LOVE, LOSS AND WHAT I WORE at 2nd Story
You are almost out of time to go see LOVE, LOSS AND WHAT I WORE!by Larry O'Brien, Broadwayworld.com
You are almost out of time to go see LOVE, LOSS AND WHAT I WORE by Delia and Nora Ephron, currently running Downstage at 2nd Story Theatre in Warren. Part of this is 2nd Story’s fault, as the show had a limited run to begin with; and partly this is my fault because my computer monitor quit and delayed you faithful correspondent in the swift completion of his appointed rounds. Sigh. Still, you have another weekend.
One caveat: if you are of the male persuasion, you will probably find yourself significantly outnumbered. In the performance I attended, women outnumbered men in the audience ninety-five to five, and three of the men were reviewers. Hey, this might be a good test of how liberated you are!
So, why did I like this piece? First of all, LOVE, LOSS AND WHAT I WORE is staged in an unusual way. Max Ponticelli’s set could hardly be simpler. It looks like a staged reading, as the six actresses who comprise the cast are seated in black director’s chairs with their scripts before them on stands, and a series of picture frames in which various drawings of dresses described would appear. It has the feel of a staged reading, but this is the way the finished product was meant to be presented. The actors know their lines and mange to engage the audience and each other without moving around. I don’t know what effect they were shooting for, but it worked: you ended up focused on the speakers and the lines.
I also liked the performances. The six actors take turns telling their stories, and there was not a sour note among them. There is no plot per se in the piece, but a series of unrelated stories, reminiscences and comments-sometimes involving only one character and sometimes involving interaction between two or three. Particularly excellent were Joanne Fayan as Gingy, the only named character, and Valerie Westgate. Fayan opens the show with a monologue about a dress her mother had worn and if she had not set the proper tone, all may have been lost. No need to fear: whenever she spoke, we listened. She had the saddest line in the show and some of the funniest. Speaking of funny, Valerie Westgate has a rubber face. She got big laughs throughout and the biggest laugh of the show with a comment about Eileen Fisher-she’s a fashion designer. I did not understand the joke because I had never heard of Eileen Fisher, but Westgate made it funny anyway.