Alan Cumming brings his sappy smarts to Florida

By : Scottie Campbell
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When he performs his cabaret, Alan Cumming Sings Sappy Songs, in Orlando and Sarasota this March, there will no doubt be a good number of The Good Wife fans who will be surprised that Eli Gold can carry a tune. But for a good many more, Cumming thrust his pelvis into our collective consciousness during the ‘90s with a revival of Cabaret on Broadway, reinventing the Emcee role and redefining sexy for many.

Cumming played that role 808-and-a-half times; a fact you can find on his website under “FAQ,” along with some other questions he recommends an interviewer not ask him again. His sexuality, an infamous essay on foreskin and acting on stage versus screen are also on the list. In fact, you might get the idea that Alan doesn’t like to talk, but I found that definitely not to be the case —at all—when I chatted with him by phone from his home in the East Village. He and husband, illustrator Grant Shaffer, have just moved into a newly renovated home one block from their last home.

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Nude Nite highlights transgender rights in this year’s Tampa show

By : Billy Manes
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There is a litany of reasons people are driven to Nude Nite, most of which begin with the obvious gawk and gaze at nudity – it happens – but there’s also a social pertinence to the intentionally salacious affair which now exposes itself in both the Tampa Bay area and Orlando.

Past iterations have seen an unflattering nude portrait of teen-pop impresario Lou Pearlman, and, as is required on certain occasions, sushi presented on the body of a naked woman. But there have also been incredibly thoughtful pieces involving all the mixed media that mixed media has to offer: steelworks to fabric-works, portraits to abstract reinventions, love to hate. It’s become a social affair that exists on a level far beyond your typical flirt-and-walk art maneuvers. It’s making a statement about society, about what we’ve become.

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Screened Out – Fences

By : Stephen Miller
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Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Jovan Adepo, Stephen Henderson

If we’re to believe his stories, Troy Maxson could’ve been one of the greatest American baseball players ever. Unfortunately, he was born to early, and he had to play the Negro League, while white players stirred people’s praise. Sports segregation laws stole Troy’s glory from him.

By the 1950s, Troy is an old, bitter Pittsburg garbage man. So, he can only watch as younger men capture fame and break down racial bias. Sure, Troy has a dutiful wife, a loyal best friend, and a son who only wants his father’s approval and love.

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“Fun Home,” “Book of Mormon” among Straz Center’s 2017-18 Broadway series

By : Staff Report
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The Straz Center for the Performing Arts released the 2017-2018 Bank of America Best of Broadway Tampa Bay season Feb. 10.

The season includes Tony Award-winning musicals Fun Home, The Color Purple and Book of Mormon; as well as Tony Award-nominated musicals On Your Feet!, School of Rock and Waitress.

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Orlando Ballet pays a fitting tribute to local Orlando hero Harriet Lake with a Broadway spectacle

By : Billy Manes
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At 3 p.m. on a late Tuesday afternoon watching January fall from the calendar, high kicks and paper top-hats are the name of the buzzing game for the Orlando Ballet.

Nestled in their current home at Loch Haven Neighborhood Center, the members of the ballet corps are sweating out a rehearsal to “One,” the famous crowd pleaser from A Chorus Line, as director Robert Hill does the hand gestures and the shouts of “one, and two and three” from the sidelines. “And stop! Now go!” A disco ball swings overhead.

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FAIRWINDS Broadway in Orlando 2017-2018 season announced

By : Staff Report
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ORLANDO – The announcement for the 2017-2018 season at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts took place on Feb. 2.

The season consists of nine musicals including The Book of Mormon, Disney’s The Lion King and Rent.

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Queer As Folk’s Randy Harrison takes on the role of the sexualized Emcee in Cabaret

By : Jeremy Williams
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In the uncertain social climate we are living in these days, theater can serve as a wonderful escape from those political bumps in the night, but it can also serve as a mirror to reflect the dangers that await us if we sit idly by and do nothing. One show that has a reflection that is all too relevant is Broadway classic Cabaret, playing the Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa Jan. 24-29.

Cabaret takes place in 1931 Berlin at the Kit Kat Club, just as the Nazi Party is starting to gain power in Germany. We are escorted through the show by the Master of Ceremonies. The emcee is a role that has been played on stage by some of the community’s greatest actors, including Joel Grey, Alan Cumming and Neil Patrick Harris. In this production the role is played by Randy Harrison, best known as the doe-eyed boy Justin from Showtime’s landmark series Queer As Folk. Harrison took a few moments to speak with us by phone before we willkommen him to the Bay Area.

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Lights on: Comedian Lisa Lampanelli on losing weight and winning herself

By : Aaron Alper
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Insult Comic Lisa Lampanelli, will be performing in Orlando at the Hard Rock on January 20 and Clearwater at the Capitol Theatre on January 21 and spoke with the Watermark to discuss her new play Stuffed, how weight loss has made her a better both as a person and a comic, and shows that “Comedy’s Loveable Queen of Mean” is actually, deep down, really very nice.

Watermark: Hello, Lisa, it’s such an honor.
Lisa Lampanelli: Oh my God, for me it is! I get to talk to another gay! I got on a phone with a straightie this morning and all I did was think about you going, “Where are the gays? I can’t stand these straight people.”

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A Wicked Good Cause: Hit touring play goes for charity after dark

By : Jeremy Williams
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Broadway musicals are sometimes easily identified by a certain song or simple phrase, but no other can bring on the rush and excitement that one can do with just a single color, green.

Wicked comes back to the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in Orlando on select nights Jan. 11- 29.

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Lewis Black returns to Florida amped up on righteous indignation

By : Aaron Alper
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Lewis Black, the fiery comedian known for his rage on the stage, is back in Florida for shows in January 13-19 in Bonita Springs, Coral Springs, Clearwater, Orlando and Jacksonville.

He got on the soapbox with the Watermark to discuss, you guessed it, the President-Elect (the one who likes to Twitter instead of learn intelligence briefings) and how he, a man known for his contempt for politicians, feels about our current situation and how we, the people, can survive the next four years of The Apprentice Takes the White House.

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Pop A-Z: 2016 had no shortage of gorgeous distractions from its torrents of depression

By : Kirk Hartlage
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We know: 2016 kinda sucked. There were far too many passings of entertainment icons, including Prince, David Bowie, Harper Lee and Florence Henderson. Dreams of electing the first female president slowly faded on election night in November as one state after another turned red. And in just one night in June, Orlando – its notoriety as a world-class vacation destination long solidified – also became known as home to the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

This year, entertainment was more important than ever. A catchy tune, a thrilling novel, a TV program with twisty plot turns: anything that created some amount of joy in our lives was a welcome diversion from the real-world crap that each of the last 365 days seemed to bring. These were some of our favorites.

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Michael Carbonaro abracadabras from the small screen to the big stage

By : Jeremy Williams
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If you are looking for a true Magic Mike, look no further than Michael Carbonaro. The 34-year-old actor/comedian/magician has been dropping jaws with his on-the-street hidden camera magic show, The Carbonaro Effect. The hit show has just been renewed on TruTV for a third season, plus two original specials, all to air in 2017.

Carbonaro is also on the next leg of his nationwide tour that brings him to The Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg Dec. 29. Before he conjures himself up in Tampa Bay for a little hocus pocus, Carbonaro chatted with Watermark via the psychic friends network for a little bippity boppity boo. Oh, ho, ho, it’s magic.

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