A WOMAN engages in erotic play with a vintage salon hair dryer. A sleepy boy playfully dumps a huge box of corn flakes, a quart of milk and a pound of sugar into an oversized cereal bowl and proceeds to munch away. Eight bodies -- powdered white and garbed in unglamorous underwear -- mate, spar and tumble on an enormous white bed. A nerdy radio announcer grows intoxicated by the sound of his amplified voice and metamorphoses into a raving dictator.
These exaggerated, hard-to-shake theatrical images are only a small sampling of the work being done by a performance group known as the Margolis/Brown Adaptors (formerly known as Adaptors Movement Theatre). Headed by the married team of Keri Margolis and Tony Brown, this rigorously trained troupe of Brooklyn-based "movement actors" gives real meaning to the increasingly overused term "multimedia spectacle."
Margolis and Brown met in Paris while students of classical mime master Etienne Decroux. They joined forces soon afterward, spending the mid-'70s performing in the streets of Paris and St. Tropez as traditional, white-faced mimes, and touring internationally with the Montreal-based Omnibus troupe. Eventually, they returned to the United States, opened a New York school, and began to forge a style steeped in the myths, fads and detritus of American popular culture. Since that time, they've created four major works that make truly innovative use of gesture, movement, music, video, still photography, costumes, wild props and -- take that, Marcel Marceau -- even dialogue.
Their latest creation, entitled "DecoDanz: The Dilemma of Desmodus and Diphylla," deals, according to Margolis, "with the way Hollywood rules our lives -- our notions of romance, our aesthetics, the way we look." She and Brown play a pair of pair of Art Deco-era vampires sucking up all that mystique. Look for a surreal ballroom sequence and a host of cartoonish and cinematic touches.
MARGOLIS/BROWN ADAPTORS -- Wednesday and Thursday at 8:30 p.m., Sept. 7 at 8 and 10:30. Hand Chapel, Mount Vernon College, 2100 Foxhall Rd. N.W. 331-3467.