Michael Small
April 16, 1984 12:00 PM

Anatomy Lesson

Stefanie Powers went on a January safari in Kenya in search of reticulated giraffes, a jeopardized species with unique vein-like markings. She helped to capture 25 of them—three males and the rest females—and by late June they will arrive at their new home, Busch Gardens in Tampa. Stefanie obviously learned something from her experience. When she was in New York last month to publicize the project, a journalist asked how she could tell a male giraffe from a female. Stefanie’s answer: “Very quickly.”

After the Fall

Maybe you don’t remember, but for the past year or so Sly Stallone, his brother Frank (who wrote songs for the Staying Alive sound track) and Sly’s wife, Sasha, have been wild for the sport of the ruling class, polo. Sly bought six polo ponies and took lessons with Frank and Sasha at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center in Griffith Park. Well, it had to happen. Last February Sasha bounced right off her pony and landed with a few minor bruises. Upset by the accident, Sly and his family refused to return to the grounds. Sly even canceled a planned benefit polo match that would have raised money for autistic children. The Stallones kept up with the sport for a little while at another L.A. polo ground, but now even that’s over. Last month, Sly sold all his paraphernalia and horses.

Stage Frights

All right, so he’s a little superstitious. But Harvey Fierstein, who won two Tony awards last year for Torch Song Trilogy, wants everything to go right with his new play, Spookhouse, which opens off Broadway this month. So during the first night of rehearsal he laid down his rules for avoiding bad luck. No one in the cast could buy a new pair of shoes until after opening night; the play could not open on a Monday; no live flowers could appear onstage (he found a cactus instead); no one could decorate the dressing rooms, and everyone had to wear a bit of purple onstage. If that sounds bizarre, Harvey says he gleaned all the good-luck rules from showbiz friends and from his very superstitious dad. He even has inserted some of the requests in what his agents call a “superstition clause” in his contract. To help out further, Harvey’s pal Ann Miller, now in the L.A. production of Sugar Babies, sent one of her wigs as a good-luck charm. The gift went on a ghoul in the stage set, which is modeled after a genuine Coney Island spook house. Grateful as he is, Harvey says he still has some confusion about Ann’s contribution. He jokes, “I don’t know whether she thought I’d put the wig on the dummy or wear it to the opening.”

Real Buff

Pale-faced British rocker Billy Idol heard a sound sweeter than his own music as he took off his stage garb after a performance at Chicago’s Aragon Ballroom. Outside the window of his second-story dressing room, hundreds of fans chanted his name. So who could resist? Billy climbed out on the ledge and led them in a chorus of his hit Rebel Yell. The fans saw a lot more of their Idol than the folks who went home after the concert. He gave the impromptu performance wearing nothing but a tattoo on his left arm.

Hollywood Blowout

The high winds and tornadoes that blew across the South on March 28 interrupted filming in Atlanta of The Slugger’s Wife, a new Neil Simon movie. Leading lady Rebecca DeMornay, who found stardom last year as the sultry blond call girl in Risky Business, took refuge with her drama coach, Hal Holden, in a movie trailer. Some shelter: The wind blew the trailer over. Holden landed in the hospital with a dislocated shoulder and Rebecca got a cut over her left eye. “We were supposed to be in Kansas City for the scene we just filmed,” Rebecca joked after she recovered from the scare. “And the trailer almost took us there without the ruby slippers.”

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