Dustin Blocker started Hand Drawn Records in 2006. He saw untapped potential among indie bands across North Texas — including Denton acts. He wanted a label that would serve musicians, not shoulder past them in hot pursuit of a big, blinking bottom line.
Denton resident and Texas Poet Laureate Karla K. Morton has been traveling with fellow Laureate Alan Birkelbach in “Words of Preservation: A Poets Laureate National Parks Tour.” The National Park Service tour is a three-year project the pair launched last year to contribute to the exploration, preservation and protection of the country’s natural spaces for the next 100 years.
There’s been a lot of talk over the past year about the uncertain fate of Denton’s music scene. After the closure of revered venues Hailey’s, Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios and, most recently, the basement at J&J’s Pizza, many entertained the idea that the city’s role as an independent-music powerhouse had ended. How can a scene survive without concert venues to showcase its talents?
Music Theatre of Denton has announced its cast for Sister Act, a musical based on the 1992 movie about a disco diva named Deloris who witnesses a mafia crime and is put into protective custody — in a convent. Deloris clashes with the rigid lifestyle of the sisters and with the formidable Mother Superior. But transformation comes when the beleaguered singer breathes new life into the choir and community.
This review marks a difficult time to write. Not because I’m not sure of how I felt walking out of my screening, but because to talk too much about Split is almost a nose-dive into spoiler territory. Let’s just say it’s definitely one of those movies we recommend going into as cold as possible — where the less you know, the better. If you need some evidence to convince you, however, I’ll carefully tip-toe around the concept as much as possible and focus on its sheer thrill.
Sometimes, all the “little people” wince when American royalty — movie stars, A-list athletes and musicians — wax political. And when celebrities air their opinions in designer gowns from the red carpet or the stage at awards ceremonies? Viewers talk back. (And tweet back, post Facebook status updates and record reaction videos on YouTube.) Plenty of people cheer the celebrities for speaking their minds, but critics speak up, too.
Hear ye, hear ye: Voting for the Denton Art and Music Awards is now open. Plucky upstart blog the Dentonite is the organizing force behind the awards. A ceremony will be at 7 p.m. Feb. 11 at the Campus Theatre, with an after-party at 11 p.m. at Dan’s Silverleaf. Ballots are available online at www.damawards.com. The blog is still courting sponsors to cover the rental of the Campus Theatre.
Choreographer William “Bill” Evans leads rehearsals for University of North Texas dance students in September, in preparation for the faculty dance concert on Feb. 9-12. The concert, “Standing on Shoulders,” will feature original dance works choreographed by guest artist Evans and teachers from UNT’s Department of Dance and Theatre.
Writer-director Mike Mills’ remarkable 2010 film Beginners, starring Ewan McGregor and Christopher Plummer, was a comedy-drama loosely based on the filmmaker’s own father who came out of the closet in the later years of his life. Now Mills directs his pen and camera at his mother’s story for another wonderfully wrought, fictionalized tale.
When Mary Ann Ridenour and Bill Ridenour became empty-nesters last year, their 3,200-square-foot home suddenly seemed superfluous. As many couples at this stage of life do, the Ridenours decided to downsize. But unlike many others, they left their big house in a golf course community for a trailer home.
Lil’ D NYE: Arts & Advocacy was a rousing success. The Patterson-Appleton Arts Center was jumping for during the city’s first big New Year’s Eve bash (that we recall, anyway). The high-roller room was full, and patrons met busy gaming tables at the casino night fundraiser for the United Way of Denton County and the Greater Denton Arts Council.
Christianity and cinema have not always meshed well. Filmmakers seeking to intertwine the two face a delicate balance: to embrace the ideals of faith while still providing a tangible story to which moviegoers can relate. Whether it’s a drama about a near-death experience or the next Kirk Cameron movie, many directors lean heavily on Christian forgiveness to paper over fundamentally flawed filmmaking.
The smoothie has become ubiquitous because it makes healthy eating sound easy and attainable. I’ll admit to you right here: I love smoothies — throwing a bunch of things into a blender and then sipping on my breakfast. The more nutrients I can cram into that cool and creamy treat, the better.