Two very special Love, Loss and What I Wore performances directed by Valerie DiLorenzo will take place at Southampton Arts Center (SAC), presented in collaboration with The Coalition for Women’s Cancers at Stony Brook Southampton Hospital, on Saturday, October 19.
“This wonderful play is funny, poignant, touching, and very relatable. We are thrilled to follow up the successful presentation of The Vagina Monologues with another all-female production made up of many of the same talented cast members,” Amy Kirwin, Southampton Arts Center Artistic Director, relayed. “And it is an honor to partner with the Coalition for Women’s Cancers at Stony Brook Southampton Hospital in conjunction with Breast Cancer Awareness Month to add an extra level of importance to this event.”
“Valerie DiLorenzo heads up our ‘Strength Through Song’ program at the Phillips Family Cancer Center and proposed that we have a performance at the Southampton Arts Center to benefit our local Coalition for Women’s Cancers during Breast Cancer Awareness Month,” Susie Roden, Coalition Founder, explained. “In addition to the performance of Love, Loss and What I Wore, a short video will be shown featuring some of our local breast cancer survivors wearing an item of clothing that has significant meaning to them.”
The production, which was penned by Delia Ephron and Nora Ephron, based on the book by Ilene Beckerman, revolves around the strength and nostalgia factor that a particular piece of clothing can elicit.
“Many of the women performing in this production of Love, Loss, and What I Wore first met and performed together in The Vagina Monologues in February 2018 at SAC; it was an incredible, powerful experience. We more often hear about groups of women NOT getting along, but we really bonded and formed this ‘girl squad’ and I knew there was always a desire to reunite,” DiLorenzo noted. “I first saw Love, Loss and What I Wore off-Broadway about ten years ago; I loved it; it always stayed me. I also knew Ilene Beckerman and it became apparent this play would be the perfect vehicle to ‘get the band back together.'”
Through a series of monologues, the SAC cast of 13 will reflect upon the significant moments and loved ones in their life using particular outfits as a time capsule.
“LLAWIW is a tender piece that gets to the deep core of women and how our remembrances of moments in time, people and experiences become inescapably intertwined with articles of clothing,” cast member Kate Mueth noted. “It’s not in a superficial way, but in the same way we recall momentous events with particular smells or colors or places. Clothing conjures a similarly powerful emotion and with this series of scenes remembering what was worn, the stories unearth quite beautiful human connections.”
Love, Loss and What I Wore will star Carolann DiPirro, Rebeccca Edana, Bridget Fleming, Georgette Grier-Key, Ruby Jackson, Amy Kirwin, Angela LaGreca, Jenna Mate, Kate Mueth, Minerva Perez, Andrea Schiavoni, and Susan Stout.
“I love creating opportunities to feature the talents of those who choose to call the East End their home as well as events to raise awareness and benefit our Community. Collaborating with Susie Roden and the Coalition has been inspiring and fun; another group of women who truly support and enjoy each other,” DiLorenzo noted. “October 18 is also National Mammogram Day so people will be able to sign up for their mammograms AND see a play – a play that is laugh out loud funny, touching, memorable, and ‘man-friendly.'”
A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Coalition for Women’s Cancers at Stony Brook Southampton Hospital. Coalition representatives will be on site to arrange mammogram appointments and host a special raffle.
“It’s great to be doing this reading with this dynamic, fun group of women–many who I am meeting for the first time,” Angela LaGreca noted. “Valerie DiLorenzo is a talent herself, and she has pulled together this production to help benefit the Coalition for Women’s Cancers at Stony Brook Southampton Hospital in observance of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and National Mammography Day (October 18).”
For many, the cause is incredibly personal. “Coincidentally, or ironically, for me, it is five years ago in October (13th) that I was diagnosed with breast cancer – on camera, doing a buddy mammogram segment with my former boss and I would say mentor, Meredith Vieira, for her syndicated talk show. We had worked together at The View and she brought me over to the Today show where we would often go together to get our mammograms,” LaGreca noted. “Then, using the excuse I was too busy, I skipped my mammo/sono for several years, and of course was stunned to learn I had an early stage breast cancer – and so I had chemo, a lumpectomy and radiation – and kept working, taking days off when I needed to.”
“There is another woman in the cast who is a two-time breast cancer survivor. We don’t know who we meet along the way, and what another person has gone through. I can only speak for myself and say that I’m incredibly grateful for every moment and beautiful, kind giving person in my life,” LaGreca added. “Doing this reading, which highlights for me the importance of getting checked, and not avoiding your mammo/sono is particularly meaningful. I have a ‘thing’ about people who say, ‘Wow, you battled breast cancer and won!’ As I don’t think it is a fair fight. You get the best doctors and treatment and hope for the best, always vigilant with a heightened sense of awareness and living in the moment.”
Narrated by Gingy, a wise older woman, the poignant, comical, heartwarming show covers everything from moods where you’ll only leave the house in black clothing to an ode to cowboy boots to ensembles that makes mothers recoil.
“I’m so pleased Valerie DiLorenzo continues to call women together to utilize theater for causes like this,” Mueth said. “It’s all so very personal and when we fight hardship by creating beauty and with story telling, the communal results are myriad, powerful and rich.”
Love, Loss and What I Wore will be presented at 2 p.m., and again at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20, $15 for Friends of SAC.
“What woman doesn’t love to talk about clothes and reminisce about the Hit and Miss outfits of our past and present closets?” DiLorenzo concluded. “And, on a personal note – pink, black and white is my favorite fashion color combo.”
Southampton Arts Center is located at 25 Jobs Lane in Southampton. For more information, call 631-283-0967 or visit southamptonartscenter.org.