Hottest headlines of 2023
Top 10 Dallas arts stories of 2023 spotlight Jesus musical and Dracula ballet
Editor's note:As we look back at the most-read arts stories of 2023, we see entries from many of the disciplines that make up North Texas' vibrant cultural landscape: theater, dance, classical music, visual arts, books, and more. Two of the most popular headlines were buzzy openings and a closings: Meow Wolf finally opened its Grapevine portal, and a celebrity-backed, faith-based musical suddenly closed in The Colony. There are also appearances by Dracula, Mary Kay, and 'Yellowstone' creator Taylor Sheridan. These were the hottest Dallas arts headlines of 2023
1. Jesus-themed musical His Story abruptly closes in The Colony after one month. The Jesus-themed theatrical event His Story: The Musical suddenly announced it would be closing that same day, June 18, exactly a month after it opened. The massive undertaking was first announced in late 2022, and producers included Willie and Korie Robertson, the stars of Duck Dynasty. Grandscape at The Colony housed the production with a 1,300-seat, fully air-conditioned theater tent.
2. 15 primers and tips to get your money’s worth at new Meow Wolf in Grapevine. The portal finally opened. After more than a year of build-up, the immersive art sensation Meow Wolf opened its fourth location nationwide and first in Texas at Grapevine Mills mall on Friday, July 14. We gave readers some advice - essential background, tips, and things to know to get the most out of your experience at Meow Wolf “The Real Unreal.”
Meow Wolf: The Real Unreal opened on July 14 at Grapevine Mills. Photo by Jess Gallo
3. Grapevine cracks open its first and only indie bookstore. Grapevine finally got an independent bookstore, and it's women-owned, to boot. Talking Animals Books, located at 103 W. Worth St. in Grapevine, threw open its doors to the public on February 2.
4. Texas Ballet Theater's new season has bite with Dracula, Beauty and the Beast, and more. Texas Ballet Theater's 2023-2024 season, announced in March, would include four separate productions, including a couple of returning favorites. The season would kick off in September with Dracula, which was a hit when it was last performed by the company in 2015.
Dracula kicked off Texas Ballet Theater's 2023-24 season in September. Photo by Steven Visneau
5. 15-year-old from South Korea wins 2023 Cliburn International Junior Piano Competition in Dallas. Seokyoung Hong, a 15-year-old phenom from South Korea, took home the top prize at the 2023 Cliburn International Junior Piano Competition and Festival in Dallas on Saturday, June 17.
6. 11 Dallas icons star in new book of most influential Texans from last 50 years. To commemorate Texas Monthly's 50th anniversary, the publication collected the stories and photographs of 50 iconic Texans who have shaped the state and the country over the past 50 years for a book called Lone Stars Rising. Eleven Dallas megastars made the roster.
7. Warm up to these 8 must-see art exhibitions in Dallas-Fort Worth for June. As the lazy days of summer approacedh, the frenetic pace of art festivals and exhibits quieted down a bit. But that didn't mean artists' voices were hushed; they were coming through loud and clear. Art lovers ready to welcome (or seek respite from) the warmth of June put these eight exhibits on their must-see list.
Arden Bendler Browning shared her perspective on movement, time, and place in a solo show at Galleri Urbane. Photo courtesy of Arden Bendler Browning
8. Dallas' SMU gets $15 million gift for new program in musical theater. The Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University is expanding, thanks to a very generous gift. Philanthropist and Broadway producer G. Marlyne Sexton donated $15 million to create a specialization in musical theater, SMU announced in November.
9. 3 North Texas superstars receive state's highest honor for achievement in the arts. The stars at night are always bright in Texas, but they were particularly brilliant in Austin on February 22 as some of the state's biggest superstars gathered to receive the 2023 Texas Medal of Arts. Among them: Dallas-born actor Luke Wilson, Dallas fashion designer Lela Rose, and Weatherford's Taylor Sheridan, creator of TV's Yellowstone universe.
Taylor Sheridan received the 2023 TMAA for achievement in film and production. Photo by Taylor Prinsen Photography
10. Plano signs on to debut of Dallas-Fort Worth's first Deaf theater company. Following a 2022 summer pilot program of youth theater camps, North Texas Performing Arts was ready to open its first full-length production by the new NTPA Deaf Theatre, June 30-July 2, 2023. Titled Deaf Theatre Showcase: A Union of Hands and Voices, the inaugural show premiered at NTPA's Starcatchers Theatre in the Willow Bend Center for the Arts.