Tyler Perry’s “The Haves and the Have Nots” at DPAC Is, by Turns, Riotously Funny and Gut-Wrenching

Tyler Perry's new musical dramedy, "The Haves and the Have Nots," plays Feb. 25th and 26th at the Durham Performing Arts Center in the American Tobacco District in downtown Durham
Tyler Perry's new musical dramedy, "The Haves and the Have Nots," plays Feb. 25th and 26th at the Durham Performing Arts Center in the American Tobacco District in downtown Durham

Tyler Perry's new musical dramedy, "The Haves and the Have Nots," plays Feb. 25th and 26th at the Durham Performing Arts Center in the American Tobacco District in downtown Durham
Tyler Perry's new musical dramedy, "The Haves and the Have Nots," plays Feb. 25th and 26th at the Durham Performing Arts Center in the American Tobacco District in downtown Durham

The Durham Performing Arts Center will present four performances of Tyler Perry’s new musical domestic dramedy, The Haves and the Have Nots, on Feb. 25th and 26th in its 2,700-seat, state-of-the-art theater in the American Tobacco District in downtown Durham, NC. Critically acclaimed African-American actor, playwright, screenwriter, and songwriter Tyler Perry wrote, directed, and produced this 2011 musical play with a message, which premiered on Sept. 27, 2011 at the Fisher Theater in Detroit, MI.

According to the musical’s website:

“Our story opens very early on a Monday morning, at the home of Grandma Hattie Mae [played by Patrice Lovely]. Hattie has allowed her daughter [Kislyck Halsey as Rose] and son-in-law [Tony Hightower as Frank] to move into her home with their son Wallie [Jeffery Lewis].

“The morning silence is broken by the ring of the telephone. Hattie is afraid to answer. The bank has given her three days to pay up the mortgage, or the struggling family will be evicted.

“Tensions are rising for Frank, who feels responsible as the man of the house. Frank has been out of work for months, causing the family to be supported by the sole income of Rose, who works as a maid for a wealthy real estate giant, Louis Willis [Maurice Lauchner].

“After months of avoiding phone calls from the bank, Frank finally gets a break when Louis hires him to be a handyman at the Willis estate. Rose is elated that her prayers have finally been answered. Frank is cautiously optimistic, but excitedly prepares for his new job as a handyman.

“That morning at the Willis home, Floyd (played by Palmer Williams Jr.) is hilariously negative about Rose allowing Frank to work for the wealthy couple. Floyd is convinced that Louis’ much younger wife, Diane [Alexis Jones], will snatch Frank right from under Rose’s nose.”

***Warning: “Spoilers***

“It soon becomes painfully clear that Floyd’s madness was not craziness at all. Diane goes after Frank the moment she sees him. Rose is completely unaware of the depths to which her boss Diane will stoop when trying to satisfy her insatiable appetite for strapping young men.

“While Rose and Frank consume themselves with saving the home that Hattie has lived in for over 30 years, Wallie has been deeply affected by the fears of being homeless. Only Hattie is aware that Wallie has been running the streets at night. It is not until Wallie is arrested for shoplifting that Rose discovers that her honor-roll son has decided to walk a different path.

“Frank and Wallie finally face off when Frank overhears his son lashing out about how Frank is a sorry husband and father. Wallie has learned on the streets that all men have a side hustle, and are always able to support their families. It is a bitter pill to swallow when Frank realizes that his son has lost respect for him, and blames him for the family’s impending doom.

“It is under these circumstances that the struggling family will have to pray for a miracle when their worlds begin to spiral out of control. Hattie, an old woman who has survived a mountain of challenges, finds herself more afraid than she has ever been. Rose, the strong and virtuous matriarch of her family, stands firmly on her faith when she tells Hattie that she has to meet God for the first time.

“At the end of her rope, Hattie lifts her arms in a miraculous and desperate show of faith and power. It will take both of the women to battle the principalities coming against their family unit.

“Meanwhile, Frank is put in a treacherous situation when Diane maligns Rose with lies and deceit, while offering to write a check to Frank in exchange for sexual favors. Frank is tested like never before when he is presented by an opportunity to save his family by betraying the sacred relationship he has with his wife.

