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Artemisia Gentileschi’s “Judith Slaying Holofernes” returns to the Kimbell this summer. Courtesy the Kimbell Art Museum

How nice to spend an evening indoors with other people without wearing a mask. Live entertainment returns this summer, and we have the lead on everything you can see and hear during the next three months.

Of course, the biggest event figures to be the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, delayed by a year because of the pandemic. The 2017 event drew political protesters in the single digits, but with Russian pianists competing while the country’s military bombs churches and children’s hospitals in Ukraine, there will be more this year. Strap in for it, wear your blue and yellow, and learn to say, “Svobodnaya Ukraina!” Once that’s over, there will still be the annual Piano Texas festival and the Mimir Chamber Music Festival, both at TCU.

On the art front, the Kimbell Art Museum’s The Language of Beauty in African Art runs through July, but the museum will also have a free exhibition starting that same month. Slay: Artemisia Gentileschi & Kehinde Wiley juxtaposes the two artists’ Biblical paintings of Judith killing Holofernes, executed precisely 400 years apart, with Wiley’s stylization contrasting with Gentileschi’s sheer brutality. Meanwhile, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth’s current exhibition, Women Painting Women, runs into September and takes in portraits from the last 60 years by luminaries such as Alice Neel, Tracey Emin, and Faith Ringgold. The Amon Carter Museum of American Art has three exhibitions opening in June. Black Every Day contains photographs of African-American subjects from the museum’s collection, Justin Ginsberg: Shaking the Shadow will be a sculpture of glass threads installed in the main hall, and Sargent, Whistler, and Venetian Glass will place paintings by the titular 19th-century American masters alongside glassworks from the era.

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If your taste runs more toward live theater, Casa Mañana puts on Newsies, which has prospered more on stage than the 1992 film has fared on the big screen. Bass Hall hosts touring productions of Oklahoma!, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Dreamgirls, but the hottest ticket surely belongs to the late July run of Mean Girls, the musical adapted from the 2004 teen movie.

Into the Breeches!, a comedy about a theater troupe that has to go all-female during World War II, hits Stage West this summer. Courtesy StageWest.org.

Stage West mounts George Brant’s Into the Breeches!, a comedy about a theater troupe that has to go all-female during World War II, which is followed by Stephen Adly Guirgis’ more serious Between Riverside & Crazy, a drama about an ex-cop facing eviction from his New York City apartment. Circle Theatre has only one show this summer, but it promises to be a doozy: Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein the Musical, adapted from the classic 1975 movie by the same team that made The Producers into a Broadway hit. Amphibian Stage Productions’ one new show is David Adjmi’s Marie Antoinette, a contemporary look at the ill-fated French queen.

Theatre Arlington puts on three shows this summer, and the most interesting looks to be Peter Shaffer’s farce Black Comedy, in which the stage is lit while the characters are supposed to be in darkness and unable to see one another and vice versa. Jubilee Theatre’s one show this summer is Tori Sampson’s If Pretty Hurts …, about four teenage girls measuring themselves against standards of beauty that weren’t necessarily made to accommodate them. Then there’s always Hip Pocket Theatre, for those of you who would rather not be inside. This summer they give us stage adaptations of Pinocchio, Mark Twain’s The Diaries of Adam and Eve, A.A. Milne’s When We Were Very Young, and Sam Shepard and Joseph Chaikin’s Savage/Love.

We may be bracing for another COVID variant in the fall, but until then, there’s plenty of reason to leave the house and join our city’s vibrant cultural scene.

What better time to fill the multiplexes? Read about the summer movie season in Summer Movie Preview in #SummerEdition2022.

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