Visual Art

American Adversaries: West and Copley in a Transatlantic World

Benjamin West and John Singleton Copley were born in colonial America in the same year, 1738, and both became acclaimed painters, but that’s where their similarities end. West moved to London in his twenties and never returned, eventually becoming an official painter at the court of King George III and later the second president of the Royal Academy. Copley, on the other hand, grew up on Boston’s Long Wharf and rose to become New England’s most successful portrait painter. This exhibition is the first to examine West and Copley side by side, and includes one of Copley’s best-known works, “Watson and the Shark,” together with a version of West’s magnum opus, “The Death of General Wolfe.” 

Oct 6–Jan 20. The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1001 Bissonnet St. 713-639-7300. mfah.org

Dance

Hungarian State Folk Ensemble

The Hungarian State Folk Ensemble was founded in 1951 with the aim of collecting and performing traditional Hungarian folk dances. Now considered one of the world’s top folkloric dance groups, the ensemble—whose members play period instruments and wear authentic Hungarian costumes—has performed in 50 countries, reaching an audience of eight million people. 

Oct 11 at 8. $18–68. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana St. 713-227-4772. spahouston.org

Theater

Veronica's Room

A young woman and her date are dining at a Boston restaurant when an elderly couple approach, introducing themselves as the caretakers of an old house outside the city. They tell the young woman that she looks just like the daughter of the family they used to work for, and, to prove the resemblance, they invite the pair back to the house to look at old photographs. Thus begins Veronica’s Room, the 1973 Ira Levin play with which Stages Repertory Theatre kicks off its new season. See full story here.

Oct 9–Nov 3. $19–45. Stages Repertory Theatre, 3201 Allen Pkwy. 713-527-0220. stagestheatre.com 

Reading

Edwidge Danticat and Daniel Woodrell

To replace Jhumpa Lahiri, who had to cancel her reading to attend the Man Booker Prize festivities in London (her new novel The Lowland was nominated for the prize), Inprint has booked two literary luminaries—Edwidge Danticat and Daniel Woodrell. The Haitian-American Danticat, the recipient of a MacArthur "genius" grant, has published four novels, a memoir, a story collection, two young adult novels, and an essay collection. The equally prolific Daniel Woodrell is best known for his novel Winter's Bone, which was adapted into a powerful 2010 film. 

Oct 13 at 7:30. $5. Cullen Theater, Wortham Theater Center, 501 Texas Ave. 713-521-2026. inprinthouston.org

Festival

Texas Renaissance Festival

Founded in 1974 on a former strip-mining site an hour north of Houston, the Texas Renaissance Festival has grown into an annual extravaganza occupying 60 acres and stretching across eight weekends. The festival now features around 400 unique “shoppes” and thousands of actors dressed in 16th century garb. Learn courtly dances, joust with knights, pig out on turkey legs, or, as the TRF’s motto puts it, simply “Lift up your cares.” 

Oct 12–Dec 1. $26; children $13. 21778 FM 1774, Todd Mission. 800-458-3435. texrenfest.com

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