Play explores ‘Love, Loss and What I Wore’
If you’re looking for a great girls’ night out, this could be it. For four weeks only, starting Feb. 25, “Love, Loss, and What I Wore” will be at Horton Plaza’s Lyceum Theatre.
This intimate collection of 28 funny and touching stories-turned-into-a-play by the late, great writer/director Nora Ephron (best-known for rom-com movie mega-hits like “When Harry Met Sally” and “Sleepless in Seattle”) and her equally comedic writer/sister, Delia, has been wowing audiences from New York to Buenos Aires, Sydney, Johannesburg and Manila since 2009.
Based on the slim 1995 bestseller by Ilene Beckerman, the show is a set of monologues that first came to life in 2008 at a small playhouse in the Hamptons.
Six months later, it went on to a series of readings off-off Broadway, as a benefit for Dress For Success, a charitable organization that helps underprivileged women get into the work force by supplying them with the right clothes to wear.
From there, it was just a short step to off-Broadway’s Westside Theatre, where it ran, with a rotating cast, for the next two-and-a-half years, winning several awards, and then taking off on a national tour.
Beckerman’s charmingly illustrated mini-memoir pulled her life stories out of her closet; the perky drawings of the clothes she remembered wearing, from Brownie uniform to mother-of-the-bride dress, were an inspired touch. The book was originally meant for her family of five grown children, to let them see something of who she was before she was their mom.
A friend of a friend saw it, and decided to publish it; female readers around the country took it to heart, and passed it along to their friends.
One of the readers was Nora Ephron, who bought several copies and spoke to her sister about turning it into a play. They contacted 100 or so of their BFFs and collected more wardrobe memories to plump up the show. They even added a monologue adapted from Nora’s little book about aging, “I Feel Bad About My Neck.”
From the earliest readings (since the Ephron sisters were very well connected), the play’s cast of five has featured some of the top names in show biz, like Rosie O’Donnell, Tyne Daly, Marlo Thomas and Brooke Shields.
The San Diego production includes five lesser-known, local actresses, but is sure to be a crowd-pleaser all the same.
It’s not about the performers, really, or even the clothes; it’s about the experiences they bring back to mind, bits of story that women all over the world can identify with.
IF YOU GO: “Love, Loss, and What I Wore” runs Wednesday-Sunday Feb. 25-March 22 at Lyceum Theatre, 79 Horton Plaza, San Diego. Tickets $45-$65 at (619) 544-1000. playhouseinfo.com