MARK YOUR CALENDARS: Our major local art museums will feature a slew of high-level special exhibitions this season. That’s according to Rick Brettell, the Dallas Morning News‘ new art critic. He says there are nine that are especially notable – four must see’s and five that are highly recommended. Making the must see list: “The Age of Picasso and Matisse: Modern Masters From the Art Institute of Chicago” (Oct. 6-Feb. 16) and “Samurai: Armor From the Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Collection” (Feb. 16-Aug. 17, 2014) – both at the Kimbell – and “Hopper Drawing: A Painter’s Process” (Nov. 17-Feb. 16) and “Nur: Light in Art and Science From the Islamic World” (March 30-June 29, 2014) – both at the DMA.
SPLIT DECISION: Theatre Arlington is currently staging the musical Altar Boyz. The comedy checks in on a Christian boy band on the last night of its tour. And it’s got the critics divided. Punch Shaw says go see it. “Altar Boyz … will make you want to seek divine guidance about how to stop laughing,” is how he starts off his dfw.com review. But Mark Lowry wasn’t all that impressed. “Backed by a rockin’ live band of music director Michael Plantz and Mark Miller on keyboards, Jason Bennett on guitar and Richard Shafer on percussion, the performance seen for this review unfortunately didn’t have the same kind of musicianship with the vocals from the ensemble. More than a few sour notes and frequently off harmonies marred the experience of believing that this could be a band with enough hits on Christian radio to warrant a concert tour,” he writes on theaterjones.com. Judge for yourself through Oct. 6.
HAVING A GAS: If you’ve been to the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, you probably remember seeing Ed Ruscha’s Standard Station with 10-Cent Western Being Torn in Half. It’s one of the museum’s highlights. And if you know Ruscha, you know he’s been obsessed with gas stations for a long, long time. So much so that he published a book of his photographs of them, simply titled Twentysix Gasoline Stations. The book was published 50 years ago this year, and Carolina Miranda takes a look at its influence in a story for NPR.