Whether it’s finding the shirt that’s the perfect cut or just getting pants that don’t make your butt look weird, shopping for flattering clothing can be a mighty struggle at times.
If you’ve ever fought with a salesperson or just been unable to admit you went up a cup size, you might want to check out Love, Loss, and What I Wore performed tonight at the UWFox Theatre in Menasha.
The play is adapted from the book of the same name by Ilene Beckerman. Rom Com writer and director Nora Ephron (Silkwoood, Sleepless in Seattle, When Harry Meet Sally) teamed up with her writer-producer sister Delia Ephron (You’ve Got Mail, Bewitched) to bring it to stage.
I saw the play last night in no small part because my mother, Dee Savides, is in it. Going in, she told me that it had an all-female cast talking about their lives and their clothes, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect.
In the end, it’s a funny, revealing, and sometimes very sad series of vignettes where women open up about body issues, bodily functions, boys, love, divorce, and even strays into serious territory with stories about violence against women and breast cancer.
It’s a great play. Seeing so many woman onstage at once is thrilling, and even when you don’t identify with the particular story, they open up about their insecurities in very funny, personable ways.
It’s got plenty for guys to enjoy as well. At least, the two male individuals that were in my group also enjoyed it. Feeling insecure and hating your body are pretty much universal unless you’re like a model or something. One of my male cohorts even said he enjoyed it because it felt like listening to women, “sharing secrets.”
As for the cast, it’s hard to pick favorites when there’s so much to love. Our main-ish character is named Gingy–a many times divorced woman who describes her life, heartache, and love through drawings of outfits she worse at the time. Laurie Friedman Fannin played the role admirably (in a stylish black shawl-poncho thing which she described as hiding “a multitude of sins” on her arms).
But honestly, the number of good performances is too varied to list with a cast of around 20 women. Here’s a few that stuck out. Kathleen Westbrook was great as a woman talking about losing her favorite shirt as her relationship disintegrated and Jennifer Neary talked about juggling fashion choices while trying to beat cancer.
Kaitlynne Trinkner (who I saw this summer in UWFox’s staging of SUDS The Rocking 60’s Musical Soap Opera!) nearly made me cry with a ultimately sad piece about boots and unwanted advances from men. Then Kristin Wegner and Jehy Thompson did make me cry with parallel stories about shopping for wedding dresses when you just don’t look good in white.
While I might be a bit biased in this next appraisal, my momma Dee Savides is fantastic in a very strange and surprising scene about a woman trying to make her marriage work though her husband is in prison. Near the end, Judy Dolnick had an excellent bit about the trouble with buying purses you just can’t keep clean.
Honestly, I could go on forever with many more monologues about terrible boyfriends, problems with being too fat or too thin, and why everyone looks so darn good in the color black.
Speaking of which, I couldn’t possibly leave this review without mentioning my favorite item of clothing. Bought on Black Friday when my mother insisted I got out of bed, it’s a black, faux-leather jacket which I now wear in all seasons because my jacket doesn’t obey your rules, man.
Whether you love/hate yours clothes or are just looking to hear stories from some loveable women, I definitely recommend Love, Loss, and What I Wore. Don’t feel shy about cutting off the tags, it’s one you definitely won’t need to return
Love, Loss, and What I Wore will have its final show tonight at 7pm at the UWFox Theatre in Menasha. Click here for more information.
What Do You Think?
What have your favorite clothes been and what do they mean to you? Leave a comment below!