A disclaimer in Delia Ephron’s words: “This [play] isn’t about fashion — it’s about the emotions.”
The originator of “chick flicks,” Nora Ephron, with her sister Delia, present a new work, which is a light-hearted testimony to womanhood, as well as an insightful explanation for the clueless man.
“Love, Loss, and What I Wore” is a fusion of “Sex in the City,” lunch hour at the office and unabashed stand-up comedy. Performed in the cozy Westside Theatre and staged with surprisingly appropriate simplicity, the play features a rotating all-star cast of five women. Cycling through this cast are Rosie O’Donnell, Kristen Chenoweth, Fran Drescher, Tyne Daily and many more.
The play opens with the cast neatly seated in chairs at the edge of the stage. Clad sharply in black, the women begin to narrate intimate vignettes, rife with dry humor and wit, that center around the most memorable outfits and fashion experiences of their lives.
It is immediately clear that their stories are far from superficial, as vivid descriptions of clothing segue into personal emotional accounts. These real accounts, a result of vast collaboration, appeal to facets of every audience member’s experience; even the men in the audience were laughing out of their seats. Ranging from a traumatic, albeit productive, bra-fitting, to people who wear black, to a bitter assault on purses and a bathrobe’s symbolism in the face of chemotherapy, the cast weaves tales that are only prefaced by clothing. The Ephrons, as well as Ilene Beckerman, author of the 1995 memoir by the same name, seem to have latched onto a curious aspect of human nature.
“When you ask people about their clothes, what they do is tell you about their lives,” said Delia Ephron. “Someone will say, ‘My husband was wearing a Grateful Dead T-shirt when he told me he didn’t want to be married anymore.’ For some reason, that’s what they remember.” The play conveys this concept by prompting audiences to reflect upon their most memorable pieces of attire and, subsequently, compelling them to recall the most memorable people and experiences of their lives.
While short of ground-breaking, the show makes for an amazing night out with those closest to you. All audience members will be grateful to realize that the problems they face are universal and confused men in particular may finally gain a better understanding of the women in their lives. One could even argue that this play helps to bridge the age-old gender gap. A refreshing, intimate, and laid-back reflection on life; “Love, Loss, and What I Wore” will leave you laughing, uplifted and, most importantly, chatty.
Samson Mobashar can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.