For Rockville Actor, 'The Practice' Makes Perfect
* Local fans of "The Practice," ABC's hot legal drama airing Sunday nights at 10, may be noticing something familiar about the actor who plays recurring character Richard Bay, the aggressive assistant D.A. who gives those Boston defense lawyers fits. That's because 32-year-old Jason Kravits not only grew up in Rockville and graduated from Magruder High School, but he's also a veteran of the Washington stage who majored in acting at the University of Maryland and performed at the Round House and Woolly Mammoth theaters before hitting it big in Hollywood.
"My whole family was heavily involved at Montgomery County Playhouse in Gaithersburg, and I started doing theater back then, running the lights from the age of 10," Kravits told us from the Los Angeles set of the series, starring Dylan McDermott, Lara Flynn Boyle and Camryn Manheim. "My father"--IBM manager Stuart Kravits--"did some acting and directing himself, and he directed me in 'A Thousand Clowns.' A little nepotism there. Both my parents," including mom Paula Kravits, "were very encouraging."
After knocking around the New York audition scene and getting only commercial work-- notably a nationally broadcast "Imagine TV" spot for Lincoln- Mercury--"to pay for my habit," Kravits wrote and produced his own musical comedy revue with fellow Washington actor Joel Hurt Jones. He spent $12,000 of his own money to take the show to L.A., where it got major buzz, resulted in an invitation to the Aspen Comedy Festival and ultimately landed him his network television gig. Today he lives in Santa Monica with girlfriend Susanna Baddiel, an actress, but, he claims, "I'm still just making enough money to pay the rent."
The Barber Of De Ville?
Placido Domingo gets misty-eyed when he talks about his beloved 1984 black Cadillac limousine, which ferried him, wife Marta and their three sons around New York for 15 years. "I took this car to every performance at the Met," the 58-year-old tenor told us this week as he conducted a personal tour of the luxurious 22-foot-3-inch limo, complete with leather seats, television set, VCR, tape deck and a bar that "we didn't use much. We're not big drinkers."
The Washington Opera's artistic director and reigning star, who on Nov. 22 will cap eight Kennedy Center performances in the title role of "Le Cid," is putting his Caddy up for auction Nov. 20 at the French Embassy, where 280 other items will also be on the block to benefit the opera company. The limo--whose V-8, 4.1-liter engine still purrs like brand-new--was his "working car," Domingo told us. "I have learned quite a lot of music here . . . on long trips, in traffic jams from the airport."
Domingo waxed nostalgic: "We were going to keep it forever. It has so many memories. But when we heard about the auction, we said, 'Well, this could be something that somebody might be interested in.' " The car cost $50,000 back in 1984; for the auction, the opera company is throwing in a few sweeteners: Domingo's signature engraved on a silver plaque, opera books, CDs and videos. "I hope it makes good money," Domingo said. "I was saying to my wife, 'Oh my God, we miss it. Maybe we should outbid everyone.' "
THIS JUST IN . . .
* We phoned Warren Beatty for clarification on yesterday's Los Angeles Times story in which he says he's "not a candidate" for president and that it's "extremely unlikely" he'll be a candidate, but refuses to say "absolutely not" to a White House try next year. "I think that covers it," Beatty told us, declining to elaborate. When the Times pushed for a Sherman-like statement, Beatty had vowed, "I won't play that game"--leading The Source to ask him just what game he would play. "Pokemon," the movie star replied with a giggle--noting that he was watching his 5-year-old son, Benjamin, enjoy the latest craze from Japan at the very moment he was trifling with us. Warren, you big tease, you!
* Former football stars Ronnie Lott and Marcus Allen--of the San Francisco 49ers and the Los Angeles Raiders, respectively--showed up in federal court here yesterday to argue over a business deal gone sour. The Post's Bill Miller reports that Lott and Allen were partners in Super Party Inc., which had a contract with the Washington-based National Football League Players Association to produce extravagant Super Bowl blowouts. The bashes attracted corporate sponsors and thousands of fans during the mid-1990s. But in 1996, the association backed out of the deal to stage parties of its own, leading to a breach-of-contract suit from Lott and Allen and a $400,000 countersuit from the association. Between closed-door mediation sessions, the two casually dressed stars signed autographs in the hall.