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Steve Martin’s Art Conversation Goes Over Better in Los Angeles

In December, Steve Martin was booked to discuss art at the 92nd Street Y in order to promote his new novel, An Object of Beauty, but the audience, who expected Martin to talk about his film career, openly revolted and were promised refunds. (Martin later told the Times that when a Y staff member crashed the stage with a note that said, "Discuss Steve’s career," he "would have rather died onstage with art talk than with the predictable questions that had been chosen for me.") Luckily, things went a little bit better when Martin took his art talk to LACMA in Los Angeles last night, perhaps owing to a cultural rivalry between the coasts. "We in Los Angeles want to hear Steve Martin talk about art!" said LACMA's Andrea Grossman, and indeed he did, aside from a brief reference to the film Pennies From Heaven. "It made New Yorkers look really bad," tsked attendee Jillian Spencer, a visiting Manhattanite who described herself as "an active, embarrassed member" of the 92nd Street Y. [Jacket Copy/LAT]