Ford's Theatre-goers who have suffered so long on the uncomfortable but supposedly authentic chairs sat on the newly designed chairs at last night's opening of "Hot Mikado." At an after-show cast party at the Embassy Row Hotel, the theater's director, Frankie Hewitt, was presented with one of the old chairs by Mary Jane Wick and Carol Laxalt. What she'll do with it is anyone's guess -- she'll probably use it for unwelcome guests at her office or home -- the kind of people you don't want to encourage to linger over a cup of coffee . . .

When the American Ballet Theatre tour was being planned earlier in the season, there had been a strong possibility that Mikhail Baryshnikov would dance in Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Requiem." Webber's ballet is a major piece with a chorus and three soloists. It is a demanding work that ABT fears would be a strain on Baryshnikov's delicate knee. Washingtonians attending the Giselle Ball black-tie fundraiser April 14 in the new Westin Hotel will have the opportunity to see how Baryshnikov performs on the ballroom dance floor . . .

Daredevil Evel Knievel has decided to end seven years of retirement and attempt a motorcycle leap of 15 buses, a span of 150 feet, to break a personal record. The world record is 212 feet over 16 buses set by French Alain Jean Prieur in 1977. The 47-year-old Knievel retired in Chicago when he failed to leap a tank of sharks and crashed into a wall, breaking his arms and pelvis and suffering a concussion. Since doctors have warned him that at his age he might not be able to heal as effectively as he has in the past, Knievel said, "I really can't afford to fall off" . . .

A hand-lettered sign at Kramerbooks on Connecticut Avenue situated over the book "Wife of . . . " by Sondra Gotlieb, wife of the Canadian ambassador: "Newly Slap-happy" . . .