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NEWS LITE : PRINCE OF WALES FITS IN DANCE WITH MALES.

The difference between ``The Full Monty'' and ``The Full Monarchy'' is elemental: Prince Charles keeps his clothes on.

But the heir to the throne was a hit nonetheless Friday at a 50th birthday party staged in his honor featuring a cast member from the hit film about unemployed Sheffield men who turn to stripping.

The icing on a birthday cake in the shape of a security guard's cap proclaimed ``The Full Monarchy.'' Cast members all wore such hats in the movie's finale.

Charles visited a set used in the 1997 movie about the Yorkshire industrial city to promote the work of his charity, the Prince's Trust.

Taking a lead from Hugo Speer, who played one of the main characters, Lunchbox, in the film, Charles quickly mastered the steps and joined in re-creating a scene where the men start practicing their dance routine while waiting in line at a job center.

``I've even been given a bit of choreography on how to do things in a queue,'' Charles said.

``He's a cinch - a natural,'' Speer said of the prince. ``He asked for a few tips but didn't need them. It looks like he's been practicing in his bedroom.''

Connery's wife out $1 million in theft

Agent 007, where are you? Actor Sean Connery's wife was robbed of about $1 million worth of jewelry when a thief stole a bag filled with diamonds, bracelets and brooches from her New York apartment while she was at dinner, police said Friday.

Micheline Connery arrived at the posh East Side apartment hotel Wednesday evening. Police tell the rest: She leaves her bags, goes to dinner, awakens the next morning to find a small jewel case gone. In it were: $1 million worth of loot, including a Cartier watch, Bulgari diamonds and earrings. No sign of forced entry.

Connery (call him Bond, James Bond) was not in the country at the time of the theft, his publicist said.

Basquiat painting sells for $3.3 million in N.Y.

A self-portrait by the late artist Jean-Michel Basquiat that resembles a cave painting sold at auction for an astonishing $3.3 million.

The jagged, 1982 painting of the Andy Warhol protege holding a spear in one hand was the subject of heated bidding Thursday during a sale of contemporary art at Christie's auction house.

The final bid was more than five times the expected price and the most ever paid for a work by Basquiat, a former graffiti artist who died in 1988 of a drug overdose at age 27.

The buyer was not identified.

``I think maybe the inmates are taking over the asylum,'' said New York art dealer Allan Stone. ``It smells of promotion. Some group that may have a lot of Basquiats and may want to sell them could be driving up the price.''

The previous auction record for a Basquiat was $596,500 in May.

``I wouldn't expect this Basquiat incident to indicate a trend of eccentric and aberrant behavior in the art market,'' said art dealer Stephen Mazoh. ``It's not commensurate with other values in the art market, or in my opinion, his real value as a painter.''

The New York-born Basquiat rose to national prominence after being championed by Warhol.

Warhol's work will also be featured in the sale, including his 1962 ``Orange Marilyn,'' valued at up to $3.5 million, and ``Triple Elvis,'' estimated at $2.5 million.

Never forgetting elephant artist

Ruby the painting pachyderm is dead, but she may prove to be merely the first in a long line of artistic elephants.

Ruby's success on canvass - her paintings produced more than $200,000 for the Phoenix Zoo - has inspired a pair of New York artists to open three elephant art schools in Thailand, where a logging lull has left hundreds of domesticated elephants unemployed.

Alex Melamid and Vitaly Komar hope to begin enrolling elephants this month. All proceeds will benefit elephant conservation efforts.

Ruby, an Asian elephant whose normal life expectancy would have been 60 years, was 25. She was put to death last week because of complications stemming from her failed pregnancy - her fetus had died late last month. A deadly infection was found during surgery to remove the dead 320-pound calf.

``This is certainly quite an honor to her memory, that she should be featured as an example,'' Phoenix Zoo spokeswoman Alice Sluga said Thursday.

Ruby became a media star by learning to paint a decade ago after zoo keepers spotted her doodling in the sand with a stick. Holding a brush in her trunk, she would select colors from a palette and apply them to canvases.

Charge dismissed against Tarantino

A judge in New York on Friday dismissed an assault charge against Quentin Tarantino for allegedly hitting a woman with a punch meant for her boyfriend.

Prosecutors said they couldn't prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.

The writer, actor and director was accused of hitting Leila Mwangi during a fight with her boyfriend, photographer Barron Claiborne, in a restaurant on May 2. She said the punch opened a cut over her left eyebrow.

Mwangi is suing Tarantino for $15 million.

News Lite is compiled from Daily News staff and wire reports.

CAPTION(S):

3 Photos

PHOTO (1) This self-portrait of Jean-Michel Basquiat took the top price of $3.3 million for the late artist's work.

Associated Press

(2) Prince Charles, left, stands behind ``Full Monty'' actor Hugo Speer during the re-enactment of a scene from the British film.

John Stillwell/Associated Press

(3) Tarantino
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Nov 14, 1998
Words:919
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