BWW Review: The Judson Theatre Company's LOVE, LOSS, AND WHAT I WORE Celebrates Sisterhood and Unity
Based on the book by Ilene Beckerman, the play opened off-Broadway at the Westside Theater in 2009 after a limited run of staged readings to benefit Dress for Success. It closed The Judson Theatre Company's seventh season last week.
The parade of well-known actresses who've performed in LOVE, LOSS, AND WHAT I WORE reads like a who's who and includes Jane Lynch, Carol Kane, Brooke Shields, Rosie O'Donnell, Tyne Daly, Samantha Bee, Parker Posey, and Kristin Wiig. The Judson Theatre's cast too featured some well-known names, including two-time Emmy Award-winner Sally Struthers, who previously starred in the show at The Geffen Playhouse, Kim Coles, who is best known for her role on 'Living Single,' and stage veteran Joyce Reehling. Rounding out the cast were newcomers Ashley Brooke and Olivia Rose Barresi.
The show felt more like a play reading than a play. The actors were positioned behind music stands on a minimal set with the lights up just as it was performed during the original New York production. The only props, prominently displayed on the stage, were Beckerman's drawings of dresses and pantsuits, coats of armor representing the more pivotal moments of her life.
Some of the stories were funny like the climactic I Hate My Purse, performed by a comedic and animated Reehling. Other stories were more poignant, like The Bathrobe, affectingly performed by Coles, and the timely same-sex marriage bit performed by a well-prepared and well-rehearsed Brooke and Barresi.
But what made this production of LOVE, LOSS, and WHAT I WORE so compelling weren't the performances per se, but the camaraderie and sisterhood so genuinely displayed on stage, a testament to director Daniel Haley's collaborative, creative process. Moreover, for those of us who grew up watching Nora Ephron films like 'When Harry Met Sally' and 'Sleepless in Seattle,' this play felt more like a love letter from an old friend or simply a gentle reminder that in the end, we as women share common experiences and need to be kind to one another.
LOVE, LOSS, AND WHAT I WORE closed last weekend. For more information on The Judson Theatre Company, visit: https://judsontheatre.com/.
Photo by Tim Sayer.