by Ryan Kerr
Love, Loss and What I Wore is a 5-hander, cabaret-style reading, with a rotating cast of well and not-as-well-known celebrity women. I saw the second cast which features Lauren Collins, Wendy Crewson, Cynthia Dale, Linda Kash, and Margot Kidder until the third cast begins mid-September.
As the play “wears” on (pun intended) we hear stories about bras, breasts, shoes, boots, jackets, and even a conveniently torn sweat suit which proves advantageous for discreet prison rendezvous. Some connections were drawn – some of them quite tenderly – between what we wear and who we are. Certainly, in this context, who we wear is equally as important!
The atmosphere was also well crafted. In the lobby of the Panasonic Theatre, cute boys in tuxedo-print t-shirts greeted us with silver trays of complimentary Vodka spritzers. Both alcoholic and non-alcoholic slushy daiquiris were sold inside the theatre itself. I’m also pretty sure the row in front of us were celebrating a bachelorette. I knew immediately that I was at the live cabaret equivalent of a “chick flick”.
The play began with the narrator of the evening, played by Margot Kidder, leafing through her closet and recounting tales of the sumptuous circumstances revolving around each ensemble. As she spoke, placards on coat hangers rotated to show which outfit and which character from her past had evoked her memories.
She referenced growing up in New York City, speaking to the audience as if we were well-versed in NYC geography. Sadly, all the Manhattan geography I know I learned from watching episodes of Sex in the City, so the familiarity and precision of these tales were lost on me, especially in more serious moments. (Could there have been more Toronto landmarks and street names used instead? Just a thought…)
The other actors, Wendy, Linda and Lauren animated their stories with a compulsive but admittedly realistic and accessible charm. Even listening to a monologue centering around how angering and upsetting purses are (a highlight) was palatable because of Linda’s sincere commitment to the text.
Cynthia ‘s melodramatic performance lamenting a missing shirt could have been a deadpan, bitter recounting instead, and with equal success. But the interesting quality of Love, Loss and What I Wore was the script’s roomy cut – affording versatility in interpretation without losing meaning. Much like the elasticized waistband of designer leisurewear, the text’s truths prevailed even through a myriad of varied performance styles and personality sizes. I’m sure no two casts have loved knee-high boots, brown velour baseball caps, or silk brocade dresses the same way. But I guarantee it’s been with the same level of fervent detail, intensity and fun!
Love, Loss and What I Wore By Nora Ephron & Delia Ephron
Second Cast: Lauren Collins, Wendy Crewson, Cynthia Dale, Linda Kash, Margot Kidder
Panasonic Theatre, Toronto
Tues-Sat, 8PM; Weds, Sat, 2PM
Added Performances: Sun, September 12, 2PM & 7 PM
No Performances: September 7, 8 and 9
Suggested for ages 11+
Children under the age of 4 will not be admitted.
Rush seats are available the day of the performance, by phone at 416 872-1212 and in person at the box office. Rush seats purchased by phone are subject to service charges. Seats are a limited view. $25 each limit of 2 per person.
100 minutes, with no intermission