Love, Loss, and What I Wore

By Nora Ephron and Delia Ephron

Based on the book by Ilene Beckerman

Directed by Nancy Hoover

A review by Kate Barry

Entire contents are copyright © 2012 Kate Barry. All rights reserved.

Call me a rebel, but I have never really wanted anything to do with fashion or following trends. If a pair of pants looks good with a certain top, then it’s purely coincidental. My closet is filled with jackets, shoes and other lost items I haven’t worn, much less thought about, for ages. Ilene Beckerman must have had a similar story when she wrote her best-seller, Love Loss and What I Wore. A collection of short stories and essays tied together around a plucky narrator named Gingy, the book was turned into a play by Nora Ephron and Delia Ephron, who you might know from When Harry Met Sally and You’ve Got Mail. Using prompts inspired by the contents of a woman’s closet, these monologues tell stories of women from every background and age. It was a perfect choice for the Eve theatre company’s inaugural production.

Susan McNeese Lynch plays Gingy, the ringleader of this exploration of the universal closet for all women. In her opening monologue, she explains that “these dresses tell a story,” a theme that resonates through the entire evening. Lynch is an energetic delight as the focal point for the rest of the monologues. While the other four ladies on stage were strong with each piece they performed, Lynch kept the production grounded with each installment of Gingy’s six-part story – a story of falling in love, losing virginity and multiple marriages. Lynch provides an intimate and reflective perspective of one woman’s story that is relatable by all.

Julia Leist Adams, Kim Butterweck, Charlotte Hammett Hubrich and Diane Stretz Thurmond provide voices for the other stories in this evening of monologues. Leist provided the best comedic timing with complaints about receiving socks during “My Mother.” Thurmond and Hubrich were sweet and poignant as a lesbian couple in search of their wedding attire in “Brides.” Each actress provided a full spectrum of the female perspective with their carefully crafted monologues. Hubrich shined as a hopelessly infatuated Southern gal in love with her boots and a cowboy who inevitably breaks her heart. Thurmond’s monologue, “Geralyn’s Story,” about a young woman with cancer, was a brave portrayal of a twenty-something facing a deadly disease. The performance of the evening belongs to Butterweck. Her timing and grasp of the language was both honest and imaginative. “The Bathrobe,” a monologue about loss and acceptance, was a tragic yet inspiration performance from Butterweck as she reflects on her father’s second marriage. “I Hate My Purse,” on the other hand, was wildly funny with a great punch line. My favorite moments of the night, and the parts where the cast really shined as a whole, were the “Clothesline” bits. These vignettes ranged in topics from what’s in the closet, bras, and black clothing to things muttered in a dressing room and what mother has said. It was in these moments where each actress bounced one-liners from left to right that the production reached its goal of celebrating what it means to be a woman.

Eve Theater Company has put together a very modest looking performance. With an overhead projection of dresses as a backdrop and stools and podiums, clearly the focus was on the words. As with any newly established theater company, these are humble beginnings. But with a production like this, it’s clear that Eve Theater will continue to have great shows in the future.

Starring: Julia Leist Adams, Kim Butterweck, Charlotte Hammett Hubrich and Diane Stretz Thurmond, Susan McNeese Lynch

Love, Loss, and What I Wore

November 1-18, 2012

Eve Theater Company

At The Henry Clay Theater

604 S. Third St.

Louisville, KY 40202

For tickets call 502-583-8222