“Man Of The House” is a drama/comedy that centers around one man’s struggle to save his relationship and get his life on track, while his woman runs the house and everything in it. According to A’ndre Davis, the New Jersey born and raised star, writer and producer of the number one hit star-studded urban comedy, “What’s interesting about this play is that it concerns the topic of domestic violence but it has a twist. In this case, the male is the victim as opposed to being the abuser. There is a comedic aspect to the play, however it never centers around the actual abuse, therefore the audience is being educated while being entertained.”
Right On! Digital explored the story with cast members A’ndre Davis, Willie Taylor from the R&B group Day 26 and actress/comedian Pretty Ricki Fontaine.
Q: What was your inspiration for the storyline which includes Domestic Abuse issues?
DAVIS: We were hearing this story over and over and this is another angle and that’s what propelled me to write it from a man’s point of view. We at A Diamond Entertainment try to choose issues and subject matter that are prevalent to talk about.
Q: What made you decide to name your company A Diamond Entertainment?
DAVIS: A obviously stands for my first name A’ndre and Diamond is because I am a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity.
Q: What advice would you give aspiring playwrights who may have limited budgets?
DAVIS: The biggest thing part is getting the word out in terms of marketing. For those who are in this field, I say that it’s everyone’s responsibility to get the word out through their social media. A pastor that I know had a lot of relationships so he was able to encourage people to come out to see our productions. We have become creative in our ways to get the message out through barber shops, beauty shops, nail salons and organizations.
Q: What drives and motivates you?
DAVIS: There have been frustrating times where I have thought about closing the doors, but there has been so much done that I have to continue. You know how they say
“At every rainstorm there’s a rainbow?” Every time I felt like I should stop something tells me to keep going. A lot of people say it’s not their story but they relate to the story. One young lady said that midway through watching the play she realized it was her friend’s story. Things like that make me keep going. I knew we had something. I had the research but as men we don’t talk about Domestic Abuse especially in the Black community, and especially when the man is being abused. They always say to “man up.” This is another reason why I keep going. A lot of times people want to see what they are familiar with but a lot of women are tired of seeing the same story where the man is always bad, he’s no good, and in this one, you have a good guy. It’s interesting. When I bring on celebrities like Christopher Williams, Monifah, Willie Taylor, they say that you have something there and that they want to be a part of it, It’s always good to hear from people who do what you do.
Q: Let’s hear from one of the ladies who stars in this production. Ricki, you are known for the Laugh Mobb and other comedic endeavors. How did you get involved with “Man Of The House?”
PRETTY RICKI: I play the best friend of one of the main characters . She is quite a character: she is very funny, obnoxious. I was in a previous project and A’ndre asked me to audition. I was very excited and apparently I did a good job as I am still a member of this ensemble cast.
Q: Willie, we are used to seeing you perform with your group Day 26 and series like “Love And Hip Hop Hollywood. ” Why did you want to be a part of this cast?
WILLIE TAYLOR: I knew I was very funny and I like to deal with the ladies so… (LOL)
Q: Domestic Violence Month is brought to attention each October. What will ticket holders get out of viewing this play?
TAYLOR: They will learn that Domestic Violence is not just one way. You can’t just put it on the male. Sometimes it is the female who is the abuser. “Man Of The House”opens up the topic for the discussion.
PRETTY RICKI: It just bring awareness to the flip side. Women are not the only ones that are affected. This just isn’t the case.
I have had people who said they know people who are are in this situation and didn’t know what to do as it has been very embarrassing. We encourage them to reach out for help.
TAYLOR: You have to man up if a woman is abusive to you. A’ndre does a great job bringing the subject to light.
Q: Willie, what is it like working with the cast?
TAYLOR: Everyone’s funny and this play gives me a chance to get better at what I do.
PRETTY RICKI: Yes, and everything can be so smooth and then he can be a train wreck. Willie is warm temperature and cool.
Q: You’ve got jokes!
PRETTY RICKI: Jokes keep you all together! The show is so authentic and makes you laugh. We have a ton of jokes. We have so much fun and it’s a cool environment. I’ll drop everything to be in this production.
Q; Wyat is it like working with A’ndre Davis?
PRETTY RICKI: He’s everything. We get the singer who is smooth and suave but Andre the director is no nonsense. He don’t play.
Q: Willie, you and Ricki come from other fields. How difficult was it making the transition?
TAYLOR: I had butterflies but it became easier.
PRETTY RICKI: I’ve always been interested in theater. Having comedic timing has helped. I found it pretty easy. I am a comedian and an actress so combining the two is a perfect combination.
TAYLOR: This is an amazing play and you will be entertained to the highest level. A’ndre Davis is a genius.