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December 21, 2001

BOLDFACE NAMES

Musical Fraternity

By JAMES BARRON
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Movies, museums & all that Jazz.
Movies, museums & all that Jazz.
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LEONARD SLATKIN and his brother, FRED ZLOTKIN, performed "The Nutcracker" at Lincoln Center this week.

Make that "The Nutcrackers," plural.

Mr. Slatkin, below, the music director of the National Symphony Orchestra, was in Avery Fisher Hall as the guest conductor of the New York Philharmonic, performing alongside WYNTON MARSALIS and his Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. (The two ensembles took turns, performing the Tchaikovsky version and the Duke Ellington version.)

Across the Lincoln Center Plaza at the New York State Theater, Mr. Zlotkin was playing a longer version of the Tchaikovsky score. He is the principal cellist with the New York City Ballet.

"We didn't really compare notes," Leonard Slatkin said. "I think he's close to playing his 800th performance of it."

True, Mr. Zlotkin said: "I never use the music anymore. If I looked at it, it would confuse me."

One other family factoid, from Mr. Zlotkin: "Our father recorded it." That would be Felix Slatkin, who, among other things, was the conductor of the Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra.

And for the record, it was not Mr. Slatkin's first performance with Mr. Marsalis.

When the New Orleans Philharmonic needed a fourth trumpet player during Mr. Slatkin's tenure in the 1970's, he said, "they would bring in this 16-year-old kid."

"I would go, `Fourth trumpet, you're sharp here,' " Mr. Slatkin recalled. "The orchestra was going, `Oh, no, he's telling Wynton Marsalis he's sharp.' But I didn't know who he was."

A Supporting Voice

When the producers cannot get the soundtrack of their film made, the leading man just has to get busy and make some calls.

That, at least, is how the producers of "I Am Sam" explain what SEAN PENN did. "Sean called up his friend EDDIE VEDDER," said RICK SOLOMON, who produced the film with MARSHALL HERSHKOVITZ and EDWARD ZWICK. "He watched the film that afternoon. We had booked three days in the studio. He said, `I can do this in two hours. I've been singing the song since I was 14." One thing led to another, and soon the likes of SARAH McLACHLAN, JACKSON BROWNE and SHERYL CROW were in the studio, too.

In and Out of the Ring

The actor RON SILVER, below, gave a dinner at Le Cirque 2000 the other night for a large group celebrating the movie "Ali." Among those who joined him were his girlfriend, CATHERINE DE CASTELBAJAC, and the film critic JOEL SIEGEL, who, it turns out, wrote the book for the MARTIN CHARNIN musical "First," about Jackie Robinson. It ran for 37 performances in 1981, Mr. Siegel said.

In "Ali," Mr. Silver has a supporting role as ANGELO DUNDEE. What's the difference between playing a lawyer like ALAN M. DERSHOWITZ in "Reversal of Fortune" and a boxing coach in "Ali"?

"The boxing coach is actually doing something useful," Mr. Silver said.

Up in the World

Some of the V.I.P.'s at the Women in Film and Television's holiday lunch last week specifically, MERYL POSTER, PHYLICIA RASHAD and MARISA TOMEI knew each other back when. Fifteen years ago, Ms. Poster was the second woman ever hired for the mailroom at the William Morris Agency. Her second job with the company was being an assistant to Ms. Rashad's agent.

Now Ms. Poster is a co-president of production for Miramax. Her name is in lights as one of the producers of "The Shipping News," the adaptation of the novel by ANNIE PROULX, which opens on Christmas Day. And at the same time that Ms. Poster was collecting an award from Women in Film and Television, Miramax's "In the Bedroom" was sweeping the New York Film Critics Circle awards, winning best first film, best actor (TOM WILKINSON) and best actress (SISSY SPACEK).

Who presented the award to Ms. Poster? Ms. Tomei, who is also in the cast of "In the Bedroom" and was a William Morris client when Ms. Poster was a lowly assistant.

With Linda Lee



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