- Millicent Wright in 'Love, Loss and What I Wore' at the Phoenix Theatre.
Sisters Nora and Delia Ephron's Love, Loss and What I Wore is a rich collection of monologues - a sort of tapestry woven out of the things we've kept in our closets over the years.
The production is simple: five women in black behind five music stands casually pull on and off clothing as they step in and out of a variety of characters. Gayle Steigerwald, as Gingy, narrates her lifetime-in-clothing, suggesting a correspondence between one's maturity and one's hemlines. Steigerwald commands the intimate atmosphere with a soft and thoughtful delivery.
Each actress has her own stylish storytelling style, and the cast together creates beautiful and surprising moments. Particularly moving is Sara Reimen's breast cancer monologue; a lacy C-cup bra awaits her character's reconstructed bosom. A touching and surprising wedding dress story transcends tradition. These poignant moments show how clothing can come to symbolize life-changing events.
But the show is tedious and haphazard at times, and tends to treat more essential issues in a superficial way. The play tends to lose a sense of gravity as its piles of discarded apparel mount.