Women’s relationships and attire—and at times the interaction of the two—use the female wardrobe as a time capsule of a woman’s life in the Chattanooga Theatre Centre’s upcoming benefit performance of the comedy, “Love, Loss and What I Wore,” on Saturday, August 10. The show is back by popular demand after a capacity audience was wowed by the show in March.
An Off-Broadway hit by celebrated writers Nora and Delia Ephron, the one-night-only performance will bring to the stage five prominent members of the community. Appearing in the narrator role of Gingy, a wise woman who reminisces about what she wore at milestones in her life, is Alice Lupton Smith, a community leader and veteran of the CTC stage. Joining her are Lakweshia Ewing, Becki Jordan, Alison Lebovitz, and Kristina Montague.
The show, presented as a staged reading, consists of 28 interwoven stories that seek to illuminate the female identity. Through a series of humorous and often poignant monologues, the actresses share their characters’ stories, exploring themes of relationships, oppression, loss of loved ones, divorce, sexuality (particularly relevant in the Me Too era), and the fullness of life through the metaphor of the characters’ love/hate relationship with clothes.
The actresses each play a variety of characters, transitioning between ages, accents, and attitudes. With monologues about first-date outfits, lucky underwear, prom dresses, buying bras, favorite boots, wedding dresses, miniskirts, the little black dress, high heels, the disorganized purse, and nightmare experiences in the dressing room, the recollections prompt the women’s memories about their mothers, boyfriends, husbands, ex-husbands, sisters, children, and grandchildren.
Among the stories, notable tales revolve around the influence of Madonna (“any woman under 40 who says she’s never dressed as Madonna is either lying or Amish”) and mothers’ taste in clothes (“I don’t understand, you could look so good if you tried”). Other stories include recollections about the dress purchased for the date with a guy who subsequently married someone else, the foibles of spandex bras that result in a look known as the monoboob, and the choice of adorning a newly reconstructed breast with a tattoo.
First produced in 2009, the play is the work of sisters Nora Ephron (“Sleepless in Seattle,” “When Harry Met Sally”) and Delia Ephron (“You’ve Got Mail,” “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants”), based on the best-selling book by Ilene Beckerman. Nora Ephron wrote the introduction to Beckerman’s 1995 book, which she immediately thought had dramatic possibilities. Once she decided to adapt it into a play, she and her sister emailed 100 women for stories. The play has been produced frequently with celebrities in the roles.
The evening, a fundraiser for the theatre, will include an elaborate spread of hors d’oeuvres and dessert bites. The reception begins at 7 p.m. and the performance begins at 8 p.m. The show is rated R for mature language and themes.
Tickets are $50 and are available at the Theatre Centre box office at (423) 267-8534 or online at TheatreCentre.com.
Posted July 15, 2019