Nora Dunn returns to her hometown of Chicago in a tour de force one-woman show, Mythical Proportions, at Theatre Wit through September 22. Ms. Dunn’s fame began as a cast member on Saturday Night Live, with characters like Liz Sweeny, part of the lounge-singing sister act with Jan Hooks, and recurring talk show host Pat Stevens. But her talents have taken Ms. Dunn to film, TV, theatre and the printed page.
During this show Nora Dunn portrays through characters that she has created and shares parts of her life growing up in Chicago. In one monologue, she speaks about a single wooden leg found in the basement of one of the places she lived as a child. Ms. Dunn chose to represent Mythical Proportions itself with that image. The actual wooden leg represented on the poster is an art piece commissioned by Brent Houston. Nora Dunn says of the piece, “It’s exactly as I remember the leg to be, and has come to life as a symbol now, standing, as it were, on its own.”
It has taken almost two years for Ms. Dunn to write and workshop this theater piece, and in a quote from the show's website she says, “Mythical Proportions, in part, pays homage to that worn history, and to the ghosts in Hollywood who never realized their dreams. The show is also an ode to the art of story telling, and the great communion between audience and performer when you are all in the same room together. That experience is worth the time it takes to put something like this together.”
In addition to Ms. Dunn’s insightful characters and performances, the production also features work by other artists, such as Project Runway’s Peach Carr, who designed Nora Dunn’s costume for the show. The set is centered on a magnificent painting by poet, artist, and founder of the Hilton/Asmus Gallery, Arica Hilton. Steven Ullman, 1113 Productions, produced Dunn’s last one-woman show in 1999, and is producing this one as well.
Theatre Wit Artistic Director Jeremy Wechsler says of Nora Dunn’s production of Mythical Proportions, “A fresh, hilarious and poignant one-women show that will unquestionably be one of Chicago’s must-see comedy and theatrical events of 2013.”
Mythical Proportions runs at Theatre Wit (1229 W. Belmont Avenue Chicago) in association with 1113 Productions.