This is my third year working on the festival, and every year I love it more and more. There's such a fantastic energy that week. Meeting comedians from across the country (AND CANADA!), seeing unique and hilarious shows, drinking JELL-O shots until you feed them to festival volunteers out of a bowl using a huge spoon pretending they're baby birds (CC: volunteers from 2016. I'm sorry. I love you.)
This year is no different.
While I'm pumped to see all of the shows, I've got my eye on a few that I think the entire city of Dallas needs to see. Here are my nightly recs:
The first show of the festival is the 6:30 p.m. all-female stand-up extravaganza. I've loved watching Saffron Herndon grow up on the mic and can't wait to see her again at this year's festival. Plus, Linda Stogner is my stand-up crush, Hannah Vaughan is a gem of a human, and I missed Amanda Kay Holstien when she headlined at the Dallas Comedy House because I was on maternity leave.
I'll also be hitting up the 9:00 sketch show because I was too pregnant to see "Stand by She" when it had its run in Dallas. Being too pregnant to see shows is a real thing. Don't challenge me on this.
You will find me giggling in the 8:00 p.m. stand-up show on Thursday. Coming back for a second year from the great nation of Canada is Marc Anthony Sinagoga. I laughed until I cried at his set last year, and I was 100% sober. It's also stacked with some other great comedians who's submission videos had me rolling. Basically, if you like stand-up at all, you should be at this show.
The first show of the night (6:30 p.m.) happens to be at Independent Bar and Kitchen and also happens to be one that I can't wait to see. Why you ask? I'll tell you! First of all, Impractical Magic opens the show. These ladies are lovely and funny and magical. They're followed by The Chairold from Oklahoma City. Confession: the groups that come down from OKC are filled with some of the best people I've ever met. They're heart of gold humans and, luckily for us, they're funny, too!
Closing out the 6:30 Improv show on Friday is Why It Brite? with Sarah Wyatt and Ashley Bright. I used to perform with Sarah Wyatt before she left Dallas to head west, where her fortunes lie (Los Angeles), and I wish I performed with Ashley Bright. I can't wait to see these two besties reunite at DCF. It's gonna be beautiful and I'll probably cry.
The Saturday of DCF is always such a surreal day. We work so hard putting the festival together. I'm usually up at DCH early for workshops, and stay until the bar closes at 2am Sunday. It sounds like a long day, but it always goes by so fast. Sigh. Ce la vie.
I'll be starting my Saturday show-wise trying to catch some of the 6:00 p.m. Improv show at Independent Bar & Kitchen. Junk Science is one of my favorite, newer teams. They have such a great energy and chemistry! They're followed by Just the Funny out of Miami. David Christopher performs with Just the Funny. Besides being an incredible instructor, he's one of my favorite performers to watch. I feel like I learn more about improv just by being in his presence.
Closing out the Saturday 6:00 show at IBK is Manick. I have loved Manick since I started taking classes at Dallas Comedy House in 2011. It only took me four years to realize "MANICK" comes from combining the names of the troupe members, Amanda and Nick.
This MANICK realization may not have been my smartest moment, but I promise you these picks for festival shows are super intelligent.
Maggie Rieth Austin originally hails from Rochester, NY and is a Texan by choice. She writes, produces, and performs at the Dallas Comedy House. Her favorite food is frozen peas.