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    props. They soon take over the stage, presenting their off-the-wall sketch routines. With songs like "Mention My Name in Sheboygan" (Hilliard-Mysels-Sanford) and Cole Porter's "Give Him the Ooh-La-La" (once a Blossom Dearie staple), the madcap hour flies by with an endless grab bag of maniacal madness that is alternately ...

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    One Flea Spare

    Chance Theater

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    Reality Check

    Dear Jackie: I have seen more than 70 casting directors in workshops and classes and have never had any of them bring me in for auditions. However, I have always done extremely well during these workshops, and I even had one CD tell me, "Wow! You are so talented; you ...

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    LAFF Centered on 'Nine Lives'

    Rodrigo Garcia's "Nine Lives" will screen as the Centerpiece Premiere of the 2005 Los Angeles Film Festival, which is taking place June 16-26. The film, which depicts nine characters at emotional crossroads, stars Kathy Baker, Amy Brenneman, Glenn Close, Holly Hunter, Sissy Spacek and Robin Wright Penn.

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    Hopkins to Receive UCLA Honor

    "The Silence of the Lambs" Oscar-winner Anthony Hopkins will receive the UCLA Medal during the School of Theater, Film and Television commencement on June 17.

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    League Opens New Website

    The League of American Theatres and Producers has launched its Destination Broadway tourism initiative by unveiling its first-ever multilingual Broadway website, ILoveNYTheater.com. The effort is targeted at New York City domestic and international tourists, which the league figures to be a $24 billion industry for the city.

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    The Skinny

    This week's Skinny includes quite a diverse array of leads. Perhaps you're not a budding novelist or a video artist extraordinaire, but keep checking back here each week for the tips you need to give your career a boost.

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    Modigliani

    "Modigliani," presented by Circus Theatricals at the Elephant Theatre, 6322 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood. Thu. 8 p.m. May 12-Jun. 9. $15. (888) 811-4111.

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    Serious Laughter

    Triggering and sustaining spontaneous laughter night after night onstage, or take after take on-camera, can be an intimidating prospect. For many actors it's even more difficult than crying on cue. Yet it's something you can learn to do.