The best plays, musical performances, and exhibits in Texas are enjoyed by record-breaking crowds, according to our cultural arts arbiter Leanne Raesener, who shares our favorite recommendations for what to enjoy this winter across the state.

AUSTIN

AUS Courtesy of The Texas Performing Arts at The University of Texas Austin, Hollywood, The Prodigal Son

IF THEY COULD SEE ME NOW

The Actors Repertory of Texas presents a limited six-show engagement, Cindy Williams starring in Me, Myself & Shirley, a one-woman show at The Long Center. The legendary star of the iconic comedy series Laverne & Shirley will share memories of her career, the hilarious backstage tales, secrets, and the highs and lows of her life in entertainment. February 10-13. At  TheLongCenter.org or MeMyselfandShirley.com.

ON IMAGE: Courtesy of Christopher Ameruoso

AUS Torbjørn Rødland, Eggs, 2019. Chromogenic print on Kodak Endura paper. Artwork © Torbjørn Rødland.Courtesy the artist and NILS STÆRK, Copenhagen

OLD WORLD TRADITIONS

The Bullock Museum’s latest exhibition, Mystery and Benevolence, Masonic and Odd Fellows Folk Art, from the Kendra and Allan Daniel Gift to the American Folk Art Museum, explores the fascinating symbolism and imagery associated with Masonic and Odd Fellows folk art. You’ll discover how fraternal societies used secretive iconography to communicate the core tenets of fraternal teachings. Through March 27. At TheStoryofTexas.com.

ON IMAGE: Chest Lid with Masonic Painting, Probably New England, 1825–1845. Courtesy American Folk Art Museum, New York, Gift of Kendra and Allan Daniel, 2015.1.28

Texas Gold Changed the World

WITH LOVE FOR VALENTINE’S DAY

Grammy® Hall of Famer, acclaimed actress, and R&B icon Patti LaBelle returns for her first performance in Austin in five years with a show at Bass Concert Hall on Monday, February 14, 2022. The Godmother of Soul’s dynamic career spans seven decades, selling more than 50 million records worldwide. February 14. At TexasPerformingArts.org. 

ON IMAGE:  Courtesy of Texas Performing Arts

DALLAS / FORT WORTH

DAL Anna, Paris 2017, Photo by Paolo Roversi_Courtesy of the Dallas Contemporary.

CELLULAR THEORY

CELL GRIDS, Peter Halley’s first exhibition in Texas showcases a surprising new way to engage with the artist’s work. Halley’s paintings, with their distinctive iconography and intensely colored rectilinear isolated “cells,” are arranged into syncopated grids. Through February 13. At DallasContemporary.org.

ON IMAGE: Peter Halley. Under the Light, 2021. acrylic, fluorescent acrylic, Flashe, and Roll-a-Tex on joined canvases. Collection of Robert S. Taubman, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. © Peter Halley.

DAL Photography is Art exhibition, Courtesy of Amon Carter Museum_ Alfred Stieglitz, A Wet Day on the Boulevard, Paris, Photogravure, 2013

LET’S FACE IT

Faceless portraits are everywhere these days, from our social media feeds on. At the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, the newest exhibition Milton Avery showcases a 20th-century artist who made faceless portraits cool―before they were cool. This exhibition features approximately 70 paintings from the 1910s to the mid-’60s that are among his most celebrated. Through January 30. At TheModern.org.

ON IMAGE: Milton Avery, March in Brown, 1954, Private collection© 2021 Milton Avery Trust / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York and DACS, London 2021. Courtesy Victoria Miro and Waqas Wajahat

DAL Photo by Andy Nguyen. Courtesy of Galleria Dallas

MAKE MINE A DOUBLE

Pink Martini Featuring China Forbes is a rollicking around-the-world musical adventure. The band draws inspiration from the romantic Hollywood musicals of the ’40s and ’50s…with a more global perspective. After almost 30 years, Pink Martini performs its multilingual repertoire on concert stages and with symphony orchestras worldwide. January 13. At ATTPAC.org.

ON IMAGE: Courtesy of Autumn de Wilde

HOUSTON

HOUS Moooi Works, manufactured by Moooi, Mega Chandelier, 2018, mixed media and bulbs. © Moooi, New York

INTO HIGH GEAR

Kicking off Memorial Hermann Broadway at the Hobby Center’s new year, Hadestown, the winner of eight 2019 Tony Awards®, including Best New Musical and the 2020 Grammy® Award for Best Musical Theater Album, makes its Houston debut. It is a haunting and hopeful theatrical experience that grabs you and holds you tight. January 4-9. At TheHobbyCenter.org.

 ON IMAGE: Courtesy of T. Charles Erickson

HOUS David Novros, Detail of right wall from Untitled, 1973–75. The Menil Collection, Houston jpg

JEWEL TONES

Houston Ballet sparkles and enthralls with George Balanchine’s Jewels. Each of the three acts embodies their namesake jewels, Emeralds, Rubies and Diamonds through the unique musical stylings of their corresponding composer. February 24 – March 6. At HoustonBallet.org. 

ON IMAGE: Courtesy of Houston Ballet

HOUS Signature Works, Courtesy of Ars Lyrica Houston

BOSTON PROPER

For the first time, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH)  has received a rare loan of approximately 100 of the most significant paintings and works on paper from The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston’s (MFA), renowned Impressionist collection. The MFAH exhibition, Incomparable Impressionism from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston is the only U.S. venue for this show. Through March 27. At MFAH.org.

ON IMAGE: Edgar Degas, Racehorses at Longchamp, 1871, possibly reworked in 1874, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, S. A. Denio Collection—Sylvanus Adams Denio Fund and General Income. © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston/All Rights Reserved

SAN ANTONIO

SA Brenda Rae, Metropolitan Opera, Courtesy of Opera San Antonio

LATIN FLAIR

Making its United States debut at the Briscoe Museum, Vaqueros de la Cruz Del Diablo features celebrated photographer Werner Segarra as he invites audiences to peer into the world of the Northern Mexican Vaquero. It has almost 60 photographs that span more than 20 years of the lives of the vaqueros, Through January 25. At BriscoeMuseum.org.

ON IMAGE: ©WERNER SEGARRA_En que la milpa de Tony Ríos, Kenya Madrid y Ana Grethel Herrera Madrid. Socadeguachi, Huásabas, 2018

SA Martine Gutierrez, Still from Clubbing, 2012. HD video. Collection of the McNay Art Museum, © Martine Gutierrez.

BUILDING BRIDGES

Claude Monet’s masterpiece Charing Cross Bridge, Brouillard travels from the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto to the McNay for this special presentation. Along with the Monet and Whistler works are prints by James Jacques Tissot, John Marin, and contemporary New York artist Yvonne Jacquette.Through January 23. At McNayArt.org. 

ON IMAGE: Claude Monet. Charing Cross Bridge, brouillard, 1902. Collection of Art Gallery of Ontario. Gift of Ethel and Milton Harris, 1990. Photo© AGO

SA Gladys Roldan-De-Moras Memories From My Home, oil on linen

THE NEW REALISM

The San Antonio Museum of Art’s exhibition Wendy Red Star: A Scratch on the Earth explores how boundaries between cultural, racial, social, and gender lines are reinforced in America and how these lines blur across time and place. Museums across the country are featured in the show, including photography, textiles, and film and sound installations produced over twelve years. February 11―May 08. At SAMuseum.org.

 

ON IMAGE: Wendy Red Star, Indian Summer–Four Seasons, 2006, Archival pigment print on sunset fiber rag, Gift of Loren G. Lipson, M.D., 2016  2016.46.1.1, Collection of The Newark Museum of Art