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Tales Written on Clothes: Love, Loss and What I Wore

I've been an avid fan of theater performances in Manila for almost 4 years and I never experienced watching this kind of show that I saw 2 days ago.  After the successful 3rd run of Defending the Caveman, CTE productions is back for another unconventional production different from any shows I watched before.

About the show: The sensational Off-Broadway show, Love, Loss, and What I Wore, written by sisters Nora Ephron (When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle) and Delia Ephron (The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Hanging Up), vividly recounts a selection of comic and heartwarming stories from various women who remember key moments in their lives through the clothes they wore. The show is based on the bestselling book by Ilene Beckerman, and has featured notable actresses such as Jane Lynch (Glee), Rosie O’Donnell, Brooke Shields (Blue Lagoon, Grease), Betty White (Golden Girls), Rita Wilson, Nikki Blonsky (Hairspray), Fran Drescher (The Nanny), Jamie Lynn Siegler (The Sopranos and Entourage), Alexis Bledel (Gilmore Girls), Alicia Silverstone (Clueless), America Ferrera (Ugly Betty), Kathy Najimy (Sister Act movie series), Kristin Chenoweth (Wicked), to name just a few.

Since its debut in 2009 at New York’s Westside Theater, Love, Loss and What I Wore has never failed to garner praise from critics and delight audience members who saw themselves or someone they knew in each funny and poignant tale. The show won the 2010 Drama Desk Award for Unique Theatrical Experience as well as the 2010 Broadway.com Audience Award for Favorite New Off-Broadway Play. It has since then been staged in Los Angeles, Toronto, Brazil, Germany, Australia, and Paris.

The material is basically a collection of monologues about different female experiences ranging from their first dress, to first dates, first romantic encounters and first heartaches.  Definitely the show is a treasure trove for girls but in some ways male audience may find the show a bit boring.  Personally I didn't understand some parts because I definitely don't talk Prada.  But I can also say that despite being designed for female audience, men can actually find a female experience he can relate in to specially about clothes and relationships.

I mentioned that Love, Loss and What I Wore is different from other shows because the show is performed by the actors while reading the book and sitting on a chair as if they are just doing a story telling session.  I'll admit it that I'm a bit culture shocked and I didn't expect a show like that.

With those hand gestures, you will know what Menchu is talking about on this segment.

At first it looks like performing for this production is a simple and easy task for the actors but I realize it is not as easy as it looks like since it requires mastery of their craft to act and read at the same time.  And I'm sure it is not a big problem for actors like Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo (Next to Normal), Jay Valencia Glorioso (A Little Night Music) and Cathy Azanza-Dy (Spelling Bee).  With these trio's resumes, I'm confident to say that this performers will not disappoint you with their first-rate acting prowess.

Teresa Herrera in one word = Goddess

Joining Menchu, Jay and Cathy are  Bituin Escalante (Dreamgirls) and Teresa Herrera (Dogeaters) who both are just having a come back on local theater.  This is the first time I saw them perform live and they are magnificent beyond words.  I'm looking forward to see more of them on other shows in future productions.

L-R: cathy Azanza-Dy, Teresa Herrera, Jay Valencia Glorioso, Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo and Bituin Escalante

I would highly recommend this show for girls because they are the one who will definitely enjoy watching this piece.  To the guys, the show may not be that enjoyable to most of us but basically you don't really have a choice since your girlfriend or wife will insist  that you drive and accompany her to the theater, and yes she got a ticket for you.  So don't waste the chance, sit with her and watch the performance of these lovely artists and maybe you will be surprised that you can learn something from it that you won't expect.

Directed by Michael Williams and Cathy Azanza-Dy.  Love, Loss and What I Wore is currently running on a limited show until Sunday, July 17 with 3:30pm and 8pm shows at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium in RCBC Plaza Makati. Tickets are available at Ticketworld at 8919999 or log on at www.ticketworld.com.ph. You may also call 2150788 or 09175378313 or email cteshows@gmail.com.

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