• Broadway Mind-Stretchers

    In a rare week, the two most eagerly awaited serious plays of the season arrived on Broadway. John Guare's Four Baboons Adoring the Sun boasts England's superstar director Peter Hall and Tony-winning players Stockard Channing and James Naughton. Ariel Dorfman's Death and the Maiden has America's superstar director Mike Nichols and movie luminaries Glenn Close, Richard Dreyfuss and Gene Hackman. In such a week playgoers could hardly want more. Or could they.? ...
  • Hold My Calls

    Homeless people looking for work have one big problem: prospective employers can't reach them, except perhaps at chaotic shelters. Now a nonprofit Seattle group called The Worker Center has a solution: free voice-mail boxes for people without homes and offices. A person living on the street can now get a private number and leave a personal greeting so employers responding to his calls can leave messages. "People who usually take six to nine months to find work," says Worker Center spokeswoman Pat Barry, "are finding work in three to six weeks." Since last year 126 jobs have been landed through the program.
  • Fax It To 'Em

    Sensing cracks in the regime of President Hashemi Rafsanjani, a former Iranian diplomat is quietly organizing moderate Iranian exiles. His goal: to topple the mullahs with a fax revolution much as the Chinese dissidents attempted three years ago. Assad Homayoun, who was deputy chief of mission in the Iranian Embassy in Washington before the shah was deposed, has formed the Free Iran Committee to rally centrist Iranians in the United States and Europe. Homayoun hopes to flood Iran with foreign broadcasts, underground newspaper articles and faxes. The State Department had no comment.
  • The Hardest Sell

    When Robert Eaton takes over as the new head of Chrysler next year, he might want to sit down and talk to people like Roger Slade. A Washington, D.C., economist, Slade drove a 1986 Chrysler LeBaron for four years. His blunt assessment of the car? "It was dreadful" he says. "We had endless trouble with it." When he decided to buy a new car he looked again at some American models but ended up buying the higher-priced Nissan Infiniti. "Although some of the domestics-were rather good in actual performance," he says, "other kinds of considerations-like styling and the interior-were sadly lacking." Last month, for family reasons, Slade sold the Infiniti and didn't bother visiting American showrooms. He bought a Honda Acura Legend. Why? "The Japanese cars have superior quality," he says. ...
  • There Is Nothing Like This Dame

    She's back! She's shocking and benign, caring and outrageous, she's high and low comic. But most of all, she's a he. Dame Edna, the British-Australian superstar of theater and television, returns in May to America for her second special on NBC in less than a year. Joining the lampoon will be the likes of Kim Basinger, Chevy Chase and Ringo Starr. Next time, Dame Edna hopes to have "presidents and their wives" join the fun. At this pace, the impresario may become the tube's best-known import.
  • Going To War Over Pows

    Fed up with White House foot dragging, a Senate select committee has taken the unusual step of subpoenaing national-security adviser Brent Scowcroft to produce National Security Council files on American POWs and MIAs from the Vietnam War. The committee, chaired by Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, is investigating persistent reports that POWs are alive in Vietnam. It's been asking for NSC records on POWs since January. The White House, insisting there's no credible evidence of POWs in Vietnam, so far has balked at turning over the files. Kerry declined to comment.
  • Next Stop, 10 Downing Street?

    Round one of Britain's general-election campaign belonged to the Labor Party. With less than three weeks left before the April 9 ballot, polls showed Labor ahead of Prime Minister John Major's Tories by as much as five points, a lead that if it holds could translate into enough parliamentary seats to win control of 10 Downing Street after 13 years in opposition. On the stump in Birmingham, party leader Neil Kinnock mocked the legacy of Thatcherism: "If you want to see their monument, look around you. Is your job more secure, your mortgage easier to pay, your children more confident?" Labor's renewed strength was due in part to a painful recession-but also to Kinnock's steady recasting of Labor ideology into more centrist terms. NEWSWEEK London bureau chief Daniel Pedersen spoke to Kinnock aboard Labor's Red Rose Express train. Excerpts: ...
  • Move Over, Oprah, Here Comes Jane

