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Love, Loss and What I Wore

LOVE, LOSS, and WHAT I WORE

By Nora & Delia Ephron, adapted by Ilene Beckerman

At Cyrano’s Theatre Company
Jan 13-Feb 5th, 2012

 

By Robert Pond

Love, Loss, and What I Wore is a series of monologues and a few ensemble pieces, memories by five ladies shrouded by the time lines of their wardrobe.   It is more a review than a play with clothes as the orchestration.  It’s not great theatre but LLWW is important theatre.  Like its distant relative, The Vagina Monologues, the platform reading,Love, Loss and What I Wore, reflects on some of the mysteries of womankind.

The stage adaptation of Love, Loss, and What I Wore was developed by sisters Nora and Delia Ephron from the 1995 autobiographical book written and illustrated by Ilene Beckerman.   Nora Ephron is most known for bringing us pleasant cinematic visits with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan (Sleepless in Seattle and You Got Mail).   Love, Loss and What I Wore began in the suburbs in 2008, then made its way to Off-Broadway where it still plays.  There’s a national tour and it is being produced overseas.  It will be produced forever.  There are waves of known and near-known actresses hungry to perform in LLWW because of the plays’ significance.   It has made a place for itself in the efforts that the world pays attention to the ladies’ view of their lives from their home court, the clothes closet.

What makes the production at Cyrano’s so special is that it’s a chance to see some of Anchorage’s A-list actors at their best.  The monologues were good but the ensemble work brought out the evening’s better moments.  There were humorous reflections on suffering experiences with bras and there was the sad farewell to miniskirts after a tragic rape.

Scarlet Kittylee Boudreaux performs so well in the pivotal role of Gingy who frames the evening with her life story.  Gingy’s trek through life includes three marriages, mothering, and the loss of a child, yet Scarlet prunes the humor from her closet.   Laure MacConnell is a gifted actress of impressive range.   Her Wagnerian rant on purses is show stopping.   Krista Schwarting and Vivian Melde have a priceless performance sketch of a lesbian relationship and wedding.   Annia Wyndham is always so complete in her work.  In her acting, there’s never a moment out of place.  Indeed, it was she that established the energy and rhythm of the evening that never left the performance.  It needs to be mentioned that Audrey Weltman Kelly’s work as ‘Clothesline Couture’ was every bit a fitting performance.

As impressive as the actors’ performances were, Linda Benson’s direction was right on.  Staging a reading, where the text is so important, can be illusive in a presentation that is nonetheless visual.  It’s between the imagination of radio drama and the staged play.  Ms Benson made the best of both in having enough choreography and visual settings to keep the stage alive and flowing.  It’s clear that Benson’s directorial design was smart and created with some care.

Last night’s audience made it clear that it was a participant in this theatre experience as the audience of mostly women enthusiastically and vocally identified with Love, Loss, and What I Wore throughout the performance. For those of us of the other gender, we have often been perplexed, at home, when looking at a woman’s closet full with ‘I haven’t a thing to wear’.  Clearly, we didn’t get it.

 

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