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Presented and performed by the Talking Band. Written by Ben Maddow in collaboration with a company. Directed by Paul Zimet. The political message is direct and undiluted in "Soft Target," which contends that nuclear weapons are the greatest danger now facing our planet. The Talking Band doesn't take on the entire history of nuclear power, as Mabou Mines did in "Dead End Kids." But their warning extends from intercontinental missiles to defense plants without proper safety precautions. And they back up their stance with graphic pictorial evidence, some of it stemming from the nuclear destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Much of "Soft Targets" is theatrically conventional, centering on the unlikely love affair of a physician and a defense-plant laborer. This, material written and acted in ordinary and sometimes pedestrian ways, is avant-gardized by the thoroughly unconventional direction of Paul Zimet.

Still, the Talking Band is certainly thinking about the big issues of our day , and their production has some powerful visual ideas. One hopes their future work will preserve these qualities while adding some needed toughness of technique in the writing and performing de partments.

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