Attempting to Dress

The Very Little Theatre bares all with Love, Loss and What I Wore

Jodi Altendorf In Love, Loss And What I Wore
Jodi Altendorf In Love, Loss And What I Wore

You just want a bra. You want to get in, buy a bra and get on with your life. But the next thing you know you’re shoved into some tiny space halfway between a broom closet and a dressing room with a powerfully strong older lady. Aggressively this woman bends you over and pulls you up and actually, physically pushes your breasts around with her hands, then calls the other women in the shop over to have a look.

You have lost all dignity. But you have found a really great-fitting bra.

All women share this story — the horrible bra story. We have beautiful, sad tales of lost perfect shirts, of special dresses, of horrible outfits our mothers bought us, of weight lost and gained. But we don’t tend to tell these stories because they’re shallow, right?

Not any more.

Love, Loss and What I Wore by Ilene Beckerman is a sweet little book of personal sketches and descriptions of her favorite ensembles. The late Nora Ephron and her sister Delia, authors of so very many magical films (When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle), have taken this quirky tome and made it over into a lovely evening of theater.

Beckerman’s autobiography of first loves, second divorces, new outlooks and old outfits anchors the evening. The Ephron sisters add tales of other women and their complicated, painful, hysterical relationships with their closets.

What makes this production so powerful is the light and carefree tone meticulously sculpted by director Leigh Matthews Bock. She’s gathered a strong group of women for the project, including Krissy Scott, Kim Fairbairn, Storm Kennedy, Leslie Jones, Tracy Ilene Miller, Liz Baggins and Jodi Altendorf.

Dressed in black, sitting on stools against a backdrop of fabulous clothing, these women consult scripts on music stands, giving the impression that they are in your living room, reading from their own work. So successful are they in baring your truths, you’ll have a hard time refraining from hugging the actors after the show.

Love, Loss and What I Wore is sharply funny, hitting just a little too close to home. It manages to illuminate the feminine culture of clothing without judgment. The play is about women, but any man who has ever known a woman will also enjoy it. Love, Loss and What I Wore sold out within the first weekend, so VLT has added a 7:30 pm showing on Sunday, Dec. 13.

Love, Loss and What I Wore runs at the Very Little Theatre through Dec. 13; SOLD OUT.