Thoughts & Musings

Love, Loss & What I Wore

Lynne Collinson directs six glamorous, feisty and remarkably candid women in [this] moving, marvelous production of "Love, Loss and What I Wore."

by Christopher Verleger, EDGE
  • 26th February 201626/02/16
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The title alone says it all, but it’s so much more than that.

Lynne Collinson directs six glamorous, feisty and remarkably candid women — Joanne Fayan, Tanya Anderson, Joan Batting, Pam Faulkner, Laura Sorensen and Valerie Westgate — in 2nd Story Theatre’s moving, marvelous production of “Love, Loss and What I Wore.”

Written by Nora and Delia Ephron and based on Ilene Beckerman’s memoir, “What I Wore” examines the momentous occasions of a woman’s life through the clothes she wears. Such a premise may sound trite or trivial, but this is hardly a resentful rumination of tacky prom dresses or lavish wedding gowns, but rather an emotional retelling of random albeit significant life events and how a specific scarf, sweater or pair of shoes helps shape her memory of that incident or milestone.

All six actresses appear chicly dressed in black and take their seats. Fayan introduces herself as Gingy and begins to share the details of her life story, touching upon her mother’s death, her father’s remarriage, her own marriages (three in total and one to a much older man, her sociology professor) and the death of one of her six children. Each vignette is accompanied by simple yet colorful drawings of outfits, ranging from what she wore on the first day of school to her wedding attire.

The five other women on stage relay their own personal stories, some of which are serious or sad, included among others that are comical yet ring inarguably true. A rape victim, a cancer survivor and a lesbian on her wedding day with less-than-understanding future in-laws are more sober examples, inserted between humorous rants that reference the color black as a wardrobe staple, the undeniable influence of Madonna’s many looks, and having to endure every disapproving mother’s rhetorical question, “You’re wearing that?”

While there are plenty of memorable moments throughout the show — most of which women can presumably relate to — the most unforgettable, terribly clever speech is delivered by Pam Faulkner, hilariously describing the trials and tribulations of a woman’s relationship with that necessarily evil better known as her purse.

The intimate setting of 2nd Story Theatre’s Downstage is an asset to this sharp, stylish production, where the audience members will leave the theater feeling as though they have made six new friends.

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