Boringly staged and moderately amusing, Love, Loss, and What I Wore is a 95 minute (no intermission) staged reading based on the bestselling book of the same name by Ilene Beckerman.
With additional stories collected by sisters Nora and Delia Ephron, five actresses dressed in black are each perched on high stools behind a music stand. Together they present twenty-eight intimate stories, or story fragments, all centered on the concept of how clothing can be imbued with reminiscences of significant times and memorable people in our lives. Of course the items of clothing are merely the spark for the bigger themes, such as the ebb and flow of love, family relationships and death.
The main character we follow is Gingy, played by Carol Kane, whose stories form the backbone of the evening, all illustrated by simple sketches of various dresses. The items of clothing that trigger each of their memories shifts from bras, prom dresses and bridal gowns to gang sweaters and an irreplaceable shirt also boots, shoes and bags.
While the performances are all good, Kane just does the same “cutesy” shtick she’s been doing for years. Rita Wilson rates special mention for her description of a swanky dinner party marred by a humiliating accident that features an epic shriek.
But the various stories aren’t all that riveting and I got a serious crick in my neck from sitting in one of the fixed row of temporary seats towards the front – very painful!
Normally I’d say “just read the book” but as there are several additional stories collected and added by the two Ephrons to round out this staged reading, the theatrical experience is unique.
The cast is due to change every four weeks, and the current cast is Carol Kane, Rita Wilson, Natasha Lyonne, Tracee Ellis Ross and Caroline Aaron under Jenny Sullivan”™s direction. The first four also performed the show off-Broadway, where it is still running. The performers for June 8th – July 4th are yet to be announced.
Love, Loss, and What I Wore is playing at the Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater at the Geffen Playhouse
10866 Le Conte Ave., Westwood.
Runs until July 4th 2010.
Tue.-Fri, 8 p.m.;
Sat., 3 and 8 p.m.;
Sun., 2 and 7 p.m.
Tickets are $80.50, including booking charges (!) or call the box office on (310) 208-5454
Review by Pauline Adamek