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updated 04/13/1981 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 04/13/1981 AT 01:00 AM EST

Ménage à Trio
All that rehearsing for opera superstars Marilyn Home, Luciano Pavarotti and Joan Sutherland apparently paid off. Their Live from Lincoln Center special ended up drawing one of the highest ratings for a cultural performance in public TV history. On hearing the news, Horne picked up the phone to giggle sotto voce with Sutherland. "If we play our cards right," said marvelous Marilyn, molto allegro, "we could be PBS' answer to Three's Company." Then she added, prestissimo, "I'll play the sexy one."

Shoe Biz
When a professional athlete accepts $5,000 to wear a certain brand of shoe, he'd better not change his stripes. That warning was voiced by a New York judge last month in a suit brought against BRS, Inc., makers of Nike athletic shoes, for allowing their stripes to be flaunted on other folks' products. The Brooks Shoe Manufacturing Company brought the suit after noticing that at least four athletes who had accepted money to wear only Nikes on the playing field were actually wearing Brooks shoes with Nike stripes sewn on. A Nike spokesman defends that Nike had become aware of the problem and taken care of it long since. Phillies third baseman Mike Schmidt, for example, wore Brooks shoes with Nike stripes only temporarily, while a special pair of Nikes was made for him. The problem was one nobody could have foreseen—the old ones were painful on Astro Turf.

Playing the System
Black Panther Huey Newton, oddly enough, is one citizen who's received a bountiful return on his federal tax money. During his days as a radical activist, says Newton, "the FBI bugged my bedroom, my bathroom and even my shower." Through the Freedom of Information Act, he was later able to collect 300,000 of the million-plus pages of information the agency had collected on him. "I'm grateful to them for all the background research they did for my dissertation," says Newton, who picked up his Ph.D., in a program called the History of Consciousness, from the University of California at Santa Cruz last June. Further dividends may await. The dissertation, titled War against the Panthers: A Study of Repression in America, will be published later this year as a book.

Saint Patrick
He was booted out of the American Ballet Theatre for lateness and absenteeism. Next, he reportedly smashed a wine bottle carousing in the Indiana U student union after a performance and was carted off to the hoosegow. But ballet dancer Patrick Bissell, 23, may yet land on his toes. He's been a model professional in Canada. He wowed Toronto audiences in Romeo and Juliet and The Sleeping Beauty, and one night he nobly responded after being paged at the airport to replace an injured National Ballet of Canada dancer, arriving at the theater with 10 minutes to spare. "Anybody who can come through like that can't be all bad," cheered Vanessa Harwood, one of his Toronto partners. Has Bissell really turned over a new maple leaf? Well, company officials admit they've been eyeing him for a permanent spot. Says one: "He's just a lot of fun."

Furthermore

•When fresh-faced Melissa Manchester got a look at the photos Vogue plans to use of her at home, she said she thought photographer Helmut Newton had "captured my dark, sensual side and some qualities I never took note of. I don't know if I want my mom to see them."

•Urging action against the forces of conservatism, feminist Gloria Steinem is telling the sisterhood that crusading is not enough. "Give 10 percent of your salary to the revolution," she says. "How do you think the churches got so rich?"

•The stones Bianca Jagger is sporting on her third finger, left hand, don't roll—they're diamonds and emeralds set into a ring, the gift of constant companion Olivier de Montal, 38, the French oil tycoon.

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