“Love, Loss, and What I Wore” is a promising first post-pandemic live offering by Santa Rosa’s 6th Street Playhouse in its studio theater. Five seasoned actors take turns retelling an emotional assemblage of snippets, each chronicling her memorable outfits. Not all the event memories are happy, yet all make up the fabric of life.
Written by Nora Ephron, the American essayist and humorist who penned such comedies as “When Harry Met Sally,” “Sleepless in Seattle,” “You’ve Got Mail,” and more, the show’s pedigree promises to be heartfelt. The late author’s sister Delia Ephron is co-author, doubling down on the anticipated warmth.
“Five seasoned actors take turns retelling an assemblage of emotional snippets, each chronicling her memorable outfit.”
Sadly, the show is hampered by continuing Covid restrictions, and the actors wear clear plastic masks throughout their soliloquies. This impediment no doubt curtails their abilities to get into character. It also hampers their diction, causing them to over-project their volume and lose the finer emotional points. They’re close, but still far away.
The stage is spartan, backed by two projection screens, and naked except for a few bits of feminine accessories and a dressed sewing dummy.
Dressed all in black, five actors read their scripts from music stands in front of them. Only occasionally does an actor come forward, sans script. Most of the monologues have a projected sketch of the outfit illustrating the actor’s subject story. There’s even a music snippet of Madonna when the actors recall their outfits worn in homage to the fashion icon. And who can forget Nancy Sinatra’s boots?
“It’s a humorous essay about the female bond to clothes, boots, and purses. What’s not to like?”
“Love, Loss, and What I Wore” has heartfelt talk but no action; internal humor laced with poignant moments. The stories move slowly, linked only by blackouts between scenes. The timelines of the individual characters—spanning an era from the 1950s to the 2000s—stand alone without connection or plot. Some scenes garnered applause; others drew sparks of laughter.
Anyone who has ever lamented “I have nothing to wear” may relate to this humorous essay about the female bond to clothes, boots, and purses. “What’s not to like?” asked one patron.
The Saturday night performance in this 99-seat theatre was sold out. After the first act of 1 ¼ hours, and intermission, there were at least 40 empty seats. Director Libby Oberlin might take note and make some edits.
“Audiences must prove Covid vaccination or negative test results before entering.”
6th Street Theatre takes their Covid restrictions seriously. Audiences must prove vaccination or negative test results before entering the lobby. Several without proof were denied entrance. All attendees must wear masks over nose and mouth throughout the production and in the lobby; roving ushers remind patrons to cover up or leave the premises.
Playing Friday and Saturday nights at 7:30 and Sunday matinees at 2:00 (one Saturday matinee August 21) at the Monroe Stage (the smaller theatre) through August 29th at 52 West Sixth Street, Santa Rosa, CA. Free parking in their lot.
For tickets go to www.6thstreetplayhouse.com or email email@example.com or call 707-523-4185.
Seating note: On this hot evening, some overhead equipment hummed and buzzed intermittently, a distraction for those seated in the top rows.
|Production||Love, Loss, and What I Wore|
|Written by||Nora and Delia Ephron|
|Directed by||Libby Oberlin|
|Producing Company||6th Street Playhouse, Studio Theatre|
|Production Dates||Through August 29th, 2021|
|Production Address||6th Street Playhouse
52 W. 6th Street
Santa Rosa, CA 95401
|Tickets||$18 – $29|
|Reviewer Score||Max in each category is 5/5|
|Aisle Seat Review PICK?||----|