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April 19, 1996|SHAUNA SNOW


Intimate Illusion: Sleight-of-hand artist Ricky Jay is bringing his off-Broadway hit show directed by David Mamet to the Tiffany Theatre in West Hollywood for five weeks starting May 3. "Ricky Jay & His 52 Assistants," a one-man show of card tricks, storytelling and illusion being presented by Jay's friend, movie producer Joel Silver, will be at the 99-seat Tiffany to keep the show up-close and intimate, Silver said. Ticket prices are steeper than usual for the venue: $50 for all seats. Two things to remember: Don't call Jay a magician--he's much more--and don't take the kids. No one under 17 will be admitted.


Ms. Smith Goes to Washington: Anna Deavere Smith's new theater piece about the press and the American presidency will be a co-production between the Arena Stage of Washington, D.C., the Mark Taper Forum and Chicago's Goodman Theatre. The work by Smith, who drew acclaim for her examination of the L.A. riots with the Taper's "Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992," is the next installment in her "On the Road: A Search for American Character" series. The piece will premiere at the Arena Stage in the fall of 1997, followed by productions in Los Angeles (expected for the spring of '98) and Chicago.


Domingo, 'Conquistador' in San Diego: A concert by tenor superstar Placido Domingo and the premiere of "The Conquistador," composer Myron Fink's commissioned opera about religious persecution in 16th century Mexico, highlight San Diego Opera's 1996-97 season, announced Thursday by general director Ian Campbell. Domingo performs April 10, 1997; "The Conquistador" (March 1-9) features tenor Jerry Hadley in the title role, with Berkeley Repertory Theatre's Sharon Ott directing, her first foray into opera production. The five-opera season at San Diego's Civic Theatre also includes Bizet's "Carmen" (Jan. 18-29), Rossini's comic opera "L'Italiana in Algeri" (Feb. 8-16), Verdi's "La Traviata" (April 5-16) and Puccini's "Turandot" (April 26-May 7), with David Hockney's set, soprano Jane Eaglen and San Francisco Opera general director Lotfi Mansouri directing.


Pumpkins on the Web: The Smashing Pumpkins will broadcast their May 11 concert in Dublin, Ireland, live across the Internet. The event, billed as "the most ambitious musical event ever staged on the World Wide Web," will also include the band's first live Web chat (at approximately 5 p.m.) and a pre-concert online contest for fans. The contest and 7 p.m. concert may be accessed at four sites:,, and the Virgin Records areas on both America Online and CompuServe.


Autry's Emmy Song: Entertainer-turned-baseball team owner Gene Autry has been voted the 1996 Los Angeles Area Governors Emmy Award in recognition of his contribution to local television. Autry, the only entertainer to have five stars on Hollywood's Walk of Fame--one each for radio, records, movies, television and live theatrical performances--will receive the award June 1 at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium. Previous recipients include KCET-TV Channel 28, Stan Chambers, Vin Scully and Jerry Dunphy.


Comings and Goings: As the networks continue to adjust their schedules in preparation for the all-important May ratings sweeps, Fox said Thursday that it will take its Sunday night comedy "The Show" off the schedule starting April 28 when it will air back-to-back episodes of "The Simpsons" from 8 to 9 p.m. through that show's season finale on May 19. "The Show" will return in late May, Fox said. . . . CBS, which announced earlier this week that it was pulling the Monday night comedy "Good Company" after only four outings, has changed its mind and will now air a fifth episode of the series Monday as originally scheduled. The show received its best ratings yet this week. . . . And it looks as if Spelling Television will continue to saturate the airwaves, with the announcement Thursday of three new network pilots: "Wolf Pack," a CBS drama starring Dennis Weaver as a western-style crime fighter aided by cast mates including Piper Laurie, Alan Autry, Greg Evigan and Larry Drake; "Bullet Hearts," a Fox drama starring Rob Estes ("Silk Stalkings") and Leon ("Waiting to Exhale") as L.A. private investigators; and "Seventh Heaven," a series for the new Warner Bros. network about a suburban family.


MTV will debut an "MTV Unplugged" with Hootie & the Blowfish on Monday at 10 p.m. The concert, taped outdoors at the University of South Carolina, will preview songs from Hootie's second album, "Fairweather Johnson," due to be released next Tuesday. . . . Oscar-winning screenwriter Eric Roth ("Forrest Gump") has signed a two-year deal with Walt Disney Studios to write and/or produce four movies. Roth's recent credits include "The Horse Whisperer," which Robert Redford will direct for Disney's Hollywood Pictures this summer. . . . Actor George C. Scott, 68, returned to his Broadway play, "Inherit the Wind," on Wednesday night as expected, one night after he left the show midway through because of what is now being described as a "flu-like ailment."

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