Culture pick: Love, Loss and What I wore

Louise Pitre, Mary Walsh, Andrea Martin, Sharron Matthews, and Paula Brancati in Love, Loss, and What I Wore. Photography by Cylla von Tiedemann
Louise Pitre, Mary Walsh, Andrea Martin, Sharron Matthews, and Paula Brancati in Love, Loss, and What I Wore. Photography by Cylla von Tiedemann

I confess that when I first got the invite to the Toronto premiere of Love, Loss and What I Wore (Panasonic Theatre, 651 Yonge St., lovelossonstage.ca), I was scared. Awash in bad Vagina Monologues flashbacks (I’m sorry. Hi. That play sucked) and memories of my years as an ever-empowered 1990s feminist undergrad, I was worried that I was in for a long night of cloying female bonding and treacle-y ra ra lady feel-good times. I was very pleasantly  surprised. The fact that Nora Ephron and her sister Delia are the writers behind this alternately funny and touching show (based on a book by Ilene Beckerman) about women’s life stories—all built around scrapbook tales of pieces of clothing, the bra, the prom dress, the Kelly bag—should have been my first clue that the right note was going to be struck.  Performed by five actresses who all sit on the stage consulting scripts as needed, the show’s current Toronto cast includes a perky Paula Brancati (Degrassi, Being Erica), Sharron Matthews, Mary Walsh–yes, that Mary Walsh—and the always-classy Louise Pitre, who all turned in solid performances. But my favourite was funny girl Andrea Martin, who could make even the most basic of lines giggle-worthy. The current cast will perform until August 7. The new cast, which includes Cynthia Dale, Wendy Crewson and Degrassi‘s Lauren Collins, performs from August 10 to September 4.