BWW Reviews: LOVE, LOSS AND WHAT I WORE - More Than Just a Theatrical Chick Flick
LOVE, LOSS AND WHAT I WORE, now playing at Aux Dog Theatre, deals with far more meaningful topics than the title may suggest. Written by Nora Ephron (WHEN HARRY MET SALLY, SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE...) and sister, Delia Ephron, this is definitely a theatrical experience by, for and about, women.
Based on a book of the same name by Ilene Beckerman, published in 1995, the production is made up of a collage of stories, narrated by six actresses of different ages, representing different backgrounds and ethnicities. Clothing is the common denominator and the vehicle used to explore relationships and significant experiences throughout life, from childhood through adolescence and some of the most pivotal moments in adulthood.
Previous productions have mostly been staged with the women sitting on stools, narrating their stories from music stands - a kind of VAGINA MONOLOGUES model. But the show now running at Aux Dog Theatre is completely different. Director, Joann Danella, has cleverly avoided this absence of physical movement, by coming up with more of a play format. The characters engage and interact with each other, enter and leave the stage and act out their stories, instead of reading the words. The result is much more dynamic and engaging.
The subject matter is rich and far ranging, from mother/daughter relationship issues, to high heels, bras, rape, love, marriage and divorce. Since this is a kind of scrapbook, none of these issues can be explored at a very deep level, but the cameos that are presented definitely inspire further thought and hopefully, post-performance conversation.
The actresses involved in this production, Heather Donovan, Catherine Hughes, Celina Igwe, Ninette Mordaunt, Kelle Senyé and Lori Stewart, are all excellent, telling stories that are funny, sardonic, poignant and sad, with equal conviction. Humor definitely prevails, but the audience response is effortlessly transformed from hearty laughter to pin-drop silence, a result that is not always easy to achieve.
Dressed in the wardrobe staple of all-black ("Can't we just stop pretending that anything is ever going to be the new black?") the stories are frequently illustrated by sketches, set on an easel on one side of the stage, depicting the dress featured in a particular story
The audience included women both young and old, all of whom could clearly relate to the subject matter on stage, which proves that LOVE, LOSS AND WHAT I WORE is truly inter-generational. And, since the show has so far been produced on six continents and in more than eight countries, it obviously appeals to all women, regardless of nationality or background. All in all, a thoroughly entertaining evening, well worth seeing, but, for maximum enjoyment, you may want to leave your boyfriend/husband at home and go with a girlfriend.
LOVE, LOSS AND WHAT I WORE is playing at Aux Dog Theatre in Nob Hill, through May 5th. Details at www.auxdog.com.
Photo courtesy of VJL
From This Author Anya Sebastian