'Row After Row' review: Nicely done

The feisty Women's Project Theater opens its 36th

The feisty Women's Project Theater opens its 36th season with Jessica Dickey's dark comedy, "Row After Row," about Civil War re-enactors. Pictured, from left: cast members Rosie Benton, Erik Lochtefeld and P.J. Sosko. Photo Credit: Bruce Cohen

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The feisty Women's Project begins its season with a very slight character study dressed up in historical drag. For unexplained reasons, Jessica Dickey, who writes lean and rich dialogue, has chosen to explore the world of re-enactors -- people who get together on Civil War battlefields to recreate the bloody conflicts between the North and the South.

We learn, perhaps not surprisingly, that this is basically a guy thing. In "Row After Row," a woman (Rosie Benton), new to the town, has crashed the ritual without proper respect for the closely held intricacies of authenticity. She even dares to end up at the bar, a cozy cave of stone and wood chips, where a timid but honorable history teacher (Erik Lochtefeld) and a proud, ostensibly macho stickler (PJ Sosko) are hardly welcoming.

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Under Daniella Topol's sensitive direction, the three reveal a few surprises about themselves and occasionally flash back into Civil War scenes. Peace does not break out, but assume that romance might.

WHAT "Row After Row"

WHERE New York City Center Stage II, 131 W. 55th St.

INFO $60-$75; 212-765- 1706; nycitycenter.org.

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BOTTOM LINE Slight character study, nicely done.

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