Navigating the Loop can be a complicated, down to the wire process. It's a variegated 10-day festival of theater, dance, and performance, and unless you've cleared your schedule, it's unlikely you'll get to see it all, so you'll need to plan accordingly. Critics will give you the rundown of picks. Mine would include Audacity Theatre Lab's Cyrano A -Go-Go and Rite of Passage's Standing 8 Count for theater, and then for dance: Legends Never Die by Rhythmic Souls, recent winner of a Mastermind award, and Danielle Georgiou Dance Group's NICE, if you missed its premiere late last year.
But my top three picks are not Dallas-based performances, instead they coincidentally all feature performers for whom a trip to the Out of the Loop Fringe Festival is a homecoming.
Montgomery Sutton will be the most familiar face on this list of hometown transplants, as he regularly returns home to perform. Recently, he played notorious assassin in the Second Thought Theatre production, Booth. He returns to Dallas for Loop, as part of the four person cast in You Need Go Search, a piece by Ah, Whoopsies! The show's intriguing premise is as follows: "four people in unusual clothes whose lives are lit by flashlights and dime store lanterns, anchored by broken stuff and communicated via bubbles." You Need Go Search has three performances in the studio theatre: 7:30 p.m. March 10, 9:30 p.m. March 13, and 5 p.m. March 14.
You might recognize Jenn Dodd from her one-person character piece, No Show, which overtook the studio theater with giggles and snort-laughs, earning Best of Studio in 2014. The Bedford native, New York City resident returns to Loop this year with a new show, Melanchomedy: Funny Scenes About Sad Folks, which is a series of vignettes, which she describes as, "An anthropological show, through the view of an absurdist. Or, to quote R.E.M., it's basically about the idea that everybody hurts." She's excited to bring this new show to the "phenomenal" Loop audiences. Be there to laugh at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 6, 5 p.m. Saturday, March 7 and 2 p.m. Sunday, March 8.
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The freshest face to head back to her stomping grounds is Arlington-native Tori Scott, a regular on the New York City cabaret circuit. For her first professional performance in Texas, she brings I'll Regret This Tomorrow for the Loop's second weekend. Scott's been performing variations of this show at Joe's Pub for the last year. If you're unfamiliar with contemporary cabaret, this is the place to start. "I look at it more as stand up with music," says Scott. She also describes it as a mixtape of her misadventures. She'll sing everything from Judy Garland to Michael Jackson as she "celebrates her poor life choices." She encourages her audience to show up a little bit sloshed, flask in hand (unless, they're driving of course). And no kids. "Unless they want to be scarred for life." See why Scott was named one Time Out New York's Top 10 Cabaret artists at 7:30 p.m. March 13, 2 p.m. March 14, and 5 p.m. March 15.
All single show tickets are just $10. Full schedule and passes available at watertowertheatre.org.