See also: Our five favorite local wig shops.
They don't have a Joe Allen or a Sardi's to repair to after an evening of theater. So where do Dallas actors gather to unwind when the curtain rings down? We asked some busy local thesps and they told us.
Lakewood Landing (5818 Live Oak): To beer or not to beer -- there is no question when it comes to choosing a post-performance quaff with the actors from Shakespeare Dallas.
That company's Jenni Pittman says this is their favorite dive when they come up for air after Coriolanus or another of the Bard's sweatier dramas (Shakespeare Dallas performs outdoors). If you see lots of gorgeous classical acting types hanging out here this fall during rehearsals for Macbeth, don't mention the name of the play. Actors consider that bad luck. Just call it "Mackers."
Christie's Sports Bar (3811 McKinney Ave.): The R-rated musical Avenue Q at Theatre Too, just up the street from this Uptown neighborhood bar, is selling out big time (and has been extended into September). To relax after exhausting performances in the tiny playhouse, the actor-puppeteers bop over here for drinks, gossip and heavy flirting. Between paychecks, you'll also find the Theatre Three/Too casts just kicking back with a couple of 12-packs in the Quadrangle courtyard, says actor and costumer Michael Robinson (he's Avenue Q's "Monster").
Trinity Hall (5321 E. Mockingbird Lane): When the cast members of Sinbad: The Melodrama at nearby Pocket Sandwich Theatre brush the popcorn out of their hair (audiences are encouraged to toss the stuff during Pocket shows), they head across the street to this pub for beer, bratwursts and cider on tap. On Sunday nights there's a pub quiz, giving performers a chance to show off more than their acting skills.
Meridian Room (3611 Parry): Just around the corner from the tiny Ochre House theater, this is the spot to hang out with actor-director-playwright Matthew Posey and his little band of "Ochre House boys," which includes some girls, including actresses Cyndee Rivera and Elizabeth Evans. Cold brew on tap, a good wine selection and cheap tacos earn the applause from this bunch. Posey's very secretive about his shows. Lurk here and you might get some hints about what he's got cooking.
Snookie's Bar and Grill (3604 Oak Lawn): Busy Dallas actor Alex Ross, currently co-starring in Dallas Theater Center's Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, takes his entourage to this longtime late-night casual joint in Oak Lawn (it's just up the hill from Kalita Humphreys Theater on Turtle Creek). With The Commissary closed now, Snookie's Oak Lawn location will probably be seeing even more actors still in their pancake makeup from a night trodding the boards or a day trying to snag a role at auditions. WaterTower Theatre's artistic director Terry Martin likes to confab with his crew at the Addison location. Actors appreciate the menu of cheap eats, with most items under $10.
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Village Burger Bar (3699 McKinney): Open till 2 a.m., this Uptown establishment is a favorite of Uptown Players star B.J. Cleveland (see him next in The Producers, opening at Kalita Humphrey Theater August 24). Portobello burgers are a top choice here for performers and backstage crew recharging after a tough all-day tech rehearsal.
Angry Dog (2726 Commerce): Down in Deep Ellum, the actors and techies from Level Ground Arts unleash their inhibitions at this friendly pub. If you detect blood stains on some of the LGA performers over the next few weeks, they're rehearsing Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd. (Shane Strawbridge is playing the title role.) After several hours of singing and throat-slashing in the musical, the cast returns to sanity here over hot dogs and cold beverages. No meat pies, however.