Jokes that sound screamingly funny at 4 in the morning when one is among friends seldom work the same magic in the theater. Imitating babies imitating chickens might have seemed like a great idea at the time, but it is hardly the kind of comedy that can carry an evening. And so the song and dance called "Stir Crazy and Bustin' Loose" that Joy of Motion presented this weekend at its studio-turned-cabaret was sadly unfunny -- a pastiche of sophomoric skits and puerile parodies that depended for its humor on silly costumes, overworked routines and bathroom jokes. It lacked the energy implied by its title and the imagination implied by the word entertainment.

A large portion of the program was devoted to retellings of the story of "The Three Bears" in mock-Italian, an exercise that made one appreciate anew the art of mime.Some of the skits were merely silly; others -- in particular a lighthearted look at aging and death in the world-be showstopper, "Ten Cents a Plie" -- were offensive. Perhaps the cheapest shot of all was the center "set," which aimed a cannon at the mindlessness of television and its commercials and produced more banalities than its target. TV has it way over these guys -- it's free and you can unplug it.