Book review: Sports guy knows how to craft a fine story

Mike Greenberg knows sports. And talking about them.


Book review: Sequel follows memoirist’s discovery of U.S.

In 2011, memoirist Elena Gorokhova described her coming-of-age in St. Petersburg, then known as Leningrad, and her decision to marry an American to emigrate to the U.S., in A Mountain of Crumbs.In her...

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DVD reviews: Fully drawn

This week, we begin in Tokyo: This excellent Japanese documentary examines the people of and the inner-workings at Tokyo’s Studio Ghibli.

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Wider expanses

For folk band Seryn, 2014 was a transition period. At the beginning of the year, the group of young Denton residents was forced to shuffle its roster after losing two founding members. Then, in the fall, the six musicians left town and headed for Nashville, Tennessee.

For The Dallas Morning News

Briefly in the arts


Elder Willie

LAS VEGAS — Another Saturday night on Earth. How is this one different? “Honestly, nothing is distinct after a while,” Willie Nelson confesses. He’s talking about life on the road at 81, when wisdom makes the totality of life feel intensely connected to the present — but also when age makes the details feel slippery.


Misery, swag and tacos

PARK CITY, Utah — The Associated Press is all over the Sundance Film Festival, from its premieres to the Hollywood glitz. Here’s what they’ve seen and heard:

Denton High School Theatre Arts

Life’s a banquet

Denton High School theater arts director Tom Stratton said the 2014-2015 students were the right group to choose from when the time came to cast Mame. “Well, nobody does Mame,” Stratton said. “It is a...

The New York Times

DVD reviews: About a boy

This week, we begin online:The Internet’s Own Boy (3 1/2 stars) Not rated, 105 minutes.

Briefly in the arts

Lucinda Breeding: Community mourns loss of ballerina

When I first met Lilia Valieva, she looked to me to have ballet in her sinews.

Fox Searchlight

Intrigue, if not diversity, in Oscar race

The Oscar nominations added intrigue if not diversity to an Academy Awards race by favoring one late-season release (American Sniper) over another (Selma).

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DVD reviews: Below the surface

This week we begin in post-World War II Italy: The Skin (3 stars) Not rated, 142 minutes. Available Tuesday on DVD and Blu-ray and in various digital formats.

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Jim Stodola: Desert holds much to explore

On to Arizona, but before we begin, here are some important pointers. Arizona is on Mountain Standard Time, and keep in mind that the state does not change over to daylight savings time as most of us do.

Briefly in the arts

Sounds like home

On any given Saturday morning, patrons on the downtown Square in Denton are greeted by cheerful, upbeat bluegrass music. A group of musicians gather in the shade of the Courthouse on the Square for their weekly bluegrass jam sessions.

Emerging Pictures

DVD reviews: Sweet surrender

This week, we begin in Italy: Honey (3 stars) Not rated, 98 minutes. Available Tuesday on DVD and Blu-ray and in various digital formats

Briefly in the arts

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Year in review: Electric and eclectic

The past year has seen growth and change on the Denton cultural scene. The swell of local festivals continued, the universities saw entrances, exists and legacy gifts, and the nonprofit arts saw leadership change hands and records shattered.

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Year in review: Albums highlight year’s offerings

Denton bands and artists didn’t let 2014 get away from them. It was a good year for albums and EPs. Here are some of the best, in no particular order.

Fox Searchlight Pictures

Year in review: Critics name ‘Birdman’ best of 2014

The Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association voted the backstage drama Birdman as the best film of 2014, according to the results of its 21st annual critics’ poll released today.


Check this list for movies you may have missed

What follows is a rundown of my 2014 film favorites. Labeling them as “The Best” or “The Top” seems arbitrary, if not crazy. And unless you are my long-lost identical twin (Brad Pitt, is that you?), your list will be different from mine.


Friends with the Guardians

Forget studies and sketches. Forget deep musings on archetypes. When it comes to the characters known as “the guardians,” illustrator William Joyce says Jack Frost, Santa and E. Aster Bunnymund are pretty much pals.

Flower Mound Community Orchestra

Briefly in the arts

Opening a tuba tradition

It took a handful of decades and the suggestion of a middle school tuba student to create Denton’s Tuba Christmas.

DVD reviews: Sleight of heart

Woody Allen travels to the picturesque south of France in his latest release to explore why we need our illusions.

Jim Stodola: Take some flying tips from ‘Captain Cowboy’

Some of you have told me that you have a fear of flying, while others have at least an anxiety.

Message of dignity

DALLAS — Clothes make the man in Zoot Suit, the Luis Valdez musical that opened Saturday at Cara Mía Theatre. They can also lead to persecution.

Evening with Ellen

Production assistant Jeanmarie Klisiewicz introduces students to Ellen DeGeneres appearing via satellite during a taping of a segment for “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” on Wednesday at the Library Mall on the University of North Texas campus. During the segment, DeGeneres gave students a chance to participate in a scavenger hunt for five prizes hidden across campus, with the top prize being a $5,000 gift card to J.C. Penney Co. The segment will air locally during her show at 3 p.m. today on KXAS-TV (Channel 5).


DVD reviews: Ever-expanding universe

This week, we begin in a galaxy far, far away: Guardians of the Galaxy

Briefly in the arts

Syncopated holiday

Two of the top jazz ensembles at the University of North Texas College of Music will make history on Saturday night.

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DVD reviews: Taking the lead

This week, we begin with a team: The Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis Collection: Volume One

Columbia Pictures

All bundled up

This week, we offer holiday gift suggestions for movie lovers. Which is everyone. We mix in some new with some old and maybe even something that might appeal to you.

Walk Down the Lane Publishing

Briefly in the arts

Final ‘celebration’

Sharon Benge thinks her lifelong love of theater probably started in church.

Miramax Films

DVD review: Masterwork remastered

This week, we begin with a princess:

Briefly in the arts

UNT Press

UNT Press

DRC file photo

Lucinda Breeding: ‘Les Mis’ changed Denton scene

Just before Halloween, Music Theatre of Denton closed its production of Les Miserables.


DVD reviews: Before ‘Thor’

This week, we begin in England:

Courtesy photo/Navo Middle School Choirs

Briefly in the arts

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Jim Stodola: Florida’s west coast rich with history

Many of you have already traveled to Florida, to Walt Disney World and Epcot Center near Orlando, to beaches in Destin in the Panhandle, to South Beach near Miami, to Daytona for the beach or speedway,...

DVD reviews: Darkly enchanting

Only the team of expert technicians at Disney could bring life to a project such as this fanciful reworking of a cherished fairy tale.

Pam Rainey: Be ruthless with party leftovers to avoid illness

When November winds blow and leaves begin to fall, we might as well get our party duds cleaned and ready to wear. Holiday festivities and get-togethers are just ahead.

Ghost means business

His are the footsteps in the dark that cause stage lights to flicker as he approaches. He’s been called an optical illusion when he appears sitting in the auditorium, as if he were watching an old movie.



DVD reviews: Survivor’s guilt

This week, we begin in Rome:

Briefly in the arts

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Jim Stodola: Even when it’s overcast, Seattle shines

If you have watched movies like Sleepless in Seattle or read about Seattle, you know it to be rainy and drizzly. If you want Seattle in the sun, go between July and mid-September. But as with all places we travel to, we experienced a thunderstorm with hail at July’s end.