Sunday evening, I went to see Nora and Delia Ephron’s Off Broadway production, Love, Loss, and What I Wore based on Ilene Beckerman’s memoir of the same title, featuring cast members, Tracee Ellis Ross, Michele Lee, Debra Monk, Casey Wilson, and Katie Finneran.
We all have stories to tell…as seen by these 5 women who share the stories that are held in the pieces of their wardrobe. The show is compiled of vignettes that will take the audience on an emotional roller coaster for sure. The show opens with Gingy’s memory of her Brownie’s uniform and ultimately follows her for decades on as well as follows Holly, Lynne, Annie, and Geralyn as they look back on their prom dresses, sweaters, boots, skirts, and more.
The transition between vignettes is magnificent as audience members will find themselves laughing hysterically and in just a few short words will be brought to tears sympathizing with the heartache brought upon by death, rape, and divorce. And just like that the audience will also be engrossed in the uplifting looking back of cancer survival and the more humorous memories including the mortifying experience of buying the first bra! The comedic timing is perfect and there really are solid performances all around. The writing is phenomenal, as it is so cleverly thought out and arranged.
Love, Loss, and What I Wore is a delight to watch as every woman can relate to the multiples themes expressed throughout the 80 minutes, especially the infamous topic of beauty…body image…weight. The Dressing Room and The Closet are on the top of my list of favorite comedic scenes, with I Just Want to Say and Fat/Thin coming right behind them. Favorite line…“This doesn’t fit, but I always lose weight in May.” Number one on my list of comedic scenes has to be The Gang Story (performed by Tracee Ellis Ross) though it takes an interesting turn in the end. The nod to the different fashion stages of Madonna was also quite entertaining and will leave you wanting to buy tickets for the rotating cast to see how they best portray these characters. My only dilemma is enjoying the scene, I Hate My Purse as I am a lover of purses and found myself looking from side to side in search of other purse lovers and found myself alone as the crowd laughed and felt my body slumping lower and lower in my seat for just a moment.
The show is directed by Karen Carpenter, who has done a fabulous job. The only set piece in the show is a clothes rack where drawings of the wardrobe pieces are hung throughout the show. The women are in classic all black (clothing provided by Bloomingdales, makeup provided by MAC) and read on stools throughout the entire 80 minutes, making things more intimate and relaxing. Love, Loss, and What I Wore is terrific and you will definitely missing out if you don’t get your tickets to this limited engagement.
Note: The cast seen below will run until January 31st at which a new round of female leads will join. The cast will change once more on March 3rd until its closing on March 28th.
Love, Loss, and What I Wore plays Wednesdays – Sundays at The Westside Theatre on 407 W 43rd Street between 9th & 10th for a running time of 80 minutes with no intermission.
Buy tickets today. A portion of tickets sold will benefit Dress for Success.
Buy the book Love, Loss, & What I Wore here.