of Atlanta before the show went on a healthy, extended national tour starting in the fall of 2009. Perry wrote and directed the production and his fans will find a lot to like in the mix of sitcom gags, down-home moralism, old-fashioned melodrama, and rousing gospel- and soul-based music (cowritten by Perry and Elvin Ross). The only thing they'll miss is the performing presence of Perry himself since Laugh does not feature the character of Madea, his big-bosomed, gun-toting, potty-mouthed granny of an alter ego. Laugh takes place round about a tenement apartment on an unnamed urban street where gunshots are frequent and the primarily African-American tenants are struggling to get by as they also struggle with a variety of life issues. The building is home to Carol (Cheryl Pepsii Riley), a single mom with two teenagers who have different fathers and wholly different attitudes. There's Tony (Donny Sykes), a momma's boy who's dedicated to school, church, and singing in the choir, and Lisa (Tamar Davis), a rebellious handful and a chronic truant who can't understand why her mother is keeping the identity of her father hidden. Across the hall is Belinda (Chandra Currelley-Young), a hard-working widow who just lost her job, and upstairs is Niecy (D'Atra Hicks), a goodhearted aging hooker, along with Peter and Anna (Wess Morgan and Stephanie Ferrett), white newlyweds who have moved into the building to save money. Rounding out the ensemble cast is Donnie (Anthony Dalton), a caring cop who's trying to woo Carol; Peter and Anna's uptight mother-in-law Jane (Rachel Richards); and Niecy's pimp, Eddie (Celestin Cornielle), who functions as a genuine Simon Legree villain. Presiding over pretty much all of them is the building's super, Floyd (Palmer Williams Jr.), who practically steals the show with his shucking, jiving, and distinctive Perry-esque comic manner of the huckster-fool who gets all the good lines.

The struggles that would presumably keep everyone crying without the upbeat music and constant string of jokes involve Lisa's disobedient behavior and dabbling into street life, Belinda's struggle with her sudden lack of security, Niecy's struggle to be free of Eddie, the young white couple's struggle to fit in, and Carol's struggle to keep her kids on the right path in a dangerous, modern, urban world. There's lots of crossover in these many struggles, but the action is pretty simplistic, full of broad comedy, exaggerated movement, overt sentimentality, and spiritual posturing that comes across as exactly what it is--a rich man's story about the strength and moral courage of poor people just trying to get by. The telling is also simplistic and straightforward, with the camera and cutting staying unobtrusive, cleanly showing off the action without any showoff-y style. The blocking is direct and easy to follow on the single set of the double-decked cutaway apartment and its four rooms, complete with proscenium stoop and sidewalk for downstage action. The perky musical numbers come early and often, giving the sitcom/drama a nice breakup. There's even a background score in several sequences, which adds to the undemanding, TV feel of the show. The disc includes short interview segments with the cast members, ending with a few audience testimonials, many of which attest to Floyd being the best and funniest thing about the Laugh production. Palmer Williams Jr. will be familiar to Perry aficionados from his role as Floyd (coincidence?) in the Tyler Perry-produced TV series House of Payne. But even though Madea is missing, Perry does get a chance to show off his charismatic show-biz sparkle in an extended curtain-call speech. As in the two hours that came just before, he delivers his personal message of hope and inspiration that the audience in Atlanta eats up. His home audiences will almost certainly do the same. --Ted Fry


Special Features

• Cast & Audience Interviews

Product Details

  • Actors: Jr Palmer Williams, Chandra Currelley
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: August 30, 2011
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (146 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0055OTDCM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,632 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Tyler Perry wrote a great play!
Teddybear 2003
Make ya laugh cry but Grt movie for the Fam love it very funny!!
RedBone47
And I like the way it ended....Lovely!
Kindle Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Ms. Madagascar on August 30, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Anything Tyler Perry is a must have for me. This one was great. Loved all the characters. And had a great message to teenagers!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Rachell Joshua on August 30, 2011
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
This play was pure genius. So many people bash on Tyler Perry's work (i disagree with them all). Of course stupid critics would rate this play 1 star, but I say 5 STARS AND PROPS TO TYLER AND THE CAST. This production was touching, deep, and fun all at the same time. It shows life in the perspective of people who truly struggle on a day-to-day basis. I recommend you buy this video. And watch it more times than 1. ANOTHER WORK OF ART! GOOD JOB TYLER PERRY! :)
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By BABYGIRL on September 17, 2011
Format: DVD
Let me start off by saying, I am a Tyler Perry fan. I have been supporting him from day one buying his movies and plays and going to live shows. In my opinion Tyler is losing his finesse. He is losing his creativity. All of the playes and movies are all the same. I do understand that these situations happen all day everyday. With this play, I became very bored. this was very surprising to me since I love his work but I can do without this one. I did like where the storyline was going but something was missing. I feel like this play was thrown together. The characters were ok but some of them were extra. I am not a fan of D'atra Hicks. The characters were not well developed. He could have spent more time developing the characters allowings us to see how the characters progress. I was so happy when it was over! I did like the ole school songs at the rent party that was it. I will not purchase this one! Luckily, I was able to see this one for free. I encourage everyone to look at this play and form your own opinion.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By keta on August 29, 2011
Format: DVD
This was a very good play; Me and a friend went to see this play live in our home town. I loved it. Like all his plays and movies, this is a must have. I have all Tyler Perry movies and plays and this will be another added to my list.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By TLynn on June 10, 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
i have had this play before but someone borrowed it and never returned it. i try to order all Tyler Perry plays because he keeps me laughing. My son passed away in 2002 and i just could not laugh again so i thought. My cousin let me look at this a couple of days after his funeral, she was a elderly lady and her daughter brought it down from up north. She thought it might cheer me up. Wisdom is every thing. She was right. This is what i prescribe to people here in Louisville, MS who has lost love ones. They always say thanks, they sometimes never know about his plays. Mr. Perry plays hel[p heal the soul.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By QueenMajesty on September 4, 2011
Format: DVD
I give this play a five star because it was another one of Tyler hits. It had me in stitches, it was a little bit of this and that I will not tell everything in the play but it's worth seeing. Enjoy. Only thing I wish he would have changed up some of the old characters but all is good.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Teddybear 2003 on July 11, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I love this movie! I could not stop laughing at this movie. Tyler Perry wrote a great play! I want everyone to see this movie! The guy that plays Floyd is a great person to watch in this movie. Total funny.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Evangelist M. Bookhart on November 22, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I watched the play 3 times in a row already since it arrived yesterday(11/20/13) .. Thank You again Tyler Perry
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Laugh to Keep From Crying: The Play
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