|Rosie Benton, Erik Lochtefeld. P.J. Sosko |
Photo: Carol Rosegg
Although the play initially seems to be an entertaining battle of the sexes, with feminist flavoring and even a touch of "meet cute," Dickey has more on her mind. By its end, Row After Row has revealed itself as a serious, thought-provoking, and occasionally chilling examination of bravery, integrity, manhood, and womanhood that is also very funny.
Periodically the three actors slip into Civil War scenes that exist both as their own vivid moments and as companions to the present-day scenes. The different time periods address similar questions: What is a good life? What is a good person? What is worth dying for? How can a man prove he's a man without a bayonet and a war? How can people survive the day-to-day battles of making a living, having relationships, dealing with sexism, and experiencing major disappointments without being whittled away to nothing? Dickey recognizes that war, horrendous as it is, offers a clarity and sense of purpose lost in the quotidian bullshit of many people's lives. It may be easier in some ways to support the Union than the union.
Row After Row is smartly directed by Daniella Topol, and performers Rosie Benton (Leah), Erik Lochtefeld (Tom), and PJ Sosko (Cal) are all superb. The set and costumes by Clint Ramos and lighting by Tyler Micoleau are effective and attractive.
Row After Row only runs through February 16th, unfortunately, so you'll need to move quickly to get to see this marvelous piece of theatre.
(press ticket, 7th row center)