The ACTX Top Ten: Summer 2015

IMAGE: Philip Hays at the Buffalo Bayou Partnership Silos, in Horse Head Theatre Co. in The Whale; or, Moby-Dick.
Photo by Logan Sebastian Beck.

tamarieThe University of Tamarie at Catastrophic Theatre

HOUSTON—In the Bayou City, we know that it’s summer when the curtain rises on Tamarie Cooper’s annual extravaganza at Catastrophic Theatre. This year, the veteran singer/dancer/actor is ready to go back to school with all of us in tow with The University of Tamarie, July 17 – Aug. 29. Expect the usual zaniness, with terrific original music and exceptional choreography.

IMAGE:  Tamarie Cooper in The University of Tamarie.  Photo by George Hixson.



nashertryst  by Phyllida Barlow at the Nasher Sculpture Center

DALLAS— Even before entering the Nasher Sculpture Center, Barlow’s gargantuan  sculptural growths can be seen through the windows of the Main Hall, teasing passersby to enter. The show is full of massive sculptural moments, all drastically different and yet all linked thanks to Barlow’s highly developed visual language. You’ve got to experience this one in person. See it at the Nasher through August 30.

IMAGE:  Phyllida Barlow,  untitled:stilted crates, 2015 Lumber, polyurethane foam, polystyrene, cement, steel, plywood, plastic fastenings, paint, hardboard, and PVA adhesive. Courtesy of the artist and Hauser & Wirth.


jennifer-hSophisticated Ladies at ZACH

AUSTIN— ZACH Theatre heats up the summer months with Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies, staring Jennifer Holliday, and includes classics like “Mood Indigo,” “Take the A Train,” “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing),” July 15 – Aug. 23 at the Topfer Theatre.

IMAGE:  Jennifer Holliday.  Photo courtesy of ZACH Theatre.


bmoodySouthern Myths at G Gallery

HOUSTON— Here in the Southwest, we mythologize our history, both collective and personal, like it’s nobody’s business and Texas’ art world is especially rife with mythology interpreters. Randall Mosman, Joshua Goode and bmoodyart are three such Texas-based artists who have one (at least one) thing in common; a driven, highly personal and heavily-symbolic approach to illustrating their distinct-yet- shared histories. This July, catch their work, both paintings and objects, at Houston’s G Gallery in Southern Myths.

IMAGE:  Bmoodyart, Haunted by God. Courtesy the artist.

divide-lightPerformance as Art: Lesley Dill at the McNay

SAN ANTONIO- The poetry of Emily Dickinson struck New York artist Lesley Dill like a lightning bolt, sparking a 35-year career mixing sculpture, drawing, photography, printmaking and installation in performance-based works featuring word-emblazoned, strikingly sculptural costumes, exemplified by her tour-de-force opera, Divide Light. Get to know Dill in her retrospective at the McNay Art Museum through Sept 6.

IMAGE:  Lesley Dill, Divide Light, Performance, 2008.

all-menAll Men at DGDG

DALLAS— Creative masterminds Danielle Georgiou and Justin Locklear are up to their provocative antics again, this time with The Show About Men, a four-part movement piece concerned with the catch-22 of manhood in modern culture, July 10 – 30 at Bath House Cultural Center.

IMAGE:  The cast of The Show About Men.  Photo by Ryan Stephenson.

water-by-spoonfulWater by the Spoonful at Playhouse SA

SAN ANTONIO—Quiara Alegria Hude’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Water by the Spoonful, spins a poignant tale of addiction, recovery and redemption, July 3-26 at Playhouse SA’s Cellar Theater.

IMAGE:  Julya Jara.  Photo by Siggi Ragnar.


little-redNatalie Frank’s Tales of the Brothers Grimm at the Blanton Museum of Art

AUSTIN— Natalie Frank is a bright, energetic, and exceptionally amicable artist. Her work is the antithesis—dark, mucky, and unnerving, and the project she began about four years ago, illustrating and interpreting the tales of the Brothers Grimm, is a curiously complex undertaking and Texas audiences can see the body of work at the Blanton Museum of Art July 11-Nov. 15. It’s an immensely enthralling collection of work, equal parts grotesque and intoxicating, an appropriate interpretation of the tales of the Brothers Grimm, no?

IMAGE:  Natalie Frank, Little Red Cap I, 2011–2014. Gouache and chalk pastel on paper, 22 x 30 inches, Private Collection.

Horse Head goes into the Belly of the Whale

HOUSTON—Leave it to Horse Head Theatre, Houston’s rogue renegades, to come up with an immersive one-man Moby Dick called The Whale; or, Moby-Dick, this one penned by Timothy N. Evers, Philip Hays, and Herman Melville, July 29 – Aug. 5 in a specially-devised dome at Buffalo Bayou Partnership Silos.

amon-carterIndigenous Beauty: Masterworks of American Indian Art at the Amon Carter Museum

FORT WORTH—  Here in America we’re all too aware of canonical art history’s seemingly blatant disregard for the art of non-Western and ancient artists and cultures. Indigenous Beauty: Masterworks of American Indian Art from the Diker Collection is on view at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth through Sept. 13 and the nearly 120 works which comprise the show (some by contemporary artists) will make you rethink your idea of “art history,” American art history, anyways.

IMAGE:  Situlilu (Rattlesnake) Katsina, 1910–30, Zuni, New Mexico. Cottonwood, pine, gesso, pigment, dyed horsehair, cornhusk, cotton cord Courtesy American Federation of Arts Diker no. 835.