“Liberal Redneck” Trae Crowder talks about his ties to the LGBTQ community and incoming tour

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Trae Crowder, the 31-year-old comedian better known as the “Liberal Redneck,” gained national notoriety after he and his southern drawl supported transgender rights in April 2016.

He’d been a stand-up comedian for nearly six years at the time, but it was his condemnation of North Carolina’s bigoted HB2 “bathroom bill” that thrust him into the viral video spotlight. That first video, originally uploaded to his personal Facebook page, has garnered over 980,000 YouTube views to date. In total, his hot takes have drawn over 50 million.

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Well-Strung applies their Popssical formula to some Christmas classics for their performance at The Abbey

By : Jeremy Williams
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The all-male, all-gay string quartet known as Well-Strung has been entertaining the world since 2012 with their unique blend of pop and classical music, mashing the two together to create a distinct sound they call “Popssical.”

The group — which consists of Edmund Bagnell (first violin), Christopher Marchant (second violin), Daniel Shevlin (cello) and Trevor Wadleigh (viola) — plays classical pieces from the likes of Beethoven and Mozart while singing Top 40 hits from popstars such as Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga and Kelly Clarkson.

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Kate Shindle on playing out author Alison Bechdel in the national tour of ‘Fun Home’

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Kate Shindle is an author, activist, actor and ally to the LGBTQ community. She’s also the youngest-ever president of the Actors’ Equity Association, the labor union fighting for the fair treatment of over 50,000 theatre industry professionals, and is only the third woman to hold the title.

Last year, Shindle broke ground in another way when she began touring the country as Alison Bechdel, the lead in the Tony-award winning Fun Home. The show, based off of Bechdel’s graphic memoir of the same name, is the first Broadway production to feature a lesbian protagonist.

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The Three Baritones reunite as a part of Opera Orlando’s stunning rendition of Puccini’s ‘La Boheme’

By : Jeremy Williams
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Mark Twain once wrote, “I have attended operas whenever I could not help it.” It is an art form that is rarely given its due in the mainstream and ignored by those who write it off as dull or boring, often without ever having attended a performance.

For those who have been too intimidated to give opera a try, Opera Orlando is launching their new season with one of the genre’s most beloved classics.

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Love is alive: an interview with ‘Love Never Dies’ actress Karen Mason

By : Gregg Shapiro
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ABOVE(L-R) Mary Michael Patterson (“Meg Giry”), Meghan Picerno (“Christine Daaé”), Karen Mason (“Madame Giry”) and Sean Thompson (“Raoul, Vicomte de Chagny”) star in Love Never Dies. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Broadway actress and award-winning cabaret goddess Karen Mason is one of the hardest working women in show business. Perhaps you’ve caught her on Broadway as Tanya in Mamma Mia!, as Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard (when she was Glenn Close’s standby), as Velma Van Tussle in Hairspray or as the Queen of Hearts in Wonderland.

Mason is a regular on the cabaret circuit, you might have heard her when she performed at The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, or in New York at Lincoln Center, Feinstein’s at The Regency, Rainbow & Stars and the Algonquin, or in Los Angeles at The Cinegrill, or at The Plush Room in San Francisco or Davenport’s in Chicago. Could be that you purchased, or received as a gift, one of her CDs. Maybe you’ve seen her on TV in an episode of Law & Order.

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George Takei among latest celebs to be accused of sexual misconduct

By : Wire Report
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NEW YORK (AP) – George Takei took to Twitter Nov. 11 to deny groping a male model and Richard Dreyfuss said he never exposed himself to a female writer helping him with a TV script, both back in the 1980s.

Takei, the 80-year-old “Star Trek” icon, said in a series of tweets that events described by Scott R. Brunton in The Hollywood Reporter “simply did not occur,” and he does not remember ever knowing Brunton.

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Out comedian Jeff Jones on performing for straight audiences and his ‘Pink Collar Comedy Show’

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Jeff Jones will tell you that he isn’t a gay comedian; he’s a comedian who happens to be gay. He’s also an actor, producer and playwright, one who frequents Orlando and Tampa and that’s even shared the stage with late comedic icon Joan Rivers.

On Nov. 8, Tampa Bay residents will get to experience Jones for themselves as drag and comedy collide for his “Pink Collar Comedy Show,” a night of laughter and drag divas with Brian Bradley, Carol Lee and Trixxie Deluxxe.

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A night of fashion, visual art and music combine in a fundraiser to support HIV/AIDS organization Miracle of Love, Inc.

By : Holly V. Kapherr
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On November 8, Miracle of Love, an HIV/AIDS education and awareness organization based in Orlando, will stage its second Project Red: An Art Experience event at Parliament House on Orange Blossom Trail. The event will feature artists from around the area in theatre, visual art, fashion, music and other mediums. Proceeds from the event will go to fund Miracle of Love’s community endeavors, including programs for pregnant women, housing for HIV positive individuals, and care management assistance for underinsured or non-insured individuals with HIV/AIDS.

The first Project Red: An Art Experience took place in 2015, when an artist approached Miracle of Love with the idea to stage an art show that communicated to an audience what the color red meant to them.

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Kevin Spacey slammed for coming out amid sexual misconduct apology to Anthony Rapp

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Kevin Spacey is facing criticism for publicly coming out as gay in response to Anthony Rapp’s allegation that the “House of Cards” star sexually harassed him as a child.

Rapp, 46, revealed to BuzzFeed that he and Spacey became acquainted while working as actors on Broadway. When Rapp was 14 years old, Spacey invited him to his apartment for a party. Spacey was 26 at the time.

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‘Dear Evan Hansen’ says goodbye to Ben Platt in disco dance video

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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“Dear Evan Hansen” ushered in new leads Noah Galvin and Taylor Trensch in a ’70s disco dance-off on the streets of New York City.

Current star Ben Platt joins Galvin and Trensch in ’70s attire as the trio dance to “Getaway” by Earth, Wind and Fire. The video, titled “Getaway,” was directed and edited by Nick Lieberman.

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‘On Your Feet!’ dancer Joseph Rivera talks dance, touring and the Estefans ahead of the show’s Florida run

By : Jeremy Williams
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Dancer Joseph Rivera is heading to the Sunshine State with the company of the hit Broadway musical, On Your Feet! in both Orlando at the Dr. Phillips Center Oct. 17-22 and in Tampa at the Straz Center Oct. 24-29.

On Your Feet! is based on the life and love of 26-time Grammy Award-winning power couple Emilio and Gloria Estefan. The show is packed with many of Estefan’s chart-topping hit songs, as well as some of the most intense dancing you will see on any stage.

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Kathy Griffin spills ‘scandalous gay tea’ on ex-friend Anderson Cooper

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Kathy Griffin made her stand-up comedy comeback at the Best in Drag fundraiser in Los Angeles over the weekend where she wore a Donald Trump mask, blasted Harvey Weinstein and spilled “gay tea” on Anderson Cooper.

“I’m going to spill the f*cking tea,” Griffin says in her first stand-up routine since the Trump photoshoot controversy. “I was part of an international scandal, under federal investigation for two months, my sister died, my dog died, and my mother turned on me. My mother took Sean Hannity’s side. She was a little drunk. She goes, ‘Kathleen, I was watching my Fox News and do you know not one of those guys took your side. Not once.’ I said, ‘Yes.’ I got letters from them saying they wanted to shoot me in my cu*t.”

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