Getting to cover Julia Sweeney and Nora Dunn working out new material in intimate settings over the weekend was a treat. Sweeney's readings at the Evanston club Space actually have been open to the public, so $5 and knowledge that the presentation started at 4 p.m. Saturday got you in--and she was happy to talk to everyone afterward.
The Dunn event was a more exclusive affair--a salon, but one that I'd attended and in which I'd even participated a couple of years ago (with my book "The Foie Gras Wars"). My concern here was that Dunn was trying out material in a friendly environment, so she might not have desired for press coverage to be part of the package. So I reached out to her ahead of time and was fortunate that she was completely a good sport about talking to me and having me and a Trib photographer at the salon.
I was a bit concerned that I might stand out as the guy with the notebook, but once her performance started, someone's cell phone went off, and then EVERYONE pulled out his or her cell phone to make sure it was set on silent, and amid all that hubbub, Dunn started over, and the guy with the notebook was a mere afterthought.
-- Mark Caro
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