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 summer across the state.

AUSTIN

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

THE COOL FACTOR

Street artist Banksy has always been known for his secrecy. Banksyland, an international touring exhibition, includes more than 80 original studio works, salvaged street artworks, and never-before-seen immersive installations. July 22 ̶ 24; location in zip code 78712; TBD two weeks prior.

At BanksyLand.com.

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

POSITIVE POST

The Blanton Museum will present Ellsworth Kelly: Postcards, a comprehensive survey of over 150 of Kelly’s playful, creative postcard collages made between 1949 and 2005. Many postcards reveal places Kelly lived or visited, such as Paris or New York City. August 27‒November 27. At BlantonMuseum.org.

UNDER IMAGE: Artist. Ellsworth Kelly. Courtesy of Ellsworth Kelly Studio © Ellsworth Kelly Foundation

Texas Gold Changed the World

DON’T BE CRUEL

Direct from Broadway, Mean Girls is the hilarious hit musical from an award-winning creative team. Cady Heron may have grown up on an African savanna, but nothing prepared her for the cruel ways of her strange new home: suburban Illinois. August 2‒7. At TexasPerformingArts.org.

ON IMAGE:  Courtesy of Texas Performing Arts at The University of Texas at Austin.

DALLAS / FORT WORTH

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

IMMERSE YOURSELF

Massimiliano Siccardi, the original Immersive Van Gogh and Immersive Monet creator, brings us The Impressionists, a compelling exploration of vibrant colors on a jaw-dropping scale. It features everything from Monet’s celebrated water lilies to Degas’s graceful dancers. July 1‒September 11. At ImmersiveMonet.com.

 

UNDER IMAGE: Photo by Elana Emer

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

THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME

Dallas Theater Center announces the Public Works Dallas’ The Odyssey. This final grand trilogy reimagines the Greek epic with Public Works’ signature blend of professional actors, community members, and special guests. July 8‒July 10. At DallasTheaterCenter.org.

 

ON IMAGE:  Courtesy of the Dallas Theater Center                                 

DAL Photo by Andy Nguyen. Courtesy of Galleria Dallas

TWO OF A DIFFERENT TIME

The Kimball Museum’s Focus Exhibition will include two paintings depicting different versions of the Old Testament story of Judith and Holofernes—one by Italian Baroque artist Artemisia Gentileschi and the other by American contemporary artist Kehinde Wiley, realized exactly 400 years apart. July 19‒September 5. At KimbellArt.org.

 

UNDER LEFT IMAGE: Judith and Holofernes, c. 1612–17, oil on canvas by Artemisia Gentileschi (Rome, 1593–Naples, ca. 1653), Inv. Q 378. Napoli, Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte.

UNDER RIGHT IMAGE: Judith and Holofernes, 2012 by Kehinde Wiley (American, b.1977). © Kehinde Wiley. Courtesy of the North Carolina Museum of Art and Sean Kelly, New York.

HOUSTON

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

BUTLER, CANDLESTICK...PANTRY?

It’s a dark and stormy night, and you’re at a dinner party, where murder and blackmail are on the menu. Based on the cult movie and the classic board game, Clue is the ultimate whodunit that will leave you dying of laughter and guessing until the end. July 22‒August 28. At AlleyTheatre.org.

 

ON IMAGE: Courtesy of the Alley Theatre

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

IS IT REAL, OR IS IT…?

MFAH’s new exhibit Leandro Erlich: Seeing Is Not Believing, features two of his most iconic installations: Bâtiment (Façade) and Le cabinet du psy (The Psychoanalyst’s Office) in two immersive, room-size environments. Through September 5. At MFAH.org.

 

UNDER IMAGE: Courtesy of the Alley Theatre

HOUS Signature Works, Courtesy of Ars Lyrica Houston

REVENGE IS BEST SERVED…

Is God Is, the 2018 Obie Award and 2016 Relentless Award-winning play by Aleshea Harris, makes its Houston premiere this summer. A modern myth about twin sisters seeking justice in this darkly funny and unapologetic new play. July 14‒August 6. At RecRoomArts.org.

 

UNDER IMAGE: Photo courtesy of Rec Room Arts

SAN ANTONIO

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

TRUE TO YOUR ROOTS

The San Antonio Botanical Garden presents Rooted, a monumental sculpture exhibition by acclaimed contemporary artist Steve Tobin. The forces of nature are displayed throughout the park, from the towering root systems to polished clouds resting on the earth, bronze egg-laden nests up to 6-feet tall, and spiraling tornados. Through October 30. At SABot.org.

 

 

ON IMAGE: Courtesy of San Antonio Botanical Garden

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

COOL COMIDA

Cooling down on a scorching day with a frozen paleta or warming up in a cozy neighborhood diner are the many shared experiences evoked in The Art of SA Eats. Five San Antonio artists explore the city’s culinary landscape through paintings, photographs, sculpture, and video. Through September 4. At McNayArt.org.

UNDER IMAGE: Eva Marengo Sanchez, Fruteria La Mission y Taqueria, 2018. Oil on panel. Courtesy of Henry Muñoz.

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

ISLAND LOVE TRAGEDY REDEMPTION

The Public Theater of San Antonio presents Once On This Island. The classic love story between a peasant girl who falls in love with a wealthy boy from the other side of the island. July 15‒August 7. At ThePublicSA.org.

 

ON IMAGE: Courtesy of The Public Theater of San Antonio