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Cheaper to Keep Her (2011)

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When a married couple is ready to call it quits, they always want different things. Raymond Mays wants a divorce and Morgan Mays wants alimony. When the fed-up judge decides Morgan deserves... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Raymond Mays
...
Morgan Mays
...
Koren
...
Aston
...
Eddie
...
Rochelle Jones
Gary 'G. Thang' Johnson ...
Joey
...
Stacey
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Storyline

When a married couple is ready to call it quits, they always want different things. Raymond Mays wants a divorce and Morgan Mays wants alimony. When the fed-up judge decides Morgan deserves it all, the two face off with each other, only to discover it s easier to keep her as his wife. Written by I'm Ready Productions

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6 December 2011 (USA)  »

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User Reviews

 
A Play with a hidden racist message
17 January 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I was supposed to go see this play with my girl friend in Oakland California, but did not because of the Ticket Master price add on. I was angry at Ticket Master at the time, but now have to thank them.

I am a European American, by Girl friend is African American. I have seen with her the movies of Tyler Perry, and also so the stage musical of Color Purple. As for J. Johnson's Cheaper to Keep her, I rented out the DVD. When my girl friend saw the DVD, she was not impressed, and I was somewhat in shock.

Imagion a scenario, where a black is shown to be somewhat of a sexual freak for white women, and that a white man, shoots a gun at him. Later we learn, that the black man has been actually killed by this white, man, the white man because of his cleverness gets away with it, and we are supposed to laugh at that. Could one imagine the outrage. In Cheaper to Keep her, and white woman in sleeping with a married black man, and she is later as we learn killed by a black woman, and this black woman gets away with it, and the audience is supposed to find this funny. yet their has been no outrage of this situation in the play which very much reminded me of the Nicole Simpson murder in the infamous OJ Simpson trial which gravely divided the United States on racial lines.

I wondered how my girl friend or I would have felt at this play. I wondered how a white woman with her black boy friend or husband would have felt. I have spoken to some white women who have dated black man, and some of the problems that they have encountered with black women.

In the extras, a black woman is interviewed, and she says 'I booed the villain, In 'Cheaper to Keep Her', I have no doubt to whom she was referring to. In a certain way, 'Cheaper to Keep Her' reminded me of the so called Blaxpoittion films of the 70's, though in some ways they were really 'get whitey' films. In those years however, if you went to see these kind of films, you knew what to expect, and in many cases they were made by white directors and screenwriters. People who went to see 'Cheaper to Keep Her' were not given this information before they went to see it.

What is perhaps more amazing, is that the main stream media in reviewing this play have not brought this issue out. In most cases it appears to me from black journalists, though some are also white. People who criticize the media, perhaps unfairly, as having a left wing bias might be able to show the coverage of this play as indicative of this belief. It also could show why many don't want to read newspapers any more as they consider them irrelevant. I actually E-mailed the art critic of the Fresno Bee, this yesterday as I write this review. He has not yet gotten back to me. On Ticketmaster, of the 266 audience reviews, only one person stating in a short sentence, 'making humor at the expense of other races' made mention of the racist nature of this play. If Mr. Johnson wants to make such plays, I have no objection, however I feel an audience should be warned.

In the DVD extras, their is an interview with all the performers. The differences I however noted, that while they went into more depth in the characters of black actors, while the white actress seemed to be just happy to be in this play. (I guess we all need the money) Mr. Gary Johnson, one of the actors, talks rather sarcastically and racially why he does not like a white person putting on makeup on him as a black woman is.

Vivica Fox and Brian McNight on one interview I saw discussed how they have a prayer before each performance. The play is filled with religious references about the power of god. How often has one seen people who try to hide their racism behind a belief in God. Is this what Mr. Johnson is trying to do.

The play brought back memories of seeing Preston Sturges's 1942 'Palm Beach Story', a far superior film about divorce, but which was sadly married by a very racist scene at the expense of a black man. I would contend with the supposedly sophisticated trappings of 'Cheaper to Keep Her' this is the most racist performance of this kind of genre of story since 'Palm Beach Story', and perhaps even more so.

From its beginning of the Play, with it's 'Black Family Feud' non African Americans, and certainly those who are involved in mixed racial relationships are not welcome. One audience reviewer suggested that it would have cross over appeal, certainly not for me, unless perhaps you are KKK and 'believe the white bitch got what she deserved'. Also, as some have said in reviews, the play is really not that good.


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