DRC file photo

Twinkle & glow

When the city’s official Christmas tree blinks into life on Friday at the Denton Holiday Lighting Festival, the crowd will answer back with applause and the traditional “oohs” and “ahhs.”

DRC file photo

Wassail on!

Winter hasn’t nudged its cold wet nose into Denton just yet. But just in time for the Denton Holiday Lighting Festival and Wassail Weekend, temperatures are expected to dip just a bit on Friday and Saturday night.

Dallas Morning News file photo

Brighten your holiday spirit

Put on your hat and gloves, fill that thermos with cocoa and pack some cookies (but prepare to strip some of it off, as temperatures are mild). It’s time to take in all things twinkly. We’ve rounded up some top Dallas-Fort Worth light displays to help you plan a perfectly merry and bright outing. For the neighborhood displays, note that it’s early in the season and things might get sparklier as Christmas draws near.

UNT Press

Byrds of night

DALLAS — Byrd Williams freely admits he belongs to a gang. The gang, in this case, consists of four members — Byrd Williams I, II, III and IV.

Briefly in the arts

50 artists join for shared ‘Hallelujah’

DALLAS — Looking to lift spirits, Ashley White expected 10 people at most to respond to her Facebook post asking if people wanted to help her shoot a music video of “Hallelujah.”


Flight & fight

Denton resident and military veteran Ed Denny had never heard of post-traumatic stress disorder in the 1990s, even though he couldn’t seem to kick the dull, stubborn numbness that followed him home from Vietnam.

At UMass and beyond, hip-hop draws growing academic interest

BOSTON — The forgotten music of Boston’s early hip-hop and rap scene is being revived by two unlikely heroes: a local college and the public library. Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Boston have been working with the Boston Public Library to compile an online archive of demo tapes by the city’s top hip-hop and rap artists of the 1980s.

Getty Images file photo

PBS series delves into history of recorded music

NEW YORK — At one point in the Soundbreaking documentary series, producer Paul Epworth describes a freshly heartbroken Adele singing him her new song, “Rolling in the Deep,” pounding out the beat — and her frustrations — with her foot on a slab of wood.

Broadway’s ‘The King and I’ hits the road with veterans

NEW YORK — The cast on national tour with Lincoln Center’s The King and I includes an actor who has played two different roles in the musical on Broadway, a one-time miraculous nanny and an actress who adored the film version as a child because she saw herself.


Granite great

As a group of people gathered outside of city hall on Thursday, a benevolent mood overtook the moments leading up to the coming commemoration, running staunchly parallel to the gray attitude of an overcast and drizzled sky.

Pam Rainey: Older adults, don’t need ‘likes’ for contentment

My husband and I find humor everywhere. For example, Denton’s construction can be annoying but sometimes we laugh out loud when others take it too seriously. After all, there is nothing we can do about it, right?

Briefly in the arts


‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ reborn at Bastrop gas station

BASTROP (AP) — A small slice of movie history sits on a stretch of Texas 304 in Bastrop. It’s a quaint enough spot, well past the charred-tree graveyard from the 2011 wildfires that devastated the area, and nothing that would demand attention from the road.

AP file photo

Mayor declares ‘Paisley Park Day’ as Prince museum reopens

CHANHASSEN, Minn. (AP) — Prince's Paisley Park studio complex and home reopened permanently Friday as a museum honoring his musical legacy, and the mayor of the Minneapolis suburb of Chanhassen declared it "Paisley Park Day" in celebration.


13 creepy video games to keep you up at night

Watching a horror movie on Halloween is so ’90s. Why not take in some interactive scares instead?

Briefly in the arts

DMN file photo

Breaking their silence

Texas songwriter and musician Sara Hickman had a talk with her mom, two daughters and husband before deciding to put the most painful experiences of her life online.

Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

Frisco native plucked from party to star in movie

Some stars get discovered by a casting director at an audition. And some get discovered hanging out on a Florida beach at 4 a.m. during spring break.Meet Frisco’s Sasha Lane, whose head-turning performance...


‘Walking Dead’ fans’ wait is almost over, but can they take what’s to come?

It’s the episode that Walking Dead heads have been eagerly dreading for months.

DRC file photo

Ten table-top games to get family, friends in competitive spirit

A good party game has to fulfill certain criteria. It must very easy to teach and play, and support a large number of players. Party games don’t need to be limited to thinly-veiled icebreakers, however. And they should definitely be (mostly) playable while drinking.

AP file photo

Jay Z, Madonna nominated for Songwriters Hall of Fame

NEW YORK — Jay Z, one of contemporary music’s most celebrated lyricists and entertainers, is one of the nominees for the 2017 Songwriters Hall of Fame, and if inducted he would become the first rapper...

Briefly in the arts

AP file photo

Bruno Mars is pop’s ultimate party boy with hit ‘24K Magic’

NEW YORK — While the world was busy dancing to Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk” at the top of 2015, the singer was partying in the studio and creating his latest groovy hit.


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.