To many women, clothing is a lot more than fabric to cover their bare bodies. It is a way to express their individuality; a way to leave an impression on the world. And it can bring back good or bad memories, depending on what happened when they were wearing certain items of clothing.
"Love, Loss and What I Wore" examines that relationship between women and their clothes. Characters in the play discuss everything from bras, robes and prom dresses to boots, heels and wedding gowns.
Based on the book by Ilene Beckerman, the play was written by Nora Ephron and her sister, Delia Ephron. It was performed Off-Broadway by a variety of well-known actresses, including Rosie O'Donnell, Tyne Daly and Jane Lynch.
Beaufort director Gail Westerfield is bringing the comedy to the Lowcountry. The show opens March 8 at University of South Carolina Beaufort Center for the Arts and runs through March 10.
"I always remembered first date dresses and stuff like that, things that seemed momentous at the time," she said. "But now every day that I wear sweats I'm like, 'You know, you're not going to feel as good as if you put on something that makes you feel better.' ... It's made me much more conscious about what I wear and what that means as far as building a memory about it. You don't know want to be caught looking like schlub when something important happens in your life."
Westerfield said Andrea Drake, who plays the lead role of Gingy, suggested the play. She said it was originally a staged reading, but she wanted to do something a little different with it. Her version of the play includes monologues, dialogues and even a dance number.
"I had never heard of it," Westerfield said. "And I just fell in love with it."
One of the actresses in the show, Shawn Sproatt, said the characters talk about different pieces of clothing that were important to them at specific moments in their lives.
Sproatt said her favorite articles of clothing are shoes.
"The thing that I realize that I love about shoes is that no matter what your body type is or what you look like, shoes will always fit you, unless you get pregnant and your feet swell," Sproatt said. "But you can buy another fabulous pair of shoes, and your feet will always look good."
Sproatt's mother, Suzanne Larson, is also in the show. She said everyone can relate to the stories told in the play.
"They're universal stories about when you got your first bra, when your husband cheated on you, the death of your mother, the loss of your child," she said. "Very moving universal stories that men and women can relate to."
Follow reporter Amy Coyne Bredeson at twitter.com/IPBG_Amy .