The Valdosta Daily Times
By the time Gingy explains in Valdosta State University Theatre & Dance’s “Love, Loss & What I Wore” that she was uncertain if her personal writings would connect with other women as a book (or as a play), the audience already knows the answer.
Based on a series of monologues with seven VSU student performers playing a robust population of women expressing how their wardrobes have not only shaped their bodies but their lives, the audience knows these connections resonate. And while the characters relate personal experiences, audience members will connect the dots of how their clothes have impacted their lives.
On stage, one character shares how she loved wearing short skirts with her boots; after being raped, she could no longer wear short skirts but she kept the boots; the boots gave her strength.
Given her experiences, another character shares how she was never sure if she was the frumpy girl asked at the last minute to the junior prom or the cute girl who goes to the senior prom with the good-looking guy. So it went for her, back and forth, frumpy, cute. To end the confusion, she got married.
These are just two of the dozens of monologues within this unique, fast-moving show. Others discuss the relationship of clothing between mothers, sisters, and lovers. The entire cast brings insight into the purse, the clothes closet, the color black as a fashion statement, the dressing room, the argument that most women of a certain age have at some point dressed like Madonna, etc.
While women in the audience may discover these vignettes have relevance in their own lives, men will find the show insightful connecting what they hear the women say on stage with what women in their lives have said. Some of the loudest laughs could be heard coming from men. So, the show resonates with both sexes. But be warned. This is an adult show, with mature themes and language. Based on Ilene Beckerman’s book, with the script by Nora and Delia Ephron, this show’s language does put the F-bomb in Ephron.
H. Duke Guthrie directs a fast-moving, fun and thought-provoking show. Guthrie keeps the performers on task, true to the varying characters they portray. He allows them the freedom to give frank, expressive performances.
The cast does a credible job in these roles. Though remaining seated throughout the performance, speaking primarily to the audience, even while interacting with one another, with one memorable and moving exception, the cast is never confined by the format. In many ways, the format is liberating, creating an intimate connection between each performer and the audience.
The entire cast deserves accolades for this show. The cast is Rebecca Morris as the narrator Gingy, whose story frames these monologues, along with Emmie Axford, Emily Bradford, Courtney Connor, Diamond Do’zia, Charlotte Grady and D’Amante Wilson.
At 90 minutes and no intermission, VSU’s “Love, Loss & What I Wore” is an inviting evening of theatre, no matter what you wear.
This review is based on Thurday’s opening night performance.
VSU Theatre & Dance’s “Love, Loss
& What I Wore” continues 7:30 p.m.today; 3 p.m.Sunday; 7:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Lab Theatre, VSUFineArtsBuilding, corner of Oak and Brookwood. More
Information: Call (229) 333-5973; or visit www.valdosta.edu/comarts