When family's falling out, it's time to call in Aunt Bam to set a few things straight! The fun begins when Bam's favorite nephew-in-law, Stewart, is granted weekend visitation with his children. He and his new wife are thrilled at the chance - until Stewart's drunken ex shows up with trouble in mind. Now it's up to Bam to calm things down in this high-spirited new play from Tyler Perry.
Her silver bouffant towering a foot above her head, Aunt Bam (Cassi Davis, House of Payne
) solves her family's problems with a sharp tongue and tough love. Stewart (Maurice Lauchner), divorced and remarried to a much younger wife, Mona (Taral Hicks), must fight to have access to his children (Paris Bennett and Jeffery Lewis). But he doesn't know just how angry his ex-wife Gloria (Melonie Daniels) is, and the lengths to which she'll go to turn his son against him. Can Aunt Bam save this family? Well, really, there's not much doubt, but Aunt Bam's Place
glides along smoothly with snappy comedy, heartfelt Christian sentiment, and gospel songs (every character gets his or her own showstopping number). The play was filmed in front of a live audience at an Atlanta theater, giving it the look of a standard sitcom. Its greatest strength--besides Aunt Bam's crowd-pleasing wisecracks--is that it extends compassion to every character. Gloria, demonized though she is, has her own song wailing out her personal pain. Aunt Bam's Place
is straight-ahead Tyler Perry (creator of Madea, director of Diary of a Mad Black Woman
and I Can Do Bad All by Myself
). Anyone who doesn't already like his work, where lives and souls are saved by song, prayer, and sass, will not be converted here. But anyone who appreciates this hard-working auteur's movies and TV shows will enjoy this play. --Bret Fetzer