TORONTO - Margot Kidder still has the ball gowns.

"(They're from) when I was being Margot Movie Star," she said with a chuckle in an interview Tuesday, referencing her high-profile days as Lois Lane in the blockbuster "Superman" films.

"You went to premieres and you went to charity dos and galas and all that sort of thing," continued the 61-year-old actress, who was born in Yellowknife and now lives largely out of the spotlight in Montana.

"Thank God I don't have to do that anymore. It's so much work!"

Kidder mined her clothing memories as she prepared to star in the play "Love, Loss, And What I Wore," in which a panel of female characters give monologues about outfits they've worn.

The play, which has been a hit off-Broadway, is adapted from the book by Ilene Beckerman and a collection of stories by screenwriting sisters Nora and Delia Ephron.

The Canadian production, which began last month at the Panasonic Theatre and was recently extended to Oct. 2, has a rotating cast. The first group included "SCTV" alumna Andrea Martin, who co-starred with Kidder in the 1974 horror film "Black Christmas."

The second cast, which takes over Thursday, includes Kidder, Wendy Crewson, Cynthia Dale, Linda Kash and Lauren Collins.

Kidder plays the main narrator, Gingy, who muses about how her mother made almost all of her clothing when she was a child and she desperately longed for a store-bought outfit.

"I, like Gingy, had a mother who made my clothes," said Kidder, who is staying with a friend during her stay in the city and has bought a bicycle so she can ride to the theatre.

"Oh, it was: 'Please can't we order that pretty dress out of the Eaton's catalogue?' And Mommy would be working really hard, so you don't want to hurt her feelings, but oh my God, I wanted a store-bought dress ...

"I remember getting to go to Eaton's with Mommy, when I was sent to school here from Labrador because she was afraid I'd get (involved with) one of the miners ... and it was pretty exciting."

Kidder says she agreed to do "Love, Loss, And What I Wore" because she loved the script and Nora Ephron's previous work.

"This is such beautiful writing," she said, wearing a black dress and her red hair in a bun during a break from rehearsals.

"And not only that, you get to create a sisterhood with the women you're working with, which I had once before on 'Vagina Monologues' and it was such a joy."

Kidder admits, though, that she'd never heard of the play before she was asked to be in it.

Living in what she calls a "culture-free zone" in Livingston, Mont., she only has access to two small theatres and doesn't hear about the showbiz headlines in New York and Los Angeles, where, in 1996, she suffered from a highly publicized battle with bipolar disorder.

Living in the Rockies is "heaven," she said, noting her daughter and grandchildren live three blocks from her home.

"When I go away to work, it's a big, wonderful holiday, I have a great time.

"But my heart is up there in the wilderness and the mountains and I hike with my dogs and we try and do what we can to keep our part of the world clean and green."

Kidder says she likes working in "little pieces here and there."

"It's about as wonderful a way to work as humanly possible," explained Kidder, who recently appeared on the TV series "Brothers & Sisters."

"I don't have to live in that zoo of a place in L.A. and worry about how I look all the time and you know, get stuff injected into my face. I don't have to do that and I don't have to live in New York which means I don't have to weigh 10 pounds and have six facelifts.

"I just, I get to be me. It's one of the things that happens when you get older: you cross 60 and you just get to be yourself."