Paul Dresher-Rinde Eckert’s ‘Slow Fire’ returns 

On the 20th anniversary of his critically acclaimed electric opera "Slow Fire," composer Paul Dresher writes on his Web site, "We are continually pleased to be approached by people … who considered it a seminal event, and still hope for yet another chance to see it, this time with their partner and/or children. There was something about Bob and Dad that resonated with most of our audiences, who could see in these figures a part of themselves, their fathers, or someone close from their past."

But the piece also has political ramifications, having been created during the Reagan presidency, soon after Vietnam, during American adventures in Central America. In today’s post-9/11 climate, Dresher hopes it will offer audiences a renewed opportunity to reflect on connections between individual choice and action vs. the choices our nation makes.

"Slow Fire," the first part of the "American Trilogy," provides a glimpse into the thoughts of one middle-class American in isolation whose language veers between cliché and soliloquy. Writer-performer Rinde Eckert plays Bob, a man caught between the American dream of success and alienation of contemporary living.

The show premiered in its final form in 1988 in San Francisco; its first one-act version premiered in Los Angeles in 1985. Bay Area music and theatergoers now have the chance to see it again — or the first time. Performances are at 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at Project Artaud Theater, 450 Florida St., San Francisco. Tickets are $16 to $25. Call (415) 392-4400 or visit www.cityboxoffice.com.

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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