CLAYTON A play about women and their wardrobes could wear out the funny bones of audience members when its staged this month by Little Theatre of Watertown.
Daniel J. Allington directs the cast of five females in Love, Loss and What I Wore Aug. 23, 24 and 25 on the stage of Clayton Opera House. The play was written by Nora Ephron and her sister, Delia Ephron. Its based on the 1995 memoir/book by Ilene Beckerman.
Nora Ephron died in June. Mr. Allington, a longtime fan of Ms. Ephrons writing, said he read about her death at the age of 71 from leukemia following the second night of auditions for the play.
I think she writes for the everyman, he said. All of her characters are relatable and they are somebody you want to be or they involve something that has happened to you.
Ms. Ephron, the Associated Press noted, was among the most quotable and influential writers of her generation. She wrote and directed such favorites as Julie & Julia and Sleepless in Seattle, and her books included the novel Heartburn, a knockout roman a clef about her marriage to Washington Post reporter Carl Bernstein, and the popular essay collections I Feel Bad About My Neck and I Remember Nothing.
Love, Loss, and What I Wore opened off-Broadway in 2009. A New York Times review by Charles Isherwood called it a scrapbook of stories about unfortunate prom dresses, the traumatic lighting in fitting rooms, high heels, short skirts and the existential state of having nothing to wear.
Every man can relate to it and every woman can relate to it, Mr. Allington said.
He said he tried to apply for the rights to the show last year but was denied, but applied again this past spring when it closed off-Broadway and was given the OK.
I was already set to direct a different show for this time frame, but the opportunity was there to do this particular show, Mr. Allington said. The group accepted my proposal to switch out.
The show is performed by a cast of five on a bare-bones stage. The character of Gingy, played by Elizabeth Smith, ties all the stories together. The play depicts episodes in her life such as marriage and motherhood.
She draws pictures throughout of all the dresses she grew up with, Mr. Allington said. Other actresses in the show are Bethany Dumas, Emily Smith, Kathie Strader and Tina Thompson. Each plays several characters. They talk about significant events in their lives and what they remember.
What they wore discussions range from bras to bathrobes and purses.
The stories the characters tell, Mr. Allington said, make the play succeed.
Even during rehearsal I find myself just listening and watching, Mr. Allington said. You just get captivated by the stories. Even though they are just sitting or standing there, you just focus in and your mind starts wandering, going, Yes, I know this story, even though its somebody completely different.