AP file photo

Missing Maria

NEW YORK — Sesame Street is about to be less A-OK. Sonia Manzano, who has played the role of Maria on the groundbreaking kid show since 1971, is retiring.


DVD reviews: Back from the bomb

This week, we begin in Japan:

AP file photo

CD reviews

Pam Rainey: Lending a hand to emergency personnel

If you’ve ever had to place a call for an ambulance for emergency care, you might remember in all the excitement of the medical personnel who arrived at your side, there is something more important. They always ask the same question. What medicines does the victim take?

The Dallas Morning News

Give yourself a break

“I tried my best.” “Everyone makes mistakes.”


New ‘Mike’ puts a woman in the game

WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — When Jada Pinkett Smith got the call from her agent about the Magic Mike sequel script, there was something she needed to know: Her part as Rome, the owner of a male strip club, was written for a man.

Denton County Office of History and Culture

Briefly in the community

Dallas Morning News file photo

Jim Stodola: Mother lode of history

Wherever we travel, someone always asks where we are from. I tell them that we are from “Big D.” They reply, “Oh, Dallas.” I reply, “No, Denton. If you draw an equilateral triangle, put Fort Worth at the lower left, Dallas at the lower right, ‘Little D,’ then come to the top of that triangle, to its apex, that’s ‘Big D,’ Denton, where it all comes together.”

Roadside Attractions

DVD reviews: Troublemaker

This week, we begin in Northern Ireland:

CD reviews

The Dallas Morning News

Still swinging

DALLAS — Billy Briggs slid the saxophone’s neck strap over his head and stood to play.


Virtual reality shows progress

LOS ANGELES — It’s really happening.

Pam Rainey: Respect for those who wear the badge

Last year my phone was “pocketed” at a big box store. You may remember the column I wrote about it.

Cohen Media Group

DVD reviews: City of secrets

This week, we begin in Mali:

Novel plays up cruise fears

For all the popularity of cruises, there are some things about them that scare people: close quarters with lots of other people, the threat of catching gastrointestinal illness onboard and the distance from land and help if anything goes wrong.


Boys’ club no longer

LOS ANGELES — It seems the Electronic Entertainment Expo is no longer a man’s world.


Under water

The soothing sound of running water surrounds the von Merveldts’ Coppell house. A fountain bubbling in a 3-foot-tall jar greets guests at the front door, and a simple bamboo feature and three-tiered fountain outside the dining room immerse a side patio in tranquility.

Grand Ole Opry member Jim Ed Brown died at 81

Jim Ed Brown, a longtime Grand Ole Opry member who had solo and group hits and was a prominent figure on country music television shows, died Thursday. He was 81.

AP file photo

From ‘Star Wars’ to ‘Star Fox,’ E3 expectations are sky-high

LOS ANGELES — At this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo, video games alone won’t soak up all the attention.

K&S Films

DVD reviews: It’s a ‘Wild’ life

This week, we begin in Argentina:

CD reviews


Power to the people

Denton resident Jimmy Vaughn decided to channel his frustration with Texas elected officials into something he loves: hip-hop music.

The Criterion Collection

Too young to die

This week, we begin in Germany: The Criterion Collection releases this Blu-ray edition of director Bernhard Wicki’s 1959 Best Foreign Language Film nominee, now with a new digital transfer.

AP file photo

'Fun Home' latest to push the envelope

NEW YORK — There is a coffin sitting onstage. A lesbian is the narrator. There are no movie stars in it. And we are promised a suicide by Page 9 of the script.


Billie Jean King: Caitlyn Jenner helps transgender tolerance

NEW YORK — Billie Jean King believes Caitlyn Jenner has given people clarity about transgender issues beyond the progress already made four decades after they shared the international sports spotlight.

Twentieth Century Fox

McCarthy sets her sights on 007 in 'Spy'

Ridiculous questions about the funniness and bankability of women have clouded exactly what’s going on here: Nobody is a better comedic actor right now than Melissa McCarthy.

Smithsonian Channel

Smithsonian film captures Nepal earthquake

NEW YORK — It’s now a given that most every natural disaster, even in a location as remote as Nepal, will be captured by gripping amateur video. The challenge for the Smithsonian Channel was taking this material and making it mean something more.

