BWW Reviews: LOVE, LOSS, AND WHAT I WORE at Cookeville Performing Arts Center
Cookeville Performing Arts Center is currently showing Love, Loss and What I Wore as part of their Backstage Series. An intimate showing of an intimate show, the pairing goes well together. Love, Loss, and What I Wore, by Nora and Delia Ephron and based on the book by Ilene Beckerman, explores the emotional attachment that women make with clothing in their lives.
"Strange," you say. I can hear you. But don't you remember the dress you wore to your wedding? Or the perfect jeans you wore until they had more holes in them than you care to admit? Or that pair of shoes that everyone threatened to throw out, but you clung to until they were impossible to wear any longer?
Most of us can find some attachment to an article of clothing, or an accessory that brings back memories. Some are good memories. Some are bad. But they are a part of us and a part of our lives. That is what the entirety of Love, Loss, and What I Wore is about.
With direction by Kathleen Gilpatrick and a small cast of seven women, this show explores many different stories of many different women. Staging is simple. Only a clothing rack, holding the pictures of the outfits each woman speaks about, and some chairs adorn the stage. Costuming is also simple, mostly black attire. The simplicity of the set and costuming put all the emphasis on the actresses and their stories.
Gingy, the lead character of the show, was played by Tracy Clark. Clark begins the show and filters in and out between the other stories. Where other actresses change characters many times throughout the show, Clark never changes from the loveable role of Gingy. In a way, she is the glue that holds the story together. Clark gives the audience a steady touch point in the show that doesn't have much of a plotline, but instead is a collection of stories told by individuals.
Other standouts in the cast include Emily Woods and ChArlene Dickinson. Woods commands every role so well that you have no doubts as to what the character is thinking or feeling. She makes each role so individual that there's little doubt what each character is a different person with a different story, even before the story has been told. Dickinson also has a few shining moments throughout the show, especially when she becomes a character who was diagnosed with and triumphed over cancer.
I can guess that most men may not understand the connection that women make when it comes to clothing and their memories, but I can promise you that any of them will see the humor of the show. And it might even give them a tiny bit of insight into the women in their lives. As for the women, almost all of them will laugh, cry, and reminisce of their own clothing related memories.
You can catch Love, Loss, and What I Wore on stage at Cookeville Performing Arts Center through February 1st. Tickets can be purchased by calling the box office at 931-528-1313. All proceeds from this production go to support Genesis House, a women's shelter, in Cookeville.