    You should be feeling good. One of your kids is a college freshman, the other just landed her first job. But you're still worried-they aren't watching enough afternoon TV. Well, chill out, Mom and Dad, here comes "Jane," a new talk show for teenagers and young adults who don't relate to more grizzled programs like "Donahue" and "The Oprah Winfrey Show." The host is Jane Pratt, 29, the lively editor in chief of Sassy, a popular magazine for teenage girls. Last week "Jane" made its debut in the 5-to-6 p.m. time slot on Fox Televisions New York City station. The first day's topic: being jilted. The guest: the guy who dumped Pratt in college. ...
  • Making Book With The Wall Street Journal

    The 1980s may be just a memory, but publishing's appetite for juicy business yarns continues unabated. And that's meant big bucks for staff reporters at The Wall Street Journal, the country's premier chronicler of corporate culture. Recently, no fewer than 18 Journal writers have signed book contracts: subjects range from hard times at IBM ("Big Blues" by Paul Carroll, which fetched a $350,000 advance from Crown) to the 198990 military-contracting scandal ("Indefensible," by Andy Pasztor for Scribners). Business sagas aren't the only fodder: Knopf will publish "Peppers: A Story of Hot Pursuits," a vegetative meditation by Amal Kumar Naj. ...
  • Voter Revolt: A Giant-Killer In Illinois

    When was the last time the winner of the U.S. Senate primary did an impromptu victory shimmy at the podium? It happened in Chicago last week. Carol Moseley Braun, 44, had plenty to celebrate. The current Cook County recorder of deeds, Braun had surged from behind in a three-candidate field to upset two-term Democratic Sen. Alan Dixon. If she wins in the fall, the policeman's daughter from Chicago's South Side will become the first black woman in the Senate. "Our work has just started," said the ebullient winner. "We are going to make history in November." ...
  • To-Ga! To-Ga! To-Ga! To-Ga!

    "Drop your shorts! Drop your shorts!" chants a sunburned cheering section as a young lady from Indiana University stumbles through a dazed amateur striptease, a half-finished bottle of Lite beer clenched in her teeth. She tipsily complies; frenzied cheers erupt. Out on the sugar-white Florida panhandle sand, freckle-faced Patrick Mulligan, 20, does a handstand while his friends from the University of Massachusetts funnel--"bong"--a quart of foaming Budweiser into his mouth. Behind them the giant speakers of rival "super clubs"--one boasting 27 bars-hammer out megadecibel rap over dueling poolside "hot male body" and wet-T-shirt contests. Politically correct it ain't. ...
  • A Sight For Sore Eyes

    Was life imitating art for poor Al Pacino? He's been playing a blind man in the movie "Scent of a Woman," now filming in New York. Last week, wearing dark glasses and sporting a cane, he tripped on a shrub along Park Avenue. Production halted while the ruptured blood vessel in Pacino's eye healed. It's a good thing he's not playing Jimmy Hoffa.
  • Here We Go Again

    Call it deniability, campaign style. The White House is officially disclaiming any connection with Floyd Brown, the conservative political strategist behind the infamous 1988 ad featuring furloughed convict Willie Horton. But Bush campaign officials are said to be privately delighted that Brown is back in business. He set up a Presidential Victory Horton Committee in the basement of a town house near the Capitol earlier this month. He expects to raise at least $10 million for TV spots attacking the '92 Democratic nominee. Brown declined to discuss specific plans for the ads, but his team is combing Bill Clinton's record for a Horton-like issue.
  • Fergie Flops At The Palace

