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Copperfield act could blow away auds

GOOD MORNING: If you think “Twister” blew you out of the theater — David Copperfield will go the movies one better. He tells me he is developing an act with a 200 mph blast inside the “live” theaters where he’ll be performing. Why not — one of his amazing feats in the current show is covering the theaters in “snow.” He’s now in Singapore and he laughingly tells me when he makes it “snow” over there some in the audience are even more amazed — since the only snow they have ever seen is in the movies. “Now they think snow is like soap” (the concoction he uses). He is wrapping his Aussie and Southeast Asia tour which also includes “a very erotic” act called “Voyeur,” which includes him and two beautiful girls in bed — although they are fully covered. He was concerned about doing that act in Singapore. “This place is cleaner than Disneyland,” he reminded. “A couple of years ago you couldn’t come into Singapore with long hair — and you still can’t bring in chewing gum! I was plenty nervous — I could have gotten the death penalty,” he laughed. I asked what fiancee Claudia Schiffer thought of his act in bed with the ladies. She didn’t object, he said — after all, she’s done a commercial for Victoria’s Secret which is so torrid the nets wouldn’t air it –“even though she, too, is fully clothed in the commercial.” What about the Schiffer-Copperfield “engagement”? The sparkler he gave her was well publicized — and not an illusion! When will they get married? “Who knows? We enjoy our engagement. We’ll meet in a few weeks in New York after the tour,” he said. Copperfield concludes in Hong Kong with a sellout 15 shows in six days — over a million dollars a day. He’s also working on his next CBSpecial while traveling (three 747s) with his permanent crew of 50 plus 50 hired in each locality — all sworn to secrecy. He has three more years on his network pact, having completed 17 years for CBS. And he continues creating a new hourlong show each year for TV. TV “is such a monster.” He reminds, “Houdini had a 1 1/2-hour act — for his entire life!”

BRAD PITT QUIETLY donated $100,000 to his hometown, Springfield, Mo.’s Discovery Center, which is an interactive museum for children of all ages. My friend Ron Sylvester of the Springfield News-Leader called me to try and reach Pitt — a 1982 grad of Kickapoo High School down there. But Pitt wants to keep a low profile on the generous contribution (as well as on everything else). Besides, he’s busy working in N.Y. on “The Devil’s Own” with Harrison Ford. Pitt’s family lives in Springfield and brother Doug told the local paper, “He (Brad) wants to do something to help out the Ozarks.” It is beautiful countryside with warm and generous folks, I found, during my visit to nearby Branson … Nanscy Neiman-LeGette, who segued from Warner Books to the Mandalay literary label, has now been appointed senior vice president of the Putnam Berkley Group. She’ll spend three weeks here and one week in N.Y. Howcum? “I think there are great writers out here. And not just Hollywood,” she said. “There are real books here written by real people. That was part of my find when Iwas with Warner books.” She’ll report to Phyllis E. Gann, chairman and CEO … Ron Howard will headline the Maui Writers Conference Screenwriting Track Aug. 30 -Sept. 2 at the Grand Wailea on Maui. Screenwriters and other authors (like Jackie Collins, John Saul, etc.) will also participate … Mort Sahl, “picking up the pieces” since the March 27 death of his son, Mort Jr., returns to the stage, with a four-week stand at the Tiffany, starting July 17. Sahl is again as sharp as ever, previewed for me some of his “Mort Sahl’s America”–“It’s not ‘God Bless America,’ but ‘God save America’!” he promises. Sahl’s never lost his sharpness — nor his soul. “Here I go heading into the storm — with both fists, ” he laughed. Hard to believe he has been in his business for 42 years. Herb Caen is responsible for Sahl’s “working — for pay!” he reminded.

PAYING HOMAGE TO BERNARDO BERTOLUCCI at the screening of his “Stealing Beauty” Wednesday were Steven Spielberg, Oliver Stone, Robert Altman, Danny Boyle, Buck Henry and Paul Schrader at the Cecchi-Gori Fine Arts. And later at Detour mag’s El Rey party the rest of the preemgoers included the pic’s star Liv Tyler with her mother Bebe Buell and her father, Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler. Also co-star D.W. Moffett, and Keanu Reeves (on crutches) and Bridget Fonda — they co-starred in Bertolucci’s “Little Buddha.” Eric Stoltz was with Fonda, Rachel Weisz with Reeves. Also there: Richard Dreyfuss, Matt Dillon, Carrie Fisher … Madonna sneaked into the Greek theater to catch Alanis Morissette. Also there, Elle Macpherson with George Michael, Richard Gere, James Woods, Grace Slick, Debbie Gibson, Fran Drescher, Jon Lovitz and Seal — who dined with Alanis Wednesday night … Fred Hayman and Betty Endo fly to Roy, Utah, today to be married at the home of her mother. Hayman’s son Robert H. accompanies. The newlyweds will hold the reception at their Malibu home Sept. 28.

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