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J. Sebastian Fabal’s song cycle opens with a requiem featuring a mother dressed in black and cradling a flag from a military funeral. Suspense is patently not the composer-playwright’s intent. Though he’s purportedly addressing the current war in the Middle East, the scenario seems closer to the Vietnam era, from protesters’ outdated slogans to soldiers’ jungle-camo uniforms to the marginalized roles played by women. But the melodies are capably crafted, if lacking in variety, and the new Towards a Poor Theatre Company deserves credit for the vocal energy it devotes to Fabal’s well-meant but ill-researched observations. –Mary Shen Barnidge a Through 3/4: Thu-Sat 7:30 PM, Sun 3:30 PM, Viaduct Theater, 3111 N. Western, 866-811-4111, $15.