The re-creation of the Vietnam combat experience in John DiFusco’s Tracers reveals no love of war but an immeasurable compassion for the warriors who, willingly or not, fought in it. This Mary-Arrchie production, which opened last July to critical praise, has lost none of its intensity–indeed, its new quarters in the Firehouse allow the action to be brought closer to the audience, with screaming infantrymen charging up the aisles, rifles only inches from stunned spectators (and the voice of a drill instructor booming godlike from on high). Though a few cast replacements are upcoming–“fuckin’ new guys,” in soldiers’ parlance–the Tracers I saw continues to display teamwork so vivid and convincing that one sympathizes with the actors who must endure this physically and mentally grueling ordeal four times a week. The Firehouse, 1625 N. Damen, 871-0442. Through October 15: Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 PM; Sundays 7 PM. $15.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Daniel Guidara.