Singin’ in the swamp

Actor Paul Iwanicki knows it’s not easy being green. But taking on hard work doesn’t deter the 38-year-old Carrollton resident from filling the lead ogre’s shoes in Music Theatre of Denton’s upcoming show, Shrek the Musical, director Bill Kirkley said.

For the DRC

Norah Jones is back at the piano in her newest work

NEW YORK — The shorthand for Norah Jones’ new Day Breaks album is that it’s a “return to roots.” Like most such sound bites, that’s simplistic. Yet the jazzy, piano-based vibe is closer to Jones’ blockbuster Come Away With Me debut than anything she’s made since, giving her record company some 25 million reasons to be excited.

Courtesy photo

Briefly in arts and community

Getty Images file photo

Kings of Leon, Oberst impress, don’t dazzle in latest releases

Kings of Leon have grown up. The once shaggy-haired, wild-eyed Followills’ brothers Caleb, Nathan and Jared and cousin Matthew look far more wholesome now, perhaps, in part, due to the influence of singer Caleb’s wife, supermodel and Taylor Swift squad member Lily Aldridge. And they sound more wholesome, too.

Special Contributor

Old South Dallas box warehouse could be hippest new art gallery

The Box Company features a massive white cube, with 14-foot high walls, set in the midst of a raw industrial backdrop. In 2012, Jason Koen’s grandfather, Gabriel Camacho, left his family a 15,000 square foot warehouse in South Dallas.

Artist stumbles on sugar skull family portrait success

Heidi Easley has three art businesses, and she describes one of them as an accidental success.


Sharing the love

Professor Don Taylor and his students are bracing for the flood of little feet they expect will storm the University of North Texas College of Music Recital Hall on Saturday.


‘Birth of a Nation’ reignites debate

LOS ANGELES — As a rape survivor, actress AnnaLynne McCord has strong feelings about movies made by people accused of sexual assault.


Instant love: PolaCon celebrates immediacy of film

PolaCon 2016, a three-day convention surrounding the re-emergence and use of instant film, had its inaugural run this past weekend in Denton and Dallas.

Thorny ‘Choice’

Playwright Steven Somkin said his drama Melissa’s Choice has its seeds in his work as a doctor. Decades ago, Somkin treated patients in a clinic for adolescents in Harlem. Some of his patients became pregnant at age 13 or 14.

The Dallas Morning News

State Fair decadence at home

There’s something about the State Fair of Texas that turns people into food adventurers. Is it the heat? The flashing lights? Memories of another time?

Pam Rainey: Seniors should stay alert to avoid scams

The other day my husband’s phone rang and he said, “Oh, that’s Jan calling.” Up, up and away went my antennas. I don’t know “Jan.” Then, after giving me time to pout a bit he said, “Jan calls every afternoon to offer me a $250,000 loan, no questions asked.”

Briefly in the arts


Indelible life: Renowned Denton watercolor painter turning 100

Surrounded by loved ones, admirers, friends and likely several fans, Dorothy Bertine blows out her three birthday candles, taking her time to extinguish each individually with a gentle kiss of air: On Wednesday, she will be 100 years old.


Fox doubles down on the devil with ‘Exorcist’

LOS ANGELES (TNS) — The Exorcist is the Fox network’s second series this season to be based on a 20th century film franchise. (Legal Weapon debuted Wednesday). It also doubles the number of current Fox shows with a demonic foundation, joining Lucifer, in which the Devil runs a Hollywood nightclub and solves crimes.


Dance, fashion fuse at fall gala

NEW YORK — It’s become a natural extension of New York Fashion Week: For the last five years, noted designers have been recruited to costume dancers performing new works at the New York City Ballet fall gala. As if to underscore the fusion of the two disciplines, the fashion designer takes a bow at the end along with the choreographer.


Flush with opportunities, Chris Pratt plays a new hand

TORONTO — The offer to star in Antoine Fuqua’s The Magnificent Seven came to Chris Pratt while he was on a hunting trip with friends, listening to an audio book of Larry McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove. Having recently learned some card tricks of his own, the part — a gun-slinging card sharp — felt like kismet.


A place to reflect, rejoice

WASHINGTON — America’s newest museum brings to life all the pain and tribulations of the black experience, and its creators expect many visitors will be shaken by what they see and hear.


Hollywood not always child’s play

LOS ANGELES (TNS) — Hudson Yang, breakout star of the hit ABC comedy Fresh Off the Boat, was in a funk. The third episode called for Yang, then 11, to grab the behind of a grown-up neighbor. Sensing his inexperienced star’s unease, executive producer Jake Kasdan called a timeout.


Famed voice actor recalls Disney experiences

This year marks the 25th anniversary of Disney’s beloved animated classic Beauty and the Beast. This week, the studio pulled back the curtain to release a special anniversary edition of the Academy Award-winning film.

Angelina Jolie Pitt files for divorce from Brad Pitt

NEW YORK (AP) — Brangelina is no more. Angelina Jolie Pitt has filed for divorce from Brad Pitt, bringing an end to one of the world’s most star-studded, tabloid-generating romances.

Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

‘Thrones,’ ‘Veep’ get Emmys’ top votes

LOS ANGELES — Game of Thrones conquered the Emmy kingdom Sunday, honored as top drama for the second consecutive year and becoming the most honored prime-time TV series ever on a night of surprises and sharp political jabs.

Lucinda Breeding

Rolling up his sleeves

Alfred Calabrese led his first rehearsal of the Denton Bach Choir on Monday night. He said his drive from Dallas “wasn’t too bad.” Not the usual report you hear from motorists trying to get between Dallas and Denton on Interstate 35E. But Calabrese was ready.

