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Perry’s madness cuts both ways

Wed., Jan. 28, 2009

Tyler Perry has made a career out of following the fictional life of his character Madea.

You may have heard of some of Perry’s films: “Diary of a Mad Black Woman,” “Madea’s Family Reunion” and “The Family That Preys,” projects that attract casts including the likes of Alfre Woodard, Kimberly Elise, Blair Underwood and Taraji P. Henson.

He may want to stop right there. Perry might find that he has far less power in the real world than he does on a movie soundstage.

Seems Perry, 39, is being sued by six construction companies, each of which claims that the filmmaker owes them money – a total of $200,000 – for work done on his 30,000-square-foot Atlanta home and production studio.

Perry told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he withheld payment from the companies for undocumented charges or sloppy work. He claims he is being treated unfairly because he is a celebrity.

Maybe so. But the title of Perry’s next movie, due out Feb. 20, may be telling.

It’s titled “Madea Goes to Jail.”

No moss on this Stone

Not one but two Keith Richards books are about to hit the bookstores. Many of the Rolling Stones guitarist’s witticisms have been collected by Jessica Pallington West for “What Would Keith Richards Do?” out in May.

Expect at the same time “Stone Me,” Mark Blake’s collection of such classic Richards utterances as: “I’ve never turned blue in someone else’s bathroom. I consider that the height of bad manners.”

New York in for a ‘Thriller’

Thought you’d heard the last of Michael Jackson? Not so fast. Broadway producer James L. Nederlander says he has acquired the rights for a stage version of Michael Jackson’s music-video “Thriller.” The show will include songs from two of the pop king’s best-selling albums, “Thriller” and “Off the Wall.”

“The Nederlanders and Michael Jackson represent live theater and musical excellence, so let the music begin,” Tohme Tohme, a spokesman for Jackson, said Monday.

Who’s the real ‘Slumdog’?

Another sign of the coming apocalypse: “Paul Blart: Mall Cop,” the comedy that stars Kevin James as a portly security guard, has grossed $64.8 million in its two weeks of release.

Jerks? Maybe, just not effete

Who says film critics are nothing more than effete jerks? The L.A. Times reports that after a screening of the earth-friendly enviro-documentary “Dirt! The Movie” at the Sundance Film Festival, film critic John Anderson, who was reviewing the flick for Variety, got into a fistfight with the film’s publicity rep, Jeff “The Dude” Dowd. Things got so heated, the hotel called police, though no one has pressed charges.

The birthday bunch

Actor Nicholas Pryor is 74. Actor Alan Alda is 73. Actress Susan Howard is 67. Marthe Keller is 64. Actress Barbi Benton is 59. Singer Sam Phillips is 47. Singer-songwriter Sarah McLachlan is 41. Actress Kathryn Morris is 40. Singer Anthony Hamilton is 38. Singer Joey Fatone of ’N Sync is 32. Singer Nick Carter of Backstreet Boys is 29. Actor Elijah Wood is 28.

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