Carroll Sterling Masterson and Harris Masterson III with a friend at a Broadway opening night, 1958. Photo courtesy of MFAH Press.
Al Hirschfeld’s artwork depicting Chita Rivera and the company of "Bajour," produced by the Mastersons. Photo courtesy of MFAH Press.
Ready for their close-up: Gloria Swanson and Harris Masterson III on opening night of "God and Kate Murphy," 1959. Photo courtesy of MFAH Press.
Carroll Sterling Masterson and Harris Masterson III are best known locally for founding Rienzi, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston’s house museum for decorative arts that was formerly the philanthropists’ home. But from 1958 to 1966, the Mastersons produced several Broadway shows, including the Tony-nominated musical Bajour and The Lady of the Camellias.
Now you can explore their theatrical past in “Broadway’s Amazing Mastersons,” an exhibition on view at Rienzi through Wednesday, July 31. Included are Playbills, letters, scripts, photographs, and illustrations culled from the MFAH’s archives, the Harry Ransom Center, and Rice University. It’s all part of Rienzi’s 20th anniversary celebration.
The Mastersons’ extensive LP collection is also being shared via a Spotify playlist. The music dates from 1958 to 1982 and includes songs from Bajour, Flower Drum Song, Two by Two, My Fair Lady, Mame, The Music Man, South Pacific, and A Little Night Music.
Rienzi is open Wednesday through Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm, and Sunday 1 to 5 pm, at 1406 Kirby Drive. Admission — which includes entry to this exhibition — is $10 for adults; $8 for seniors (65-plus); $5 for MFAH members, college students, and 13- through 18-year-olds.
Reservations are encouraged, as Rienzi is open by docent-led tour only. Call 713.639.7800 to reserve a time slot.