"Love, Loss, and What I Wore"

Cast members, from left, Aynsley Scheffert, Mary McPhee, Kemberli Enerson, Olivia Renken and Renae Sander of "Love, Loss, and What I Wore."

There’s not much chance Absolute Theatre is going to get stuck in a rut. Since its initial season three years ago, Absolute has produced dramas, comedies and musicals, some of them quite experimental.

Now comes “Love, Loss and What I Wore,” an all-female show opening today.

“It’s a very different piece from what we have been doing,” said James Douglass, who is directing the play. “We were looking for something that would highlight women. That’s been my goal this season.”

The season’s opener, “Radio Gals,” was about a 1920s radio broadcast done by women in a small southern town. In between came the musical “Blood Brothers” and the drama “A Doll’s House, Part 2.”

So “Love, Loss and What I Wore” put the cap on the season with a drama/comedy by Nora and Delia Ephron, the same team responsible for “Sleepless in Seattle” and “When Harry Met Sally.” The play is based on a book by Ilene Beckerman.

The play is presented as a series of stories focusing on women’s relationships, focusing on the clothing they wore at the time.

Oddly enough, there are no costumes in the production, Douglass said.

“It’s very simply done,” he said. “It’s literally five women on stools telling stories.”

Those stories are poignant and humorous. “I think each one of these five women will resonate with someone in the audience,” Douglass said.

In the cast are Kimberli Enerson, Mary McPhee, Olivia Renken, Renae Sander, and Aynsley Scheffert.

“I was looking for five different women that had different perspectives,” Douglass said. “And they had to be good storytellers.”

At times, Douglass said, “I’ve asked myself, ‘Why am I doing this show? It should be a woman directing it.’”

On the other hand, he said, there is a timeless, human quality to the play. “I think men will relate to some of the things you relate as you’re growing up or aging,” Douglass said.

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Life Reporter

Tom covers primarily arts and entertainment for the Post Bulletin and 507 Magazine. He also often writes feature stories about local history. He is a native of Milwaukee, WI, and enjoys reading and traveling.