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    convinced him his career was a failure. He got

    convinced him his career was a failure. He got the lead role in the romantic comedy Chasing Papi after a chance meeting with a vice president of casting for 20th Century Fox. Armed with the raffish good looks of a stereotypical Latin lover and the physical presence of a professional ...

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    Health Plan, Actor Fan

    I'm the emergency assistance administrator at the Screen Actors Guild Foundation. I sympathized with the SAG member who expressed concern about losing health benefits during the strike.

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    Latifah Sets Headline Stop in 'Vegas'

    The actress-rapper-singer will make a cameo appearance in Fox's "What Happens in Vegas... ," starring Ashton Kutcher and Cameron Diaz.

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    Take Five: Take Two!

    Back Stage follows the careers of five working actors in Los Angeles, mapping their successes, failures, and dreams. Check out this year's fresh faces!

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    NEWS IN BRIEF

    The League of American Theatres and Producers, which has been negotiating intently with the stagehands union for the past several weeks, inched closer to shutting down the majority of Broadway when it gave the union its "final offer" Oct. 9: a 16 percent raise over five years and other benefits ...

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    UPDATED: Indian Film Fest Announces Openers

    Jag Mundhra's dramaProvokedwill open the 5th annual Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles April 17 at the ArcLight Cinemas in Hollywood.

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    Goodman, Sarandon on 'Speed'

    Susan Sarandon and John Goodman are in negotiations to play parents in "Speed Racer," the live-action version of the anime cartoon that follows the adventures of young race car driver.

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    The Merry Wives of Windsor. North Coast Repertory

    The Merry Wives of Windsor. North Coast Repertory Theatre presents youth theatre production of the Shakespeare play. North Coast Repertory Theatre, Lomas Santa Fe Plaza, 987 Lomas Santa Fe Dr., Suite D, Solana Beach. 7 p.m. Through Aug. 27. $12. (858) 481-1055. www.northcoastrep.org.

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    NewsWire...

    Credit Union Gets New HQ; S.T.A.G.E Benefits AIDS with Webber; Off the Wire

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    Drama Dispatch: March 8, 2004: 'Wintertime'; 'The Moonlight Room'; Oscar Reaction

    The cast and direction are fun and frolicsome, but the play itself is a frozen Popsicle. A well-received drama transfers to a longer Off-Broadway run. Plus this year's Oscars were shorter but duller.