2014 was a year of retrenchment in the Houston arts world. Two theater companies undertook major renovations; small arts organizations like Hope Stone Dance Company and Opera in the Heights redefined their missions, while the Houston Friends of Chamber Music rebranded as Chamber Music Houston; the Menil Collection opened a restaurant and revealed plans for its new drawing institute; Fitzgerald's, the historic concert venue in the Heights, announced a planned move to a new multi-venue development on N. Main St; the Houston Symphony welcomed a dynamic new artistic director; and Hermann Park celebrated its centennial with a series of public art installations and the opening of the McGovern Centennial Gardens.
But despite all the upheaval, the show went on in spectacular fashion, from the Houston Grand Opera kicking off its first-ever Ring Cycle to a Menil exhibition a decade in the making. Below, find our critics' top picks in seven categories. And feel free to let us know what we left out by leaving a comment.