On June 23, 2011, I attended the Off-Broadway hit show "Love, Loss, and What I Wore" written by Nora Ephron and Delia Ephron and directed by Karen Carpenter at The Westside Theatre in NYC. "Love, Loss, and What I Wore" uses clothing, accessories, and the memories they trigger to tell funny and poignant stories that women (and men) can relate to.
To help bring this show to life is a rotating cast of 5 talented, diverse, and dynamic female performers. The cast I saw consisted of brilliantly hilarious Julie Halston, Ashley Austin Morris, Emily Bergl, Emme, and Susan Sullivan, who will be with the production through July 3. Each of these women bring their own unique style and talent to the multiple roles they play. The bond and chemistry these 5 women seem to have formed really comes across as they play very well off of each other while paying close attention to whomever is speaking.
Julie is perfectly suited for a show like this because she brings her outrageously gifted comedic talent along with her dead on impressions which enhances the numerous characters she plays. Ashley also brings her comedic talent to the various roles she plays. Ashley has a unique style in the way she delivers a line that made each character fresh and funny. Emily commands the stage in a slightly different way. The characters she plays display a wide range of emotions from humor to heartbreak which Emily brilliantly bestowed upon the audience. While Emily can show us this range in her acting, I think more of what she says comes across in her facial expressions or particular look in her eyes she so cleverly gives. When Emme spoke, the audience listened as she effortlessly uses her booming personality, energy and realism to bring the various roles she plays to life. As the matriarch of the cast, Susan brings her life experience to the stage as she takes the audience on this journey of her character's life through the use of pictures and flashbacks.
One of the stories I particularly related to was the one where Ashley's character talked about a favorite shirt she had and how one day it was gone. To this day, I still miss my favorite childhood shirt which was a light blue t-shirt with the picture of a boy in baseball uniform and red baseball cap, with his bat in one hand and his glove in another. It was the most comfortable shirt I owned and I would wear it all the time. I always felt good about myself in that shirt and for some reason I felt safe in it. I loved that shirt so much and then one day I grew out of it. I was very sad that I could no longer wear this shirt, but I knew I would never forget it. It just amazes me what an impression that piece of clothing made on me. That is what "Love, Loss, and What I Wore" successfully demonstrates...just how powerful one item of clothing has on our life and the memories attached to it.
I have seen this show a few times now and while the book of "Love, Loss, and What I Wore" can stand on it's own, I really think it's the rotating cast and their chemistry that help continue to bring this show to life over and over again. If you want to see a really strong cast, then check out Julie, Ashley, Emily, Emme, and Susan in "Love, Loss, and What I Wore" through July 3 at The Westside Theatre in NYC (407 West 43rd Street, between 9th & 10th Avenue). Click here for tickets!