Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Women and clothes: part comedy, part drama.

Zouheir and I went to see Love, Loss and What I Wore (LLAWIW) at the Panasonic Theatre on Saturday night. I had read a 4-star review in The Star and was very much looking forward to seeing Mary Walsh, Andrea Martin, and three others perform this work. It was a short performance of an hour and a half without an intermission.  It was a very rainy night and the theatre was perhaps two-thirds full.  Before the show, we had a non-descript dinner at The Artful Dodger pub around the corner, followed by coffee and a crepe at Cafe Mania.  

While I'm not sure that the show lived up to the glowing review, it was definitely worth seeing.  The stories themselves were mostly funny, although the piece was sprinkled with lost love, cancer, and death.  I found the flow of the work a little choppy, maybe bipolar with very quick mood swings.  I don't know. I found it a little difficult to manage the emotional highs and lows.

The actors did well.  They sit on the stage with the work in binders/folders on stands in front of them.  Mary Walsh and Andrea Martin were fabulous, as would be expected of these two seasoned actor/comedians.  Louise Pitre's part kind of ties the the whole evening together, and she was sort of the elder statesman of the evening (and this is not a comment on her age, of which I have no idea).  Sharron Matthews was terrific:  I don't think I've seen her work before. although she's been in a number of films.  I found her very funny, with great comedic presence. (Here is a link to her blog, to which I have just subscribed.)  Paula Brancati, seen on Degrassi and Being Erica, was perhaps the youngest of the cast.  She was difficult to hear at times, and definitely didn't have the gravitas of the others. (Okay, I just read her bio at the link and she's only 21!! She did well!)

I was reminded of a wonderful book I read a few months ago called Dream Dresses by Hilary Scharper (my brief review here).  It, too, tackles the relationships that women have with their clothing, the longing for that perfect pair of rubber boots, the discomfort with the way our bodies look, the feeling of power that the perfect outfit can produce. Maybe it's just me, but for the price of a ticket for LLAWIW, I could have purchased three books of short stories.  If they were as powerful as Scharper's, I would have preferred the books.


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