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April 21, 1987|Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press

Unbeknownst to any but a handful of Canadian film honchos, Columbia's $40-million-plus mega-comedy "Ishtar" was screened at a Toronto theater Sunday night, according to Daily Variety and Canadian newspapers. The movie's stars, Warren Beatty and Dustin Hoffman, were among those in the audience, which was reportedly laughing throughout the 100-minute version of the film shown Sunday (especially when the two stars attempt to sing). It was unclear whether director-writer Elaine May was in attendance, but it was clear that Isabelle Adjani's turn--as a socialist ideologue who falls in with the two men--was the least appreciated element of the movie, still scheduled to open in the United States on May 15.

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