Theatre Mirror Reviews - "LOVE, LOSS AND WHAT I WORE"

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Reviews of Current Productions

note: entire contents copyright 2016 by Tony Annicone


Reviewed by Tony Annicone

Portsmouth Community Theater's current show is "Love, Loss and What I Wore" by Nora and Delia Ephran. Based on the best selling book by Ilene Beckerman, this show is a series of monologues and is an ensemble piece about ensemble pieces, covering all the important subjects: mothers, prom dresses, mothers, buying bras, mothers, purses, and yes, mothers. It also sheds some light on women's passion for wearing black and for buying shoes. It includes women's relationships and wardrobes and at times using the women's wardrobe as a time capsule of a women's life. It shows how they evolve throughout the two act 28 scene show.

It's funny and powerful, serious and sweet, rueful and ruthless. A unique and universal chronicle of women's wiles, worries, insecurities and loves. Director Cynthia Killavey does double duty in this show, playing one of the women in it. She blends the comic and serious moments together splendidly, creating a show that will leave you laughing out loud and being able to relate to it at the same time.

She gives each actress their moment to shine in this show. The character of Gingy is played excellently by Patricia Culver, weaves her life story among the other tales, describing her three marriages, "motherhood and the death of a child", each turning point marked by a particular article of clothing. Her life is represented beginning with a brownie uniform and extending through her full life. Denise Betz who is also the stage manager, plays Nora who has a very hilarious monologue about the purse. The detested, disorganized purse is explained by her as she tells about a friend buying a Kelly Bag for $5600 while she only spent $26 on her functional blue and green purse that goes with anything and never goes out of fashion.

The other four women play multiple roles and do an fantastic job with their monologues and interactions with each other. The other talented actresses shine in their roles. They are Tanya Kieron, who talks about wearing high heels then wearing flats with toe cleavage, Maria Schmidt, who has a poignant monologue about breast cancer, Nancy Pinto and Cynthia who have comic lines as the mothers. One of Nancy's funny moments concerns her character being overweight and Cynthia's about being underweight. Both of them eventually dump their husbands. Some of the topics include wardrobe malfunctions, puberty's relationship with personal wardrobe, first date outfits, lucky underwear, prom dresses, favorite boots, irreplaceable shirts, training bras in dressing rooms.

So for a look at a contemporary play that will resonate and entertain you, be sure to catch "Love, Loss and What I Wore" at St. Lucy's Parish Hall, before time runs out.

Love, Loss and What I Wore (20 to 22 May)
Portsmouth Community Theater, St. Lucy Parish Center, 909 West Main Street, Middletown, RI
1(401)824-6885 or

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide