YOU WON'T LIKE Madea when he's/she's angry.
Tyler Perry went to court in Texas to answer a lawsuit from Donna West claiming that he had stolen material from her play, "Fantasy of a Black Woman" for his movie, "Diary of a Mad Black Woman."
West is suing Perry for copyright infringement and wants a jury to award her family all profits made from the film.
"I can't put my play on because the stories are basically the same and nobody wants to see that again," she said.
West testified Tuesday that she had developed her play primarily from her own experiences. With her in the starring role, the play was performed in July 1991 at the Junior Black Academy of Arts and Letters, at the Dallas Convention Center.
"The play was opened to the public," West said. "Anyone could have attended."
Perry's movie, which made about $50 million, came out in 2005. Jurors on Tuesday watched the film and listened to a reading of the script from West's play.
In her opening remarks to the jury, Perry's attorney, Veronica Lewis, said her client was "immensely talented" and "has no need whatsoever" to use the materials of others.
Lewis noted that Perry had experienced considerable success before and after the film, "so why would he need to copy Ms. West's script?"
Wonder if George Harrison's lawyer used that argument when he was found guilty of turning "She's So Fine" into "My Sweet Lord."
Hey, what about us?
_ On "Good Morning America" Tuesday, Britney Spears announced that her first arena tour in five years will open March 3 in New Orleans. Her new album, "Circus," arrived Tuesday, on her 27th birthday.
The 27-city tour better add a 28th city.
Philadelphia is not on the list.
* Billboard.com reports that Fleetwood Mac will hit the road in the spring for its first tour in five years.
The tour starts March 1 in Pittsburgh and tickets go on sale Dec. 15.
So far, 16 dates are on tap. And Philadelphia isn't on their list, either.
* Billboard.com says that Elton John may tap producer Mark Ronson (of Amy Winehouse fame) to work on his next studio album, which is being penciled-in for release in late 2009.
"They like each other and know each other well," says a source close to the artists. "There's been lots and lots of conversation, but nothing is finalized yet."
The album will be the follow-up to 2006's excellent but underappreciated "The Captain & the Kid."
John and Billy Joel will reprise their successful co-headlining tour beginning March 2 in Jacksonville.
They better be coming to Philadelphia.
* Yay! Another unnecessary movie remake!
The Hollywood Reporter says that John Brownlow ("Sylvia") has been tapped to rewrite "Captain Blood," the 1935 swashbuckler starring Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland and Basil Rathbone.
Phillip Noyce ("Dead Calm") is attached to direct.
* The Hollywood Reporter also reports that Kristen Stewart ("Twilight") will portray Joan Jett in "The Runaways," the rock 'n' roll biopic of the 1970s all-girl band.
Floria Sigismondi wrote the screenplay and is directing.
So put another dime in the juke box, baby.
* MediaTakeOut.com says that Morgan Freeman's wife, Myrna, could receive a fortune in their divorce.
Morgan, it seems, has invested wisely.
Her lawyers say that his net worth far exceeds their $80 million initial estimate.
According to MediaTakeOut.com, Myrna is likely to receive the couple's $7 million home in the Virgin Islands, their $5 million home in Alabama (we bet $5 million buys a lot of home in Alabama) and a $10 million apartment in Manhattan (that's probably a studio).
* So, a Daily News employee who has had a thing for "CSI" star Marg Helgenberger since her days on "China Beach" calls in sick the day after Marg and husband, Alan Rosenberg, announce that they're splitting?
Coincidence? Restraining order? You make the call.
"After 19 years of marriage, Marg and Alan have decided to take some time apart," her rep told Us Weekly. "They love and respect each other and remain committed to their family."
Helgenberger, 50 and fabulous, and Rosenberg, 58, have a son, Hughie, 18.
Given that Alan heads the Screen Actor's Guild and has been in endless, unpopular contract negotiations with studios, we can imagine the home life has been a tad stressful.
* Tom Hanks wants to attend President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration even if he doesn't get a front-row seat. Or any seat at all.
"Look, I'll be in the back," Hanks said backstage Tuesday night at a benefit for the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. "I'll sit on the Lincoln steps and just watch it from the distance on a Jumbotron. I've never been to anything like that, and - finally - a guy I voted for won. That hasn't happened most of my life."
As for wife Rita Wilson, she expects a different seat for the big day. She joked, "I think we're going to get a kayak and go into the National Mall waters." *
Daily News wire services contributed to this report.