The eternal struggle: How to balance career, marriage

In JD Lawrence’s new play, “The Clean Up Woman,” he asks the eternal question: Can a career woman make her marriage a success?

In the play, Terri is a television journalist who gets the job of her dreams, anchoring a local evening newscast. Newly married, her husband sits at home, waiting for her to come home at a reasonable hour. When he finally puts his foot down, he tells Terri to clean up her life, staring with their house.

So she hires a cleaning woman, who after a few months, may be paying more attention to Terri’s husband than to the housework she was hired to do.

Lawrence is an actor, comedian, choreographer, writer and producer-director. He wrote, directed, produced and choreographed “The Clean Up Woman.” He has seven roles in this play including an Hindu cabbie, a 75-year-old white man, a young rapper and a stylist.

“The idea for the play was inspired from an actual true story,” Lawrence said. “It happened to a very good friend of mine. The twist of the real-life story was so funny that I said, ‘Dude, that would make a great show.’ He told me, ‘If you want to write it, write it.’ And I wrote it.”

The play has had more than 47 sold-out shows.

Lawrence’s main competition is, of course, Tyler Perry.

“We keep bumping into each other, not by choice, but by chance,” is the round-about way Lawrence describes his relationship with Perry.

Lawrence has a television series, “Community Service,” in development with the Gospel Music Channel and he’s in talks to do a variety show, “The JD Lawrence Show,” on the same channel. He’s working to get “The Clean Up Woman” on the big screen. He’s been in discussion with Troy Beyer, who wrote and directed “Love Don’t Co$t a Thing.” “It’s really, really exciting,” Lawrence said.

To overcome a speech impediment, Lawrence was always singing. He said if he were singing, he wouldn’t stutter.

Ever since he was a child, he was singing and dancing, with the encouragement of his mother.

He says he gets his inspiration from his mother and from God.

So far, he’s written seven plays and two books, and is working on his own music, which he describes as “soulful with a pop edge.”

On the music side, he’s worked with Edwin Hawkins, El DeBarge, Kenny Lattimore, George Willborn, Tony Terry, Chante Moore and Fred Hammond, either as a singer or producer.

He’s looking for a February, 2010 release date on his CD.

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