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STAGE BEAT

Fringe Festival : 'ARMAGEDDON'

September 25, 1987|DON SHIRLEY

In "Armageddon Outta Here," a musical fantasy at the Whitefire, God is known as Doug. Spell God backward, see, and you get . . . Well, it might not be very precise but then nothing in this show is.

Doug is a devilish-looking fellow who challenges a dentist named Jimmy Dagwood (Derek McGrath) to give him three good reasons why he shouldn't destroy the world. After spending all day in Dupar's with Doug, Jimmy finally comes up with one reason, something about how we're all connected to each other and to God.

"Armageddon" itself furnishes ample evidence to the contrary. Its parts appear to be the products of a hundred different improvisations, and no one--not writers McGrath or Wendy Jewell (Second City veterans) nor director Rene Migliacco--has a clue as to how it all fits together.

This might not matter if the parts were entertaining on their own, but most of them are deadly little skits or songs that go nowhere. The musical numbers are particularly embarrassing; no one has much of a voice and Dona Davis-Clarke's choreography is painfully unimaginative. And why does the show end with what sounds like the opening number?

The only relief is provided by Susan Falcon's rude waitress and by a few moments in Monika Dorfman-Light Stone's ambitious sound design.

Performances at 13500 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 7 p.m., through Oct. 25. Tickets: $12.50-$15. (213) 466-1767.

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