Nora and Delia Ephron

Love, Loss, and What I Wore

March 31 - April 10
Ivy Tech Waldron Auditorium

Reviews

WFIU’s George Walker’s Review:

“The Cardinal Stage Company production is very insightful, funny, and touching evening of accomplished theatre… Randy White has done a fine job with the pacing of the production!”

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The Herald-Times Review:

Local women take to the stage to raise funds for charity

By Matthew Waterman
April 6, 2016

Clothes are meant to cover us up, but every time we get dressed, we expose ourselves. We expose our carefully crafted self-image to the world. We expose our fashion sense. Through our choice of clothing, we expose our aspirations, inhibitions, insecurities, emotions and identity.

For women especially, clothing is an unavoidable mode of self-expression. In our society, girls are instilled at a young age with deep concerns of maintaining appearances. Whether she likes it or not, a woman’s wardrobe tells the world a lot about her.

In “Love, Loss and What I Wore,” five women share their experiences with clothing. The play uses outfits as time capsules in a woman’s life, matching certain stories with their associated attire. The challenges faced by the characters are treated with humor and deep reverence.

Nora and Delia Ephron wrote “Love, Loss and What I Wore” in 2008, basing the show on Ilene Beckerman’s 1995 novel of the same name. The sisters created this script by emailing 100 women, asking for stories and then synthesizing the most poignant responses into a narrative. A highly successful Off-Broadway production opened in 2009.

Cardinal Stage Company is now presenting “Love, Loss and What I Wore” in the Whikehart Auditorium of the Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center. But this isn’t like other Cardinal productions; the actors sit on stools, reading their lines from scripts on music stands. There’s little movement in the show. It’s basically a series of monologues; like Eve Ensler’s “Vagina Monologues,” but with a little more interaction among the characters.

There are actually four different casts for “Love, Loss and What I Wore.” Professional actor and Cardinal favorite Constance Macy (most recently Nurse Ratched in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”) is the only one performing in every show. The other four roles are filled by a rotating cast of women from around the Bloomington community.

This weekend’s shows will feature three performances with Lynn Schwartzberg, Maria Walker, Mary Catherine Carmichael and Abby Noroozi, as well as three performances with Pam Thrash, Shelli Yoder, Francesca Sobrer and Ashley Korus.

Cardinal’s production of “Love, Loss and What I Wore” is a fundraiser for My Sister’s Closet, a nonprofit that puts donated clothing to use helping disadvantaged women. Cardinal is donating $2,500, but the fundraiser has a total goal of $5,000.

Five ladies doing monologues on stools might sound lackluster, but that’s not the case. The stories are hilarious at times and heartbreaking at others.

Particularly memorable was an anecdote from Gingy’s tween years about her inflatable bra spontaneously deflating in the presence of her romantic interest. In a more serious section, one of the women tells the story of how being raped instilled traumatizing fears about clothing.

If it has to be classified, the show is a comedy with some serious bits. The Ephron sisters have a sharp wit and a remarkable ability to latch onto sentiments that an audience can easily relate to.

Don’t expect “Love, Loss and What I Wore” to be elaborate or mind-blowing. It’s a simple production. Most of the women onstage aren’t even actors. Nonetheless, under Randy White’s direction, Cardinal has put together a genuinely gratifying show for a good cause.