Overheard in Tampa Bay: Tampa Pride’s celebrity

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Tampa Pride snags its celebrity
With about a month to go, details for Tampa Pride are starting to come in and get finalized. After last year’s huge success when 40,000+ attendees filled the streets in Ybor the pressure is on to try and be bigger and better. Tampa Pride held there Miss Tampa Pride pageant and selected their queen. The grand marshals have been plunked from the community – Fox 13 News morning anchor Russell Rhodes and CEO of Metro Wellness & Community Centers Lorraine Langlois – and now we have our celebrity grand marshal, photographer and designer Mike Ruiz. You might remember Ruiz from Logo’s reality series The A-List, or his appearances on Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List, America’s Next Top Model and RuPaul’s Drag Race. Ruiz has also been recognized and praised for working to help LGBT homeless youth.

There be Mormons outside this theater
One of Broadway’s biggest hits, the Book of Mormon, paid a visit to the bay area and had a sold out run Feb. 16-21 at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater. If you were lucky enough to get a chance to see the show, you probably noticed something charming occurring right outside the theater. A group of well mannered, clean cut, real life Mormons! That’s right, the light hearted Latter Day Saints were parked outside saying “Hello!” to guests as they entered the show. Unlike many conservative, religious groups who would set up camp with picket signs and yell out ignorant chants, these young lads hung out Two by Two with a sign that read, “have your picture taken with the real thing.” They smiled, they shook hands and they talked with anyone about anything without pushing any agenda, only talking about the All-American Prophet and handing out the Bible Part 3, if you so wanted to. They even hung out after the show, asked theater goers if they had a good time and enjoyed themselves and never once condemned anyone to a Spooky Mormon Hell Dream. Well done boys.

Straz Center announces new season
Hop on the yellow brick road and take a stroll into the woods and don’t dilly-dally because life is a cabaret and the Straz Center for the Performing Arts has lots for you to see next season. Straz made the announcement of what you will get to see come through town during the 2016-2017 season. The upcoming season will have something for everyone whether you enjoy the classics, fairy tales or modern classics. The season kicks off with The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time in the start of November 2016 and will be followed by Into the Woods, An American in Paris, Forbidden Broadway, Cabaret, Something Rotten!, The King and I, Finding Neverland, The Little Mermaid and finishes up with Motown the Musical in August 2017. So make sure to get your tickets and get to the theater. If you have trouble finding it find it’s the second star to the right and straight on ‘til morning (actually it’s on Macinnes PL in Tampa).

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