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Lane, Broderick the "Producers' again

Broadway's original Bialystock and Bloom are coming back to The Producers.

After weeks of speculation, it was announced Tuesday that Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick will return to the Mel Brooks musical Dec. 30 for a limited engagement through April 4.

Tickets for those shows will go on sale at noon Nov. 16 at the St. James Theatre, according to a spokesman. Also at that time, tickets will be available through Telecharge, 212-239-6200, or online at www.telecharge.com. Prices range from $30 to $100.

The Producers won a record 12 Tony Awards in 2001 and was Broadway's hottest ticket during the two stars' yearlong run.

Gucci executives step down

PARIS _ Gucci Group's creative director Tom Ford and chief executive Domenico De Sole will leave the company next year, retailer Pinault-Printemps-Redoute SA and Gucci, its luxury goods operation, announced Tuesday.

The pair have informed the Gucci supervisory board that they do not intend to extend contracts beyond their 2004 expiration date, the companies said.

De Sole and Ford are regarded as the architects of Gucci's rise from near-bankruptcy in the 1990s to the third-biggest luxury goods firm in the world.

Rapper Slick Rick to be released

NEW YORK _ A judge has cleared the way for the release of rapper Ricky "Slick Rick" Walters, ruling the government erred in imprisoning him.

Federal Judge Kimba Wood has reversed a 1997 Bureau of Immigration Affairs decision to deport the British native because of a '91 conviction for attempted murder. No word on when the rapper, arrested in Miami last year, will be released from the INS detention center in Bradenton.

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