Pensacola, Florida
Monday October 14th 2019


Love, Loss, and What I Wore

By Shelby Smithey

Can a pair of jeans, a sweater or a hat, invoke feeling? Do they bring us back to special times we spent wearing them? They might make us remember wherae we were, what we were doing or who we were with.

Gingy, the main character in the play “Love, Loss, and What I Wore”, seems to think they can. The production will be at the Pensacola Little Theatre (PLT) beginning Friday, directed by Billy Buff.

The play was written by Nora and Delia Ephron based on the 1995 book of the same name by Ilene Beckerman. It is organized as a series of monologues and uses a rotating cast of just a few principal women.

The monologues in the play are all based on true stories from women, and Gingy’s life story acts as a narration as it weaves all of the 28 stories together.

Actress Millie Fisher plays Gingy in the production. This is Fisher’s third PLT play.

“Gingy’s decided to draw these dresses to tell her stories,” Fisher said. “It’s a very simple production but there’s a charm to it. It’s a sweet way of thinking of how we grow up.”

As Gingy shows these sketches, starting with her Brownies uniform, to her wedding dress, maternity dress, she talks about poignant moments in her life. In between Gingy telling her story, other women tell snippets of theirs, as well, in shorter monologues.

There are seven women total in the play. Actress Donna Quinn has a few monologues in which she plays different characters.

“Gingy is the catalyst to the show,” Quinn said. “It’s all presentational, more monologue based.”

Quinn said that each of them play a rotation of characters.

“The lines come very quickly in the play,” Quinn said. “In the bath robe scene, I play a woman who explains how there’s only one item of clothing that she really remembers. She blames her mother dying when she was 39 on why she is overweight and addicted to television. She thinks that if her mother was alive, she’d live a different life.”

A good portion of the monologues have to deal with mother-daughter relationships and the struggles that exist between them. In one scene with actresses April Sargent and Loreli Anzaldua, two anxiously-awaiting brides-to-be deal with having mothers with very different views on their daughters’ marriage. One is honored and excited that she found her daughter’s wedding dress, the other doesn’t understand why her daughter is marrying a woman in the first place.

Quinn also plays a woman who loves wearing her thigh-high boots with short miniskirts. It makes her feel powerful and sexy until someone breaks into her apartment and rapes her.

“Although she donates all her miniskirts to Goodwill, she won’t get rid of her boots,” Quinn said. “She loves her boots.”

Other monologues in which all of the actresses spit off quick lines include scenes about trying on bras, wearing black and not having anything to wear.

“There are a lot of humorous moments, but I think of the play as nostalgic and reflective,” Quinn said. “It’s a little more edgy.”

Quinn was first cast in a PLT show in 1984, and performed on the Saenger stage.

“As men generally tend to remember the car they drove or the music they were listening to, I think women sometimes remember the clothes they wore,” Quinn said. “Women will love the play.”

Director Billy Buff first began working with Pensacola Little Theatre when it was located in the old Florida Theatre on Palafox in the ‘80s.

“The clothing is really secondary,” Buff said. “It is really about the different roles women are expected to play throughout their lifetimes. The best part of directing this show has been working with seven amazing actresses.”

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Jan. 15, 16, 21, 22, 23 and 2:30 p.m. Jan. 17
WHERE: M.C. Blanchard Courtroom Theatre at Pensacola Cultural Center, 400 S. Jefferson St.
COST: $10-$17