CBS’ Dickerson prepares for ‘Face the Nation’ debut

NEW YORK — For his first week as moderator of CBS’ Face the Nation today, John Dickerson has no intention of playing around with a format consistent for more than half a century.

Nintendo of America

‘Splatoon’ brings colorful glee to online shooters

Online gaming may be dominated by shootouts like Call of Duty and Halo, but they’re not exactly family-friendly. It’s not just the copious gore; the explosive profanity that passes for trash talk has driven many a parent to unplug the game console.

Briefly in the Arts

The Visual Art League of Lewisville is accepting submissions for its upcoming “Fresh Ideas” exhibition.

Movie tracks athletic triumph of students of California immigrants

Kevin Costner stars as peripatetic track coach Jim White in this inspirational sports movie from Disney.


‘Texas Rising’

LOS ANGELES — The success of Hatfields & McCoys and The Bible inspired the History channel to go Texas-sized big with its new miniseries.

Casey Kasem’s widow won’t face criminal charges

LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles prosecutors said Friday they won’t file elder abuse charges against Casey Kasem’s widow despite efforts by three of the radio personality’s children to have her prosecuted.

AP file photo

Here come the judges as 'America's Got Talent' returns for its 10th season

NEW YORK — “They keep telling people it’s the 10th anniversary, but it’s the fourth season as far as I’m concerned,” says Howard Stern, who joined America’s Got Talent as a judge in 2012.

Jim Stodola

Jim Stodola: Exploring Nashville’s many offerings

Long ago, when I flew passengers into Nashville, in our descent I would say on the PA, “I can’t read the name on that water tower down there from all the way up here, but I swear it’s Nashville because...

UNT Press

DVD reviews: Bleak house

This week, we begin in Romania: Brother-directors Joel Levy Florescu and Michael Levy Florescu paint a bleak portrait of their native Bucharest, Romania in this probing character study.

CD reviews

Briefly in the arts

AP file photo

ABC up against credibility crisis over donations

NEW YORK — George Stephanopoulos apologized to viewers Friday for donating $75,000 to the Clinton Foundation and failing to disclose it earlier, as ABC News now finds its chief anchor in a credibility crisis on the eve of a presidential campaign.

Sony Pictures Classics

DVD reviews: Fighting back

This week, we begin in Russia: This 2014 Best Foreign Language Oscar nominee and Golden Globe winner bravely attempts to convey the futility of living in today’s Russia.

Columbia Records

CD reviews

Courtesy photo

Poetry, art groups let voters choose favorite ‘Visions’

The Denton Poets Assembly and the Denton-based Visual Arts Society of Texas announced the favorite pairings of the two groups’ annual exhibition, “Merging Visions.”

AP file photo

Mississippi man

INDIANOLA, Miss. — Blues legend B.B. King grew up as poor as could be, alone and in debt at 14, living in primitive cabins and sharecropping cotton in Mississippi.


Holocaust drama shakes up audiences

CANNES, France — A Hungarian film that takes viewers into the hellish heart of the Holocaust has left Cannes reeling.

BBC America

DVD reviews: Cloistered and chilly

This week, we begin in Turkey:In this languorous Turkish film, last year’s winner of the Cannes Film Festival’s prestigious Palme d’Or Award, director Nuri Bilge Ceylan takes his time telling the story...


‘Friends’ creator has a new gig

NEW YORK — Marta Kauffman, co-creator, writer and executive producer of Friends, knows that the comedy landscape has changed since millions tuned in weekly to see what was happening with Ross and Rachel.

Memoir follows Willie through the decades

Less than a week after turning 82, Texas hero Willie Nelson offers fans what he’s dubbing the definitive memoir of his life.

Dallas Morning News file photos

Temporal elevation

It’s impossible to underestimate the significance of the 13th Floor Elevators to Levitation Fest, which this year has rechristened itself with a name taken from an Elevators song.

Gary Payne, UNT

Briefly in the arts

Darren Waterston

Artist envisions grandeur in ruins

WASHINGTON — The thick gold paint spilled onto the Sackler Gallery rug. The man who did it, kneeling and holding a brush, reminded himself that he had been given permission.