    He was the royal stud-the "Randy Andy" who made Koo Stark famous. She was an exuberant woman of the world, fresh from a three-year hitch with a live-in lover. The daughter of a polo-playing military family, Sarah Ferguson was the feisty commoner who would keep Britain's Prince Andrew happy. But Fergie was undone by the same breezy qualities that made her seem so refreshing in 1986. She drew criticism for her weight, her haircut and her clothes. Royal watchers frowned on her friends, her perceived inattentiveness to her two daughters and her penchant for cutting up in public. She never fit in with what Prince Philip calls "the family firm," and last week she was unceremoniously shown the palace door. ...
  • Please, Spare Us A Boom

    Although doubters remain, the overwhelming evidence is that the economy has begun a sustained recovery. Housing construction and retail sales have risen smartly. Consumers have cut debt loads, increasing their purchasing power. Banks are beginning to dig out from huge loan losses. Inflation is low. The recovery could, of course, get derailed by surprise developments. But for the time being, we ought to be asking what kind of recovery we'll need. ...
  • An Uplifting Experience

    It's not for everyone. But there's a unique "entertainment" phenomenon drifting around the Pacific Northwest these days: The Jim Rose Circus Sideshow Freaks. Throughout the region, thrill-seeking trendies pack in to see Mr. Lifto, who hoists blocks of cement from hooks and chains attached to his nipples. Then there's The Tube, who drinks and serves beer in, let's say, a uniquely personal way. How hot is the show? Even the "Northern Exposure" crew dropped in one night, though it's unclear how many were able to stomach the guy who eats live slugs. Meanwhile, freakmania is spreading unabated. New York's Coney Island will offer a show-replete with a man who hammers nails up his nose-all summer.
  • Across The Divide

    Apartheid did the job intended for it: it created a society in which human separation seemed almost an order of nature. Displaced black squatters lived by themselves in squalid camps outside the cities. Black farmers worked alone in a vast and sometimes harsh land. Black children came of age apart from whites--and divided, too, from Indian South Africans and even sometimes from blacks of different tribes. But as a formal policy, racial separation was doomed by its inefficiency, high cost and the opposition it aroused abroad-and most South Africans knew it. Last week's whites-only vote to begin the process of dismantling apartheid met with overwhelming approval inside South Africa and a near-universal welcome outside. Black and white students celebrated together in one sign of the social barriers that have already fallen. But when the first bursts of jubilation die down, South Africans will be left to finish the work of exorcising the deep suspicions and abiding grievances that have...
  • Married, With Children

    She's gone from baring her buttocks to baring her soul. Well, kind of. Former Miss America-she hates to be called that-Vanessa Williams lost her crown in 1984 after Penthouse exposed her. Now she's an aspiring singer; one song "Save the Best for Last" is tops on the singles charts. In the April McCall's, she tells Deborah Norville (herself a deposed star) about her comeback. They discuss Williams's husband, Ramon Hervey II, her two daughters and such pressing matters as facials, dinner menus and baby fat. Hey, it beats answering stupid questions from Bert Parks.
  • 'I Leaned Out And Saw The Abyss'

    Jorge Cohen, press attache for the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires, stepped outside his second-floor office to make some photocopies when the blast hit. It blew him back nearly 30 feet. Cut and dazed, he stumbled past two bleeding bodies to look for his secretary. "I leaned out and saw the abyss," he says. At least 28 people, including four Israelis, were killed when, the government believes, 130 pounds of explosives inside a Ford pickup parked at the embassy went off. It was the worst terrorist incident Argentina has ever suffered. ...
  • At Chrysler's Wheel: A 'Car Guy'

    Robert J. Eaton is what the auto industry calls a "car guy." As the former head of General Motors' European operations, he spearheaded the creation of snappy new Opel models and was the driving force behind the flamboyant Lotus Omega, an Opel derivative with a top speed of 176 miles per hour. GM insiders depict Eaton as an inveterate car enthusiast who was disappointed if he didn't have a different GM car to test-drive every day. "He had an instinctive feel for the market," says Garel Rhys, an economist at the Cardiff Business School. "He knew what Europeans wanted." ...