The Theater: The Cassandra Complex

FINGERNAILS BLUE AS FLOWERS by RONALD RIBMAN

LAKE OF THE WOODS by STEVE TESICH

The first of the Manhattan theaters being built in new office skyscrapers has opened, and it is a house of good omen. The American Place Theater is a triumph of spare, tactful architectural design and welcome proof of the theater's knack for survival even in periods of adversity.

Would that the two one-acters with which the house makes its debut showed similar qualities. Despite fitful laughter, both plays have a Cassandra complex. Their common theme has been constantly drummed in recent seasons—woe is me, woe is you, woe is America....

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