Sunday, September 20, 2015

Wetumpka Depot: "Love. Loss, and What I Wore"

Love, Loss, and What I Wore, the Nora and Delia Ephron stage adaptation of Ilene Beckerman's best selling book, is playing at the Wetumpka Depot with a different all-women's cast on each of its three weekend run. So, though Cast #1's turn has ended, there's still time to see other groups of River Region and beyond actresses take to the boards in this charming, funny, poignant, and occasionally irreverent take on women's obsession with clothes and the memories they associate about life and death, and relationships of all sorts.

Staged as readings [the six member cast are lined up on high stools with scripts on lecterns in front of them, and with several dresses displayed behind them], director Kim Mason takes audiences on an uninterrupted 90-minute ride into the hearts and minds of an eclectic ensemble as they dissect siblings, mothers, and grandmothers, current and ex-husbands, changes of fashion, and signal moments of growing up and getting older -- all through the lens of their collective association with clothes.

Each of the women here -- Elizabeth Bowles, Sharon DeMuth, Kristy Meanor, Katie Svela-Crews, Lizzy Woodall, Susan Woody -- has moments that bring her individual personality to the fore, but it is their combined sense of comradeship in shared experiences that provides a comfort level that connects actor and audience. -- And, they are all good storytellers.

Whether the subject is prom dresses or wedding gowns or bras, boots or shoes or bathrobes, sibling rivalries or motherly advice, philandering husbands or their own sexual dalliances, breast cancer or rape or the untimely death of a family member, these women and their stories effortlessly keep our attention.

And oh, by the way, this isn't merely a play for women; the men in the house on Saturday night "got it": the serious and lighthearted moments alike; "I have nothing to wear" from a closet full of clothes, the "Does this make me look fat?" refrain, and the never-ending battle of finding anything in a cluttered purse, resonate with men and woman alike.

Lots of laughs, a few tears, and an overall confident cast make Love, Loss, and What I Wore a delight.