"Mythical Proportions" (Theater Wit): The Real and Surreal of Nora Dunn

"Mythical Proportions" (Theater Wit):  The Real and Surreal of Nora Dunn

Theater Wit and Steve Ullman present Nora Dunn in MYTHICAL PROPORTIONS.

There is something about Nora Dunn that makes you forget she’s a famous actor and comedienne. Maybe it’s her Chicago roots, her Irish Catholic upbringing or her way of dismissing a Meryl Streep encounter as everyday happenstance, Dunn is extraordinary at being ordinary.  Her one woman show is less movie star razzle dazzle and more around the dinner table pass-the-butter-let-me-tell-you-about-my-trip-to-LA storytelling.

Hometown gal and “Saturday Night Live” alum Nora Dunn engages with her famous dead pan delivery and marvelous mimicking skills.  MYTHICAL PROPORTIONS, written and performed by Dunn, is a personal tribute to the real and surreal.  She kicks off the show playing an old Hollywood agent talking about the glory days of Rock Hudson and Doris Day.  Dunn is hilarious as the salty woman taking credit for her role in building legends.  Following this bit, Dunn shares a childhood recollection.  She seamlessly goes from a character to herself with the aid of glasses or pigtails.   Or at least, we think it’s ‘herself.‘  Dunn has a way of making it seem like she’s ‘one of us.‘ She flies Southwest.  She gets starstruck.  Her believability is part of her allure.   She use to wait tables.  Dunn exudes a commonality that is connectable.

Parts of this show are riotous.  Dunn plays a squeaky talking doll analyzing Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.  Parts of this show are profound.  Dunn reads a monologue as a black woman talking about her racist husband.  Parts of this show are tabloid dirt.  Dunn describes her pre-SNL-gig dinner with Lorne Michaels and Dennis Miller.  All of it is Nora Dunn as we imagine she would be in our living room.  Because Dunn makes herself accessible to the audience, we feel a faux bond.  After the show, I almost think we should wait and see if she wants to join us for dinner.  There is a real pretend sense of a relationship established.  I wanted to tell her over a drink that the ending needs a little work but other than that the show is tight.

I’d recommend seeing MYTHICAL PROPORTIONS.  And when you go,  tell Nora, ‘Katy says hi!’

Running Time:  Seventy minutes with no intermission

At Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont

Written and performed by Nora Dunn

Thursdays and Fridays at 8pm

Saturdays at 7pm

Sundays at 3pm

Thru September 22nd

Buy Tickets at www.theaterwit.org

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