‘Love, Loss, and What I Wore’

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From the unfortunate prom dress and the perfect wedding dress to the tyranny of the purse and shopping for a bra, the play, “Love, Loss and What I Wore,” is a scrapbook of vignettes about women, their relationships to their clothing, and the memories they trigger.

We women have all had our most, and least, favorite outfits at different points in our lives, and sometimes even we don’t know why we “loved” one article of clothing and “hated” another, or why we remember one piece above all others — we just do.  And so it is with the characters in this Beaufort Theatre production at USCB Center for the Arts on March 8, 9 and 10. Written by Nora and Delia Ephron and based on a book by the same name by Ilene Beckerman, “Love, Loss, and What I Wore” is stories told in a series of comedic but sometimes touching monologues and short group pieces.

Sister playwrights synonymous with romantic comedy: Nora Ephron was a creative and prolific playwright until her death last year at age 70.  She wrote the screenplay for the movie, “When Harry Met Sally,” and wrote and directed “Sleepless in Seattle” and “Julie and Julia,” among others.  She and her sister, Delia, co-authored the screenplay for “You’ve Got Mail,” and several other classic romantic comedies. For this play they expanded on the book by adding experiences gleaned from their own lives as well as those from their friends.

Rich mixture of ages and talent to match material: The beauty of the material is that the play can be cast with women of any age in any of the parts due to the timelessness of the stories.  To Director Gail Westerfield, it is the enjoyment of watching the experienced and the newer actors interact and discover the depth of their talents.  “If I do my job right, you won’t be able to tell the veterans from the newbies.  They will all be telling the story brilliantly!”

Topics just a relevant today: Virtually all the topics that were relevant when the play was written in the late ’90s remain so today.  There are also a few that are even more open and connected than 15 years ago, such as the challenge of selecting wedding garments for a lesbian couple and the push-up bra a cancer survivor envisions after her reconstruction while the doctor draws on her with a marker.

CODA to benefit: Both Gail and her stage manager, Susan DeFoe, have been associated with Citizens Opposed to Domestic Abuse (CODA) for many years.  “Although CODA is not exclusive to women,” notes Susan, “we are deeply invested in a woman’s right to speak truthfully and openly, without shame, and this play gives voice to the things we think about only to ourselves and that is very liberating as well as very funny!”  CODA will receive a $1 donation for every ticket sold during the play’s three-day run.

Performances are on the USCB Campus at 801 Carteret St. on Friday and Saturday nights, March 8 and 9, at 7:30 p.m., and at 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 10. Reserve seats are $20; general admission for adults, $18; and seniors $15.  Tickets in advance call 843-521-4145 from 10 to 3 weekdays. Box office opens one hour prior to performance for tickets at the door.