The British press is now weighing in with angry, derisive opinions on the refusal of Actors Equity to allow Welsh actor Jonathan Pryce to repeat his London starring role in the musical "Miss Saigon" on Broadway. Pryce won the Olivier Award, Britain's equivalent of a Tony, for his portrayal of the Eurasian pimp in the show. But because that character is Eurasian, Equity ruled the actor should be of Asian descent, preventing Pryce from getting a visa from the Immigration and Naturalization Service that would have allowed him to work temporarily in the United States. Film director and actor Michael Winner, writing in the Sunday Express, called the decision "insane," adding that his own acting roles in America "now seem limited to playing middle-aged Jews." Winner is middle-aged and Jewish.

The Daily Mail wrote: "This exclusion illustrates the terrible confusion into which this once great melting-pot of a country has descended over the issue of race." The Daily Express asked: "Should the role of the Mikado ... now only be taken by Japanese grandees dwelling within the shadows of Mount Fuji?" And Sunday Telegram columnist Oliver Pritchett sarcastically suggested the union's decision meant sharing plum parts around the ethnic community. He envisions newly titled musicals including "Noh, Noh, Nanette," "Hello Bali" and "The Rocky Harare Show" that could employ Japanese, Javanese and Zimbabwean actors.

Out and About Maybe Mayor Barry will have more to say about his future political career this morning when he shows up at Duke Zeibert's restaurant to swear in Jeff Gildenhorn as chairman of the D.C. Boxing Commission. Gildenhorn, who owns several properties in Chevy Chase, D.C., including the Fishery and the American City Diner, has been a political adviser to the mayor and was once his finance chairman. If the mayor shows up as promised, you can bet the questions won't be about boxing ...

Alan Alda will be in town in October to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Italian American Foundation. An actor, writer and director, Alda is best known for portraying Hawkeye Pierce in the classic TV series "M*A*S*H." His movies include "The Four Seasons," "The Seduction of Joe Tynan," Woody Allen's "Crimes and Misdemeanors" and the recently released "Betsy's Wedding," which he also wrote and directed. Alda's award will presented at the foundation's annual dinner Oct. 20 in the Washington Hilton. Previous winners include Frank Sinatra, Joe DiMaggio and Danny Aiello ...

Describing the federal war on drugs as "a colossal waste of effort, money and human resources," the San Francisco Examiner editorialized Sunday that the sale of drugs should be made legal in the United States. "Any way you slice it, there is no denying that this politician-declared war has been just about as effective as the war on poverty, the war on crime and the war on cancer put together, which is to say, a complete defeat," one of the first pro-legalization editorials in a major newspaper said. "All anti-drug laws should be repealed," it said. "The war on drugs should be called off. Just declare victory, play '76 Trombones' and march out. It always gets applause" ...