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Magical mystery tour

Every Friday, magician Penn Jillette throws a movie party in Manhattan.He has about 20 friends to dinner at a Howard Johnson's and a midnight movie in Times Square. A few party rules: All friends must sit in the front row.

All must yell "Yessss!" as the coming attractions begin.

All must clap whenever the actors in the movie mention its title.

According to an article in Premiere magazine, "Penn acknowledges that rule No. 3 wreaks havoc during, say, Wall Street, but isn't so bad if they're watching The Unbearable Lightness of Being."

They said it "I have a sneaker deal myself, but I don't understand why people

would buy one sneaker endorsed by one player over the other. Kids

idolize professional athletes, which is wrong in itself, and they just

copy what they're wearing. I think one of the problems we have in

today's society is that it's the parents' job to be the role models. To kids that idolize me, I tell them don't do so just because I can

dribble a basketball - that's really sick."

- Charles Barkley of the Philadelphia 76ers, in People magazine.

"You've just got to treat it like walking the dog - it's something

you've got to do and let's get on with it."

- Mel Gibson to actress Patsy Kensit about filming a sex scene, during the making of Lethal Weapon II. Kensit recalled Gibson's remark in an Entertainment Tonight interview.

"The people in Flint are nice people, and I hate to see them made

the butt of a sick joke. It's a disservice to them."

- General Motors Chairman Roger Smith on the documentary Roger and Me, which is about Smith's decision to close down GM plants in Flint, Mich. Smith said he'd read a review in the New Yorker and decided not to see the film.

Family affair The New York Daily News says that Winona Ryder has been dropped from the cast of Godfather 3 because of an illness and that her replacement is probably Francis Ford Coppola's daughter, Sophia, who co-wrote his New York Stories segment.

Canine recuperates Sandy, 17, who played Little Orphan Annie's dog in the original Broadway production of Annie, survived emergency surgery in East Haddam, Conn., recently and is at home resting.

A customer tips New York's hottest eatery is 150 Wooster, says Interview magazine, which talked with one of the waitresses, aspiring actress Julianna

Margulies. "The greatest and most understated" of the celebs who hang out there is Dustin Hoffman, she said. "It's very loud," she said, "so sometimes I lean over to take orders. He showed me the proper way to stand and seemed genuinely interested in how I was performing this task. He stood up and said, 'Don't lean over the table. Do you know what your back is going to look like?"' Deep background US magazine reprints the 1976 America's Jr. Miss application of Deborah Anne Norville, Georgia's Junior Miss. Norville, now of the Today show, displayed items she had sewn as her "Creative and Performing Arts Presentation." Her favorite novel? Gone With the

Wind. Her favorite TV show, Rhoda. As to "Personalities of Interest," she listed Anita Bryant and Princess Grace. Historical "Personalities": Theodore Roosevelt and Helen Keller.

- LEAH GARCHIK, San Francisco Chronicle

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