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 across the state during this bright, brisk New Year.

AUSTIN

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

LITHE LIKE THE WIND

Ballet Austin brings together a luxurious trio of works in Sarah’s Songs. From the beauty of Balanchine’s iconic Serenade to the dynamic energy and vivid colors of Jessica Lang’s Garden Blue to a World Premiere by Stephen Mills. It’s truly a dance lover’s treat. February 10-12. At BalletAustin.org.

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

PAPER TRAIL

Medieval X Modern presents the work of modern artists from Europe and the Americas who created prints, drawings, paintings, illustrated books, sculptures, and decorative objects informed by the spectacular craftsmanship and compelling historical figures of the Middle Ages. Through July 9. At BlantonMuseum.org

Texas Gold Changed the World

BAD HAIR DAY? SKIP THIS BARBER

Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, is the dark, brooding, yet sharply comic story of love, revenge, and meat pies. In his multiple Tony© Award-winning musical, the late and much-beloved Stephen Sondheim created what many call the grand American opera of the late 20th-century. January 28–February 5. At AustinOpera.org.

DALLAS / FORT WORTH

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

SUCH A SCENE

Charles Truett Williams: The Art of the Scene examines the Fort Worth mid-century art scene through the presentation of more than 30 works by Fort Worth artist Charles Truett Williams and the artistic community drawn to his studio salon. Through May 7. At CarterMuseum.org.

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

MASTERPIECE MOVEMENTS

Texas Ballet Theater presents Modern Masterpieces, featuring three different pieces. In Bartok, playful motifs and intriguing backdrops set the stage for a ravishing neoclassical ballet. Image portrays the arc of Marilyn Monroe’s tragic life in a one-woman performance. And, Imbue is modern and minimalistic. February 24 ̶26. At TexasBalletTheater.org.

DAL Photo by Andy Nguyen. Courtesy of Galleria Dallas

IN GOOD COMPANY

Internationally acclaimed Karina Canellakis returns to the Meyerson stage to bring us Dvořák’s orchestral poem, The Wood Dove. Also on the program, Randall Goosby, the fast-rising 25-year-old star violinist, joins the Dallas Symphony to perform Tchaikovsky’s Concerto in D Major. DSO musicians perform Lutosławski’s Concerto for Orchestra highlights. January 27–29. At DallasSymphony.org.

HOUSTON

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

GOODBYE YELLOW BRICK ROAD, HELLO NEW YORK STATE OF MIND

From Rocket Man to Piano Man, the iconic hits of two classic rock legends come alive in this special concert. Piano-and-vocal talent Michael Cavanaugh ̶ handpicked by Billy Joel to recreate his music in the Broadway musical Movin’ Out  ̶ delivers an electrifying performance. January 6 ̶ 8. At  HoustonGrandOpera.org.

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

A FOREVER HOME

A FOREVER HOME

The Menil Collection presents Art of the Cameroon Grassfields, A Living Heritage in Houston, an exhibition celebrating the enduring artistic traditions of this mountainous and verdant region. The show will present more than 20 historical works from Houston-based museums and private collections. February 17–July 9. At Menil.org.

ON IMAGE: Hervé Youmbi, Panther, 2019. One of the five thrones from Celestial Thrones, 2019. Courtesy of his majesty Fo Gabriel Ndjiemeni, the artist, and Axis Gallery, NY. © Hervé Youmbi

HOUS Signature Works, Courtesy of Ars Lyrica Houston

BY CHANCE, A LITTLE ROMANCE

Few operas have as much comedic energy as Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro. Tony© Award-winning director Michael Grandage’s production of the boisterous rom-com re-sets the class consciousness to the late ‘60s Francoist Spain. The bright colors and costumes evoke the Moroccan influence, ensuring an unforgettable evening. January 13–28. At HoustonGrandOpera.org.

SAN ANTONIO

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

WONDERFULLY WICKED

In the McNay Art Museum’s exhibition Something Wicked, Susan Hilferty Costumes showcases dresses, accessories, and more. Susan Hilferty wowed Broadway with her Wicked costume designs, winning the 2004 Tony© Award for Best Costume Design of a Musical. Through March 26. At McNayArt.org.

 

ON IMAGE: Costume drawing design for Ozians in Wicked, Susan Hilferty; Courtesy of the artist.

 

ON IMAGE: Costume design for Ozians in Wicked, Susan Hilferty; Courtesy of the artist.

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

IT’S TIME TO TANGO

In this sensual and seductive piece, Maria De Buenos Aires, the story of a tango-obsessed prostitute born on a day “when God was drunk,” will knock you over with its powerful storytelling and singing. Don’t miss this immersive experience as the Alvarez is turned into a gritty nightclub with cocktail table packages, bar service, and tango dancers creating a passionate atmosphere. February 10 ̶ 11. At OperaSA.org.

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

JUST GIVE ME A LITTLE…

R.E.S.P.E.C.T is an electrifying tribute celebrating the music of the legendary Aretha Franklin. The concert features all your favorite hits, including Natural Woman, Think, Respect, and many more. January 21. At SanAntonio.Broadway.com.