The Iron Claw
Produced by A24 for release on December 22
In the early eighties, the greatest show on earth was staged inside a corrugated-tin coliseum in Dallas, where a rowdy audience of almost four thousand watched three Von Erich brothers wrestle their rivals. The night’s violent heroics were taped for World Class Championship Wrestling, which in 1982 was the second-most-watched syndicated TV show in America. The Von Erichs, led by their domineering father, created the blueprint for pro wrestling but at the steepest cost: the siblings were marked for tragedy. Director Sean Durkin and stars including Zac Efron and Jeremy Allen White bring those heady days to the big screen—and examine why the family self-destructed.
Tomball German Heritage Festival
The town of Tomball, about thirty miles northwest of Houston, was founded in the 1840s by German immigrants and is so proud of its heritage that it celebrates twice a year. We prefer the December event to the March shindig because, in addition to four stages of live music (including an oompah band) and a beer-stein-hoisting contest, it includes a Christmas market selling German crafts and ornaments. Prost!
Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé
This year we’ve all been living in Queen Bey’s world, whether or not we were one of the 2.7 million fans who flocked to her five-month Renaissance World Tour, which ended in October. The Beyoncé juggernaut generated an estimated $4.5 billion for the U.S. economy, according to the New York Times. But if you missed out—or want to relive it—this concert film, much like 2019’s Homecoming, will put you both backstage and in the front row.
“The Iconic Portrait Strand by Nestor Topchy”
Menil Collection, Houston, through January 21
The artists of the Byzantine Empire pioneered Christian iconography with portraits of biblical figures and scenes, often incorporating gold leaf for a divine hue. Houston’s Topchy, who grew up Ukrainian Orthodox, has applied the style to dozens of portraits of friends and fellow artists. The exhibit is the sixty-year-old’s first solo show at a major museum.
This article originally appeared in the December 2023 issue of Texas Monthly with the headline “Four Reasons This Is a Great Month in Texas Culture.” Subscribe today.
Photo credits: Efron and White: Eric Chakeen/A24; Efron in ring: Brian Roedel/A24