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Here's how Max Ernst invented the "collage novel" in the 1920s: He cut hundreds of images out of fine-line newspaper illustrations, assembled them into a series of surreal tableaus, wrote captions and dialogue under each, and arranged them to tell a story. Jeffrey M. Jones' Tomorrowland, which only Manbites Dog Theater would dare to produce, reads like a "collage play." Its script is almost entirely derived from texts from the 1950s: lines, characters and scenarios from vintage civil defense and instructional hygiene films collide with same-era westerns and sci-fi flicks, with cold-war political analyses, commercials--and helpful cooking tips--added for leavening. On first reading, it almost seems unstagable. But gradually, this addled experiment in random-access zeitgeist gets at the darker shades of political and social paranoia in that uncertain time. Any resemblance between then and now is probably worth closer examination. And maybe that's what the A/V Geeks have been getting at all this time--particularly since Manbites Dog will be presenting them in a special show immediately after Tomorrowland's Aug. 30 performance. For more information, call 682-3343. --Byron Woods

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