DMN file photo

Museum program connects children with autism to art

DALLAS — There is an old saying that Rachel Schulze knows by heart: “Every parent with a child of autism knows where the exit is.” Her oldest son, Dennis, was diagnosed with autism at age 3. When Dennis was younger, Rachel would walk into every store and think about where she could take him if he got upset.

Briefly in the arts


Book follows pianist through Soviet conquest

The Cold War wasn’t all bad, all spy planes and nuclear tests and missile crises. It was also a tall, thin young man from small-town Texas, affable, impeccably polite, devoutly Baptist and preternaturally talented.


NYC museum invites viewers to use gold toilet

NEW YORK (AP) — A New York City museum is offering visitors a chance to sit on a golden throne, but only in private.

Bill Matlock/Bravo

Rumors swirl about next season of ‘Real Housewives of Dallas’

Word on the blog street is that a second season of The Real Housewives of Dallas will (soon?) be upon us.

Staff Photographer

Get large savings on State Fair tickets

DALLAS — Texans look forward to the State Fair nearly year-round, but they also need to save for just as long to get the most out of the event. Consider that a general admission ticket costs $18 for adults and $14 for kids. That means mom, dad and little one are spending $50 to get in the gates.

Sun to Moon Gallery

Briefly in the arts

DMN file photo

New in town

DALLAS — Dallas Summer Musicals is making a radical change in the way it brings shows to town: It’s outsourcing booking to a New York company and ending its own investments in Broadway productions.


On 50th anniversary of series, ‘Star Trek’ writer still has no trouble with Tribbles

David Gerrold has almost written a book for every one of his 72 years.

Greater Denton Arts Council

‘Materials’ display to go abroad in 2017

Time is short for artists to submit entries for the flagship exhibition of the Greater Denton Arts Council. “Materials: Hard & Soft” will celebrate its 30th anniversary when it opens Feb. 3 at the Patterson-Appleton Arts Center, 400 E. Hickory St.


FX fall lineup mixes horror, realistic drama

There’s so much great TV out there these days that it’s hard to keep up with the Joneses. But there's one network that makes it easy for us: FX.

Roadside Attractions

Kill your darlings

There’s nothing quite like writing a first draft. The rush of sitting down and letting all our raw ideas flow free. But as Dr. Seuss once said, “the writer who breeds more words than [he or she] needs is making a chore for the reader who reads.” Genius is very much about the pain of the creative process, how we often have to let go of those words we hold so dear and how pretty much no one makes a living off of rough drafts.

Visual Arts Society of Texas

Annual exhibit winners awarded

The Denton-based Visual Arts Society of Texas announced the winners of its 27th annual VAST Members Exhibition. The yearly exhibit showcases the best recent work by members of the local arts group.

Country boy bound for home to celebrate birthday

Doug Bruce, a country music artist, is coming back from Australia to his roots in Aubrey. The musician plans to help celebrate his grandmother’s 100th birthday. While he is in the area, he will be performing a concert you do not want to miss on Sept. 24.

Miramax-Roadside Attractions

Day trip

Say what you will about their politics and views, but the Obamas’ love was made for movie screens. Southside With You is not a political-driven narrative. It quite simply is a walk-and-talk feature that follows a young Barack Obama (Parker Sawyers) and Michelle Robinson (Tika Sumpter) as they fall for each other during their first date.

After good showing, local comedy fest preps for 2017

Organizers only recently finished their inaugural Denton Comedy Festival, but they are already working on the 2017 fest.


Diversity? Second City’s not kidding

LOS ANGELES — With the debate over diversity in Hollywood growing louder, the conversation will shift toward the world of comedy with the announcement of the Diversity in Comedy Festival by Hollywood’s Second City comedy club.

The Ink Factory

Suite dreams

AMC is known for their slow burn series. Just look at Mad Men, Breaking Bad, and even The Walking Dead as examples.


Jones website hack reveals stars’ tricky cyber landscape

LOS ANGELES — The hateful hack of comedian Leslie Jones’ personal website reveals the tricky cyber landscape celebrities tread and the murky legal protections that exist for personal digital content.

Briefly in the arts

The UNT Press’ newest release, Convict Cowboys: The Untold History of the Texas Prison Rodeo by Mitchel Roth, is available online.


Stick sculptor gains global following

BOYLSTON, Mass. — The towering, whimsical shapes Patrick Dougherty creates by twisting and weaving sticks together have gained him an international following. Now, the artist who lives in a log cabin near Chapel Hill, North Carolina, is back in New England to build two more of his almost cartoon-like stick sculptures.

Glass Animals terrific on new CD

For their ambitious sophomore album, the members of the indie-electronic band Glass Animals got some creative help from an unlikely source — total strangers.


Doughnuts, classes tap Pokemon’s popularity

NEW YORK — Weeks into the Pokemon Go craze, demand remains strong for Pokeball-shaped treats made by a high-end doughnut company, one of many businesses and organizations coming up with creative ways to lure players in their search for the elusive “pocket monsters.”

Music scene subject of meeting

A town hall meeting to dissect the crumbling state of Denton’s music venues attracted more than 300 people to the Patterson-Appleton Arts Center on Monday night.

DRC file photos

Shudders of anxiety

The recent closure of the Old Dirty Basement at J&J’s Pizza on the downtown Denton Square set off shudders of anxiety in the city’s music scene. Already sore from the closure of Rubber Gloves Rehearsal...

North Texas Fair and Rodeo Schedule

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Musician contributes to Disney soundtrack

Denton County musician and University of North Texas alumnus Andrew Tinker stopped by the Denton Record-Chronicle recently to perform the song he and Toby Halbrooks wrote for the Disney film, Pete’s Dragon. The film, starring Robert Redford and Bryce Dallas Howard, opened Aug. 12.