This past weekend I was lucky to see a matinée of Love, Loss and What I Wore. The show, a collection of stories centered on clothing that triggers emotions and memories, was funny, sad, and moving. And I am just about as far removed from fashion as a woman can be. Still, I found a lot to relate to, and several scenes moved me to laugh out loud and even stifle tears. The play is at the Westside Theatre at 407 West 43rd Street in Manhattan.
When we arrived, I worried that I’d be bored during the show. The stage had five chairs lined up, and even the upbeat music playing didn’t make me more hopeful. However, once the five actresses took the stage, their energy and clear enjoyment of the material took over. Overall, I really liked the play. I loved hearing the various stories from women of all walks of life. I laughed at the stories of bras and stockings and prom dresses. I gasped (and nodded) at stories of dressing rooms and stains and first times. And I wiped away tears at stories of the perfect wedding dress, a striped bathrobe, caps to cover baldness, and a black bow crumpled in a child’s hand.
The only moments I felt anything close to boredom were during an awkward scene in which the audience is “taught” how to draw a dress. My companion felt that some scenes were disjointed and unstructured, particularly the “gang sweater” scene and some of the main character’s stories involving her sister. I agreed with her to some extent, but because the scenes are short and transition quickly, none of the slumps in the script lasted too long.
Love, Loss and What I Wore has a rotating cast. We were lucky to have five fantastic and diverse actors perform in our matinée. Each woman played multiple characters, and seeing the transformation before my eyes (and ears) was impressive and entertaining. The energetic performance received a standing ovation, and the audience demanded that the actors take a second bow before leaving the stage.
We were able to enjoy the show thanks to the new childcare service in the Playwrights Horizons building: Playtime! Our children played with CPR-certified “artisitters” from Sitter Studio who sang pirate songs, created a treasure chest and pirate ship, and served them healthy snacks. At only $15 per child for the entire show, it’s a great deal that made our kids feel like they had had a special day out in Manhattan as well. Read my full review of Playtime! at Baristakids. And here is another parent’s take on the service at Old School, New School Mom.
Once we dropped off our kids, we went across the street to the West Bank Cafe for a drink, and then we only needed four minutes to walk one block to the show. It felt like a mini-vacation!
The show will continue at the Westside Theatre through March, and tickets can be purchased for groups of ten for $59. If you are a chronically late type, make sure this is not one of those times! Latecomers are not seated – and there is no intermission!