By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
The big grin of the Loop fest has to be Tap This, starring a trio of dancers called Rhythmic Souls. They are the lanky Katelyn Harris, athletic and funny Keira Leverton and legs-up-to-there cutie Courtné Shed.
Doing sophisticated jazz-tapping to selections by Vivaldi, the Beatles and M.C. Luscious, the ladies, wearing short black dresses, maintain a casual attitude that belies the crazy things they do with their feet. As they pull toe-stands and fan the air with the buck and wing, they never stop smiling and kibitzing with each other and the audience. Right now their tapping is stronger than their spoken transitions between numbers in the half-hour showcase. If they work out some clever dialogue, and get comfortable saying it without dissolving into giggles, they'll really have something. But even sans rap, these girls can tap.
Are you ready for some Foote? The 17-show, two-month-long Horton Foote Festival is the next big thang in Dallas/Fort Worth theaters. First up is Dallas Theater Center's production of Dividing the Estate, the last great play by the Texas-born playwright, who died in 2009. Previews start March 11 for that one starring June Squibb, Kurt Rhoads, Nance Williamson, Liz Mikel, Akin Babatunde, Matthew Gray, Gail Cronauer, Michael Connolly and SMU student Emily Habeck. (Through April 10.)
Fort Worth's Stage West opens Foote's gentle comedy Talking Pictures, starring Dana Schultes, on March 12 (playing through April 3). Then on March 25, The Old Beginning and John Turner Davis, two Foote one-acts directed by Jane Ferris and Karen Cogdill, open in the Wortley-Peabody Theatre at Dallas' First United Methodist Church near the downtown Arts District. (Through April 2.)
More Foote works join the festival in April at Kitchen Dog Theater, WaterTower, Uptown Players, Contemporary Theatre of Dallas, Echo Theatre, Theatre Three and elsewhere. We'll have our foot in the door at most of them.