“Frank’s impeccable character lifts him out of the situation in time to discover that Wallie has become a moneymaking drug dealer. When Frank finally discovers the stacks of cash and drugs, he is ready to give everything he has to fight for his son’s life. Wallie has been so brainwashed by the streets that it will take the strength and love of a tough father to win the heart of his son back to the principles he was raised with.

“It almost appears that Diane may have been successful in breaking up a happy home when Louis finally sees his young wife for what she is. Troubled by the truth, Louis must make the hardest decision he has ever had to make. Seeing the love that Frank and Rose have for one another, Louis intervenes to help the couple who are about to lose everything they have. In doing so, Louis experiences firsthand the power and the beauty of a family’s love.

***End of “Spoilers***

“Tyler Perry’s The Haves and the Have Nots is a powerful story of love and honor, told with honesty and brutal truth. The show features powerful new music written by Tyler Perry, and a cast of extraordinary singers and actors who make the evening a heartfelt experience. Hattie, played by Patrice Lovely, and Palmer Williams Jr. as Floyd offer up enough laughs to keep audiences chucking for the rest of the year.”

The Durham Performing Arts Center presents Tyler Perry’s THE HAVES AND THE HAVE NOTS at 3 and 8 p.m. Feb. 25 and 3 and 7:30 p.m. Feb. 26 at 123 Vivian St., Durham, North Carolina 27701.

TICKETS: $51.55-$57.65 (including fees).


DPAC Box Office: 919-680-2787, tickets@dpacnc.com, or http://www.dpacnc.com/events/how_to_buy_tickets.

Ticketmaster: 800-745-3000, TDD: 800-943-4327, or http://www.ticketmaster.com/venueartist/115558/1626937.

SHOW: http://www.dpacnc.com/events/detail/tyler-perrys-the-haves-and-the-have-nots.

VIDEO PREVIEW: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cB7bPxO2lak&feature=related.

PRESENTER/VENUE: http://www.dpacnc.com/.

DIRECTIONS: http://www.dpacnc.com/plan_your_visit/getting_here.

PARKING: http://www.dpacnc.com/plan_your_visit/parking_guide.


The Haves and the Have Nots: http://tylerperry.com/stage-plays/haves-and-have-nots/ (official web page) and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Haves_And_The_Have_Nots (Wikipedia).

Tyler Perry: http://www.tylerperry.com/ (official website) and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyler_perry (Wikipedia).


Robert W. McDowell is editor and publisher of Triangle Theater Review, a FREE weekly e-mail theatrical newsletter that provides more comprehensive, in-depth coverage of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill theater than all of the other news media combined. This preview is reprinted with permission from Triangle Theater Review.

To start your FREE subscription to this newsletter, e-mail RobertM748@aol.com and type SUBSCRIBE TTR in the Subject: line.

To read all of Robert W. McDowell’s Triangle Theater Review previews and reviews online at Triangle Arts & Entertainment, click http://triangleartsandentertainment.org/author/robert-w-mcdowell/.

By Robert W. McDowell

Robert W. McDowell is a Raleigh, NC-based freelance writer, editor, and critic. He has written theater, film, book, and music previews and reviews for The News & Observer, The Raleigh Times, Spectator Magazine, and Classical Voice of North Carolina, all based in Raleigh. In 1980-91, he covered business, industry, government, and education for (We the People of) North Carolina magazine, published monthly by N.C. Citizens for Business and Industry. In April 2001, McDowell started Robert's Reviews, a FREE weekly e-mail newsletter that provides comprehensive, in-depth coverage of the performing arts in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina, which includes Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, and Carrboro. Triangle Review is the latest-and-greatest version of McDowell's original newsletter. (To start your FREE subscription, e-mail robertm748[at]aol.com and type SUBSCRIBE TR in the Subject: line.) From December 1980 until September 2017, McDowell served on the board of directors of The Cinema, Inc., a Raleigh-based nonprofit film society formed in 1966. He currently publishes a weekly list of FREE advance screenings of movies in the Triangle area. (To have your e-mail address added to this FREE list, e-mail robertm748[at]aol.com and type SUBSCRIBE FFL FREE in the Subject: line.) McDowell also co-edited and supervised the production of Jim Valvano's Guide to Great Eating (JTV Enterprises, 1984), a 224-page sports celebrity cookbook; and he served as a fact checker for Valvano: They Gave Me a Lifetime Contract, and Then They Declared Me Dead (Pocket Books, 1991).