Nothing but excessive admiration and enthusiam could have done such disservice to a good writer as the ASTA Theatre has done to Nora Ephron dramatizing her essays.

The material in "Crazy Salad" started out as magazine columns, gems that often had an added sparkle from the contrast with dull settings. Then, they were collected into a book, where it is easier to spot the real from the pretend, and they were still good. But that's where it should have stopped.

Instead, Dona Cooper "adapted" the pieces, and they are recited as monologues by Barbara Klein, Sarah Toth Yochum and P. Gail Duncan, all wearing versions of the same tacky nylon evening dress and the same over-bright eyes. One tells you about how she feels about her breasts, then one tells you how she feels about her kitchen equipment, then one tells you how she feels about her mother's mink coat.

In print, each of these was a story with a point beyond the writer's experience, but in recitation they sound egotistical, as if this were a contest on how to make oneself sound fascinating, sympathetic and worthy of friendship - quick, before the attention of the cocktail-party guest can wander. But it does.