After a successful fall 2016 and spring 2017 tour, successful playwright Priest Tyaire is hitting it hard with a 40 city fall tour of his latest play “Momma’s Boy.” The tour kicks off on Sept. 7 in Columbia, S.C. and doesn’t finish until Dec. 2. Lucky for us, the play will make stops in the Midwest: Fri., Sept. 15 in Wichita; Sat., Sept. 16 in Kansas City, and Sun., Sept 17 in St. Louis.

Momma’s boy answers the question, “What happens when a mother holds on to her son too long?

The Story line

The all-star cast unites to tell the story of a young man who takes pride in being macho but really is a momma’s boy. Set in the inner city, Aaron and Autumn join forces as police officers in a town plagued by violence. Autumn is forced to move into Aaron’s home with her sons who’s every need she has catered to. They’ve rightfully earned the title of momma’s boys. Aaron’s plight begins when he tries to turn these boys to men.

In an awkward turn of events, Autumn decides to confront Aaron about his own relationship with his mother. Aaron’s mother, who has resided with him for the past 10 years, feels that no woman can take care of her son like she can. She has run away potential prospects in the past and intends to do same with Autumn.

The big question that remains is how can Aaron turn Autumn’s boys into men when he is a “Momma’s Boy” himself?

The Cast

Those of you expecting the return of Vivica Foxx, who starred in the spring 2016 tour of the play, shouldn’t be disappointed. A lot of the original tour members are back and the play’s been tweaked a bit to smooth out some of the rougher edges.

Jackee Harry from popular sitcoms “227” and “Sister, Sister” is still with the tour. So is comedian Nephew Tommy, co-host of the “Tom Joyner Morning Show.” Also returning for the fall tour is audience favorite, soulful R&B singer Shirley Murdock. Murdock is best known for her hits, “As We Lay,” “Husband,” and “Go on Without You,” all powerful and moving songs, just perfect for her big, full voice. Also back are male singers Johnny Gill of New Edition and Gary “Lil G” Jenkins, from male R&B group Silk.

Joining the cast this year are Robin Givens, from the late 1980’s sitcom “Head of the Class” and Dawn Robinson, founding member of R&B girl’s group EnVogue. Also joining the tour in his acting debut is Gospel singer Anthony Brown

The Playwright

This is the 8th play for Tyaire who wrote and staged his first play in 2007.

Tyaire says he was inspired to start writing at a time when most people would have withdrawn into bitterness and resentment. His beloved mother, Cynthia Cephas, was diagnosed with cancer in the early part of 2006. Priest wanted to honor her and pondered different ways to achieve this task.

The Lord spoke very loud and clear, “write a play.”

His desire to tell his mother’s story was so strong that neither his lack of experience, nor the financial challenge would deter him. Armed with pay out from selling his SUV, he was able to finance his first play,“Tears of a Teenage Mother.”

As an inexperienced writer and director, Tyaire purchased every Tyler Perry and David Talbert DVD on the shelf and began studying. Thanks to Google, he quickly figured out theater terminology.

The standing ovation he received after the “Teenage Mother” premiere was confirmation that he was finally operating in the gift that God gave him, and he hasn’t turned around since

He’s gone on to hone his craft and in the past decade has written, directed and acted in a series of hit stage plays, including: “Why Black Men Cheat,” “Why Women Cheat,” “Why Men Cheat: A Married Man’s Story,” “The Wrong Shade of Black,” “Torn Between 2 Fathers,” and “Mrs. Independent.”

Tyaire says he wrote “Momma’s Boy” as a way to encourage women to “up their standards.”

“You see them all the time, “they (momma’s boys) drop their women off at work and drive around all day while they (the women) pay the bills,” said Tyaire. “If he’s 40 years old and you’re still living in his momma’s basement, he’s a momma’s boy. Come one ladies, you have to up your standards.”

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