Based on the book by Ilene Beckerman
Directed by Rachel Lambert
A Multitude of Memories
“Love, Loss, and What I Wore” offers an extremely vast array of topics, each triggered by an article of clothing from the characters’ past. It runs the gamut from silly little comments to a heart-wrenching closing monologue of a life and death matter. And in between we hear a script that only fashionistas could write…. the Ephron Sisters and a book by Ilene Beckerman. Using half life-sized colored drawings of different outfits, each of the five characters walks down her memory lane relaying her thoughts, feelings and perspective on the moments spent during the time she wore a particular piece of clothing.
Lambert’s handsome set, mostly brown and tan with four solidly built dressing rooms and partial doors, works well. The feeling of the set matches the tone of the play, devoid of cheap frills and not elegant high fashion.
The script for “Love, Loss and What I Wore” focuses more on “Loss” and “What I Wore” while more genuine “Love” could have given the play a stronger heartbeat. The appealing cast (Barbara Figgins, Lydia Berger Gray, and Hayley Rice), however, is well suited and keep things lively. Lindsey Pearlman showed a subtle comedic talent that makes me anxious to see more of her comedy in future plays. Finally, Danielle Davis carries the heavy dramatic load in the closing scene with yeoman style.
“Love…” was the 2010 Drama Desk Award winner for Unique Theatrical Experience and unique, it is. Rather than a dialogue with each other, most of the characters speak directly to the audience and tell their individual stories. These range from days as a Brownie, a favorite pair of boots, breaking up with a love, a crushing crime, and much much more. It is an ambitious endeavor. In one scene we hear four women whining about the shortcomings of their bodies as they shop for clothes; and in another, a lengthy description of the contents of various purses, with the associated symbolism to their owners.
While “Love…” may be billed a comedy and certainly contains some clever humor, the jolts of the most serious topics jump out and can seem awkward…at times arriving a little too quickly. In a theater setting it is hard to imagine most men wanting to hear minutia of fashion, or the very serious female and intimate topics of “Love…”, but maybe some husbands would.
Those who enjoy giving much thought to fashion, and who buy into the modern-day trend that no subject is taboo for public discussion will delight in “Love…”Others may ask why should I care? Is the humor enough to carry the show? See it as a fun night out with the girls with good laughs, but expect some reality moments.
Reviewed March 28, 2015
Performances: Open Run, March 28-April 25, 2015
First Folio Theater, Mayslake Peabody Estate, 31st Street & Route #83, Oak Brook, IL 60523
Tickets: Adults $29-Wed, Thur…. $39 Fri, Sat, Sun.
Students & Seniors $25-Wed, Thur…$35 Fri. Sat, Sun.
Contact (630) 986-8067; or http://www.Firstfolio.org
Parking is Free.