Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade airs historic same-sex kiss

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The 92nd annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was not only the coldest parade on record but also aired a groundbreaking LGBT moment on live television.

During the parade, the cast of the Broadway musical “The Prom” gave a performance which included a same-sex kiss between actresses Isabelle McCalla and Caitlin Kinnumen. The historic moment marks the first time a same-sex kiss has aired during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

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Orlando Ballet Artistic Director Robert Hill celebrates a decade on the job

By : Christen Kelley
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After a successful stint as a ballerina, the time finally came for Robert Hill to retire. He then turned his passion for ballet into a new career: teaching it.

In January, Hill will be celebrating his 10-year anniversary as artistic director at the Orlando Ballet company, where he has transformed classic pieces into modern performances anyone can enjoy.

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Vegan-themed, male revue theatrical event, ‘Chip ‘n’ Kales’ workshops at The Mezz

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Florida Theatrical Association, director Kenny Howard and writer Jerry “J” Jobe Jr. workshop their latest musical comedy, “Chip ‘n’ Kales,” at The Mezz in Orlando Nov. 8 and 9.

“Chip ‘n’ Kales” is “the world’s first strip-tastical, theatrical event,” according to an event’s page for the show.

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‘Jersey Boys,’ the story of The Four Seasons’ rise to fame and the gay man behind the success, comes to the Dr. Phillips Center

By : Jaime Donelson
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Wade Dooley, who plays the character of Bob Crewe in the North American tour of “Jersey Boys,” says he feels very connected to his character as an openly gay actor.

“I try to put a bit of myself into [the character]. Still today there are times when I can’t tell if it’s safe or not safe to be myself. I try to bring some of that realism to it,” says Dooley.

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Harvey Fierstein has ‘never seen’ John Travolta in ‘Hairspray

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Harvey Fierstein revealed he has no comment on John Travolta’s performance as Edna Turnblad in the 2007 “Hairspray” film because he’s never seen it.

Fierstein appeared on Andy Cohen’s “Watch What Happens Live” in promotion of the Broadway revival of “Torch Song.” Cohen asked Fierstein what he thought of Travolta’s portrayal of Edna.

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Activist and actor Eddie Izzard on comedy, politics and the end of the world

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ABOVE: Photo by Amanda Searle, via EddieIzzard.com.

Activist, actor and author Eddie Izzard’s 30-year career has been as proactive and fabulous as the comedian himself.

That’s evident in “Believe Me: A Memoir of Love, Death, and Jazz Chickens,” published in 2017 to critical acclaim. Izzard’s intelligent humor dishes on historical and sexual politics, mad ancient kings and chickens with guns, all while reflecting on the childhood loss of his mother, his time in boarding school and his sexuality. It also details his time in comedy, film, politics and philanthropy.

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Christina Aguilera opens comeback tour with gay proposal

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Christina Aguilera kicked off her “Liberation” tour at the Hard Rock Live in Hollywood, Fla. Sept. 25, her first tour in over a decade, by helping a gay man propose to his partner.

Aguilera closed out her set with the song “Unless It’s With You” from her new album “Liberation.” The lyrics include “I don’t want to get married, unless it’s with you.” She donned a white dress for the wedding-themed song.

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Michael Wanzie and David Gerrard bring Moises Kaufman’s ‘Gross Indecency’ to the Footlight Theatre stage

By : Colton Adkins
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Directly connected to Come Out with Pride month, Parliament House will feature “Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde,” a play about the famous gay author and the beginnings of modern LGBTQ terminology.

Wilde, who the trials center on, was a prominent Irish novelist, poet and playwright; most known for his works “The Importance of Being Earnest” and “The Picture of Dorian Gray.” Wilde’s success grew as more people gained access to art and literature due to industrialization.

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Frenchie Davis to kickoff Pride weekend with a soulful concert at the official COWP Weekend Launch Party

By : Jaime Donelson
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Come Out With Pride has an entire week of festivities planned for locals and visitors alike to celebrate their coming out. One event is the official Come Out With Pride Weekend Launch Party which will feature Grammy-nominated performer Frenchie Davis.

Davis came out as bisexual in 2012. As a strong advocate for the LGBTQ community, she has performed at Pride events in Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, Honolulu and San Francisco.

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Ginger Minj dishes on drag and bringing ‘Crossdresser for Christ’ to Florida

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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“There’s no accounting for people’s taste,” Orlando-based entertainer Joshua Eads, known worldwide as drag performer Ginger Minj, jokes about his years of post “RuPaul’s Drag Race” success. “It’s gotten crazy. Every year gets crazier.” After finishing the popular drag competition’s seventh season as a finalist and sashaying onto its “All Stars 2” spin-off, Minj hasn’t stopped. She quickly brought her autobiographical, one-woman (but three person) show “Crossdresser for Christ” to fans worldwide and dropped a debut album.

Watermark caught up with Minj ahead of Tampa’s “Crossdresser” stop at the Straz Center to dish on drag, Disney divas and never slowing down.

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Tampa’s Jobsite Theater turns 20 with ‘Hedwig’ and more

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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“In a lot of ways we’ve been the little theater company that could,” Tampa’s Jobsite Theater co-founder and Producing Artistic Director David M. Jenkins says. “We started in 1998 with nothing, as five friends who weren’t seeing the kind of theater in town that we were interested in, as far as being artists. We decided to take it into our own hands.”

They did exactly that, forming the professional nonprofit 501(c)(3) theater company Jobsite, a collective of like-minded artists dedicated to the creation of socially- and politically-relevant theater.

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LGBTQ-themed ‘Somewhere Between’ among selected shows featured in Winter Park Playhouse’s Florida Festival of New Musicals

By : Jeremy Brener
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Winter Park Playhouse has prided itself on bringing the best in small, intimate musical theater to Central Florida for more than 15 years. Last year, the playhouse launched a brand new musical festival to help bring light to some up-and-coming musicals from across the country, and after a wildly popular opening, it’s back. Winter Park Playhouse will host six developmental musicals looking to expand its audience in the second annual Florida Festival of New Musicals Aug. 23-26.

Roy Alan, the founder of Winter Park Playhouse and the Florida Festival of New Musicals, wanted to give new shows the platform to be seen by other theater directors across Florida and the rest of the United States. Alan was looking for an opportunity to showcase more light-hearted, smaller shows that would fit the stage of the Winter Park Playhouse while also giving them the chance to be seen in front of an audience that otherwise may not have had that opportunity.

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