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STAGE BEAT

FRINGE FESTIVAL : THE '60s RETURN IN 'FEAST OF ILLUSIONS'

September 11, 1987|ROBERT KOEHLER

Look out, "Big Chill" fans. Has John Lisbon Wood written a play for you.

Haven't heard enough of your '60s-bred peers moaning over what happened to the good old days? Can't wait to hear more laments from radical hollow men, corporate feminist whippersnappers and aging hippies? Wood has these and more for you in "Feast of Illusions," at the Mise En Scene Theatre.

Like pins waiting for the dramatist's bowling ball to crash into them, Richard, Sarah and Wendy (Sylvester Rich, Duchess Dale and Bobbi Wilson) are set up by Wood to represent an entire generation--almost always a dubious strategy for a writer. Wood never sets them free as living characters. Very un-'60s of him.

Wendy, all dressed for success, visits the couple's pad, trades Beatles lyrics and bong hits with Sarah and then proceeds to tear their marijuana-in-the-ivory-towers bliss to shreds. The collective breast-beating in the second act is deafening.

This is material that needs a critical nudge by a director, but Larry Lipton does little beyond keeping his cast afloat above a maelstrom of sarcastic and banal dialogue. Even the Beatles poster on the wall looks a little worn. Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.

Performances at 11305 Magnolia Blvd., North Hollywood, on Sept. 17, 18 and 26, 8 p.m. Tickets: $5; (818) 763-3101.

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