Photo: Tracey Granger, Penelope Johnson, Linda Lobb, Christine Rothwell and Robin Stille (front) portray twenty-eight characters in SOAP’s production Love Loss and What I Wore, a collection of vignettes about women’s life experiences as told through the clothes they wear.
What woman, standing in front of her closet, has not said one of the following: “Who did I think I was when I bought this?” “I have nothing to wear.” “Why can’t I find anything in my closet?” “I look .like my mother in this.” Or in a department store dressing room muttered one of these: “This will fit if I lose five pounds.” “But I’ve always been a six!” “Is this mirror distorted?” “Is there something wrong with the lighting in here?”
The South Okanagan Amateur Players’ upcoming production of Love, Loss, and What I Wore taps into that mysterious relationship between women and their clothes: a dress made by mom, mourning the loss of a favourite shirt after breaking up with a boyfriend, high heeled boots that help you exude confidence, buying the first business attire (and then falling in love with the boss), choosing between high heels and comfortable flats. A collection of vignettes and monologues written by sisters Nora and Delia Ephron (When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle), the script is full of quick-witted zingers and hilarious revelations.
The cast of five women portrays more than twenty-eight characters during the course of the play. With different speech patterns, postures, and mannerisms for each, the actors get a real workout. “It’s a little like being Sybil,” explains Christine Rothwell, who alternates between seven roles. “You not only portray a number of people, but the shift between characters often comes very quickly.” While admitting the variety of roles is challenging, actor Robin Stille adds “feeding off the energy of all the women on stage” enlivens the characters. Rothwell enjoys the diversity of experiences: “Any woman will identify with at least one of the characters or scenarios in this play. Love, Loss will be insightful for the men in the audience when they recognize the angst experienced by the women in their lives.”
Actor Tracey Granger delights in the play’s reminiscences, spanning a woman’s lifetime. Granger is enthusiastic about her youthful monologue called “The Gang Sweater” “We all remember what it was like to be young and to think we were so cool.”
Serving as a grandmotherly narrator is the character “Gingy”, portrayed by Linda Lobb. It is Gingy’s life story that knits together all the other vignettes. Lobb admires this feisty, funny character: “Despite some tragedies in her life, Gingy is not embittered or resentful but accepting. She chuckles at the follies of youth and shrugs off the negative physical aspects of getting old. I love how her life story comes full circle at the end.”
“Men are loving this show,” says Penelope Johnson, actor. “It’s like eavesdropping on women’s secrets. All the embarrassing, awkward moments of her teenage years, her fantasies and friendships, losses and loves, her dreams for her senior years – all are played out onstage in such an appealing, funny way. And the cast is having such a great time sharing those intimacies with the audience.”
Love, Loss and What I Wore opens March 1 & 2 at Summerland Centre Stage, continues March 8 & 9 at the Osoyoos Minitheatre, and winds up March 15 & 16 at the Oliver Seniors Centre .
Adults $18 and Seniors(65+) /Students $15.
Tickets at Sundance Video (Oliver), Your Dollar Store with More (Osoyoos), Dragon’s Den (Penticton) or The Sweet Tooth (Summerland), and at the door. For more information, contact SOAP @ telus.net or the producer at 250-498-3597.