Mad Cow Theatre explores sexual identity, family tension with local run of ‘Fun Home’

By : Layla Ferris
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After national tour stops in both Orlando and Tampa from the Tony Award-winning musical “Fun Home,” Orlando’s Mad Cow Theatre is putting on a production featuring local talent starting June 1.

“Fun Home,” the first Broadway musical to have a lesbian protagonist, is an adaptation of Alison Bechdel’s 2006 graphic memoir. The show portrays Bechdel’s uncovering of her own sexuality, her strained relationship with her closeted gay father and the reexamination of the years leading up to his unexpected suicide. The hour and 40-minute show is seen through the eyes of a 43-year-old Alison who looks to the past as she writes the graphic novel the play is based on.

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Seeing ‘RENT’ for the first time as told by a Watermark intern

By : Colton Adkins
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Jonathan Larson’s Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning musical “RENT” changed the landscape of Broadway when it premiered in 1996.

A re-imagining of Puccini’s “La Boheme,” “RENT” — currently in the third year of its 20th Anniversary National Tour — follows an unforgettable year in the lives of seven artists struggling to follow their dreams without selling out.

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Javon King makes national tour debut with ‘RENT’

By : Layla Ferris
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Javon King plays Angel in the national tour of “RENT”

Javon King is an openly gay actor from New Jersey, and he is making his national tour debut with the company of “RENT.” He joins the cast with his portrayal of fan favorite Angel Dumott Schunard.

King, 21, studies musical theater at Rider University in New Jersey. He’s been in several productions at the university such as “Of Thee I Sing” and “Once on This Island.”

King says he’s shocked and ecstatic to have the opportunity to perform “RENT” nationally. King spoke with Watermark on the show’s opening night in Orlando to discuss his first memories of “RENT,” the show’s depiction of the LGBTQ experience and the complexities of playing Angel.

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Out actor Thanos Skouteris swings into Tampa with “The Sound of Music”

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Out actor and singer Thanos Skouteris is touring North America with the newest stage production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “The Sound of Music,” a show he’s been familiar with for most of his life.

He’s certainly not alone. The show’s Tony, Grammy and Academy Award winning score, featuring “My Favorite Things,” “Do-Re-Mi” and of course, “The Sound of Music,” has captivated audiences for decades. Watermark spoke with Skouteris about his work as a swing and understudy for the new tour and what makes “The Sound of Music” so relevant today.

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Watermark on the Fringe: “Pianos to the Death Game Show”

By : Danny Garcia
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A flamboyant game show host named Morgan (who resembles Powerline from “A Goofy Movie”) and his two minions, Joy and Harmony, lead you through “Pianos to the Death Game Show,” a literal battle to the death game show featuring three contestants. The music is chosen by  audience members as they spin the digital wheel on a handheld tablet to choose the song categories where the contestants must sing for their life.

The show, calling to mind fight-for-your-life films like “The Running Man” and “The Hunger Games,” is a blend of a dystopian future world and a dueling piano bar.

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Aquaria talks ‘Drag Race’ ahead of her Gay Days at Parliament House concert

By : Colton Adkins
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Only four years into her drag career, Aquaria has grabbed the attention of fans around the world in her short time on Season 10 of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” Prior to joining the show, Aquaria had around 200,000 followers on her Instagram. That number has grown to more than half a million.

Reigning from the New York City drag scene, Aquaria grew up in Pennsylvania when she started expressing interest in wanting to put on makeup for costumes. The drag daughter of Season 4’s winner Sharon Needles, Aquaria has continued to perform well on “Drag Race” by winning two mini-challenges and two main challenges, and she has never been in the bottom.

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Watermark on the Fringe: “Gorgeous”

By : Danny Garcia
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Very loosely inspired on the 1999 film “Drop Dead Gorgeous” (and with hints of “Mean Girls”), “Gorgeous” — written and directed by Donald Rupe — features a large cast that delivers great songs, written by Rupe and Cesar de la Rosa, and great dancing, choreographed by Eric Yow.

“Gorgeous” takes place in the small town of St. Crowd, Florida during Miss Golden Boot — the big opening number introduces all the girls from the surefire wins to the “misfits” who provide lots of comedy relief through the show.

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Watermark’s 5 Questions for a Fringe Regular

By : Watermark Staff
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Orlando Fringe is in full swing and from what we have seen so far this is one of the best year of shows we have ever seen.

But any Fringe veteran will tell you that the shows are only part of the experience. You have the food, the drinks, the parties and of course chilling on the Fringe lawn and making some new friends.

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Watermark on the Fringe: “Keep It Gay”

By : Jeremy Williams
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For those trying to find the most LGBTQ show at Orlando Fringe this year look no further because we found it. “Keep It Gay” does just as its title promises, from start to finish they have the gay dialed up to 11 and we couldn’t be more happy.

The show begins with Billy Mick and Gonzalo Mendaz asking the show’s director, Wade Hair, to take on their latest Fringe endeavor. At first Hair doesn’t seem interested in their small, dramatic Fringe show but changes his tune at the possibility on becoming a — <gasp> — Patron’s Pick winner! But doing a drama? Never! If you want Wade Hair to do your show you need to keep it light, keep it bright, keep it gay!

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Watermark on the Fringe: “Vampire Lesbians of Sodom”

By : Danny Garcia
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The story begins in the biblical days of ancient Sodom. We meet two guards who watch over a lair where a virgin (played by Nathan Bonk) is to be sacrificed to the hungry Succubus (played by Kristin Pringle-Marksbury), but instead of the Succubus devouring the ingénue, she turns her into a fellow undead. So begins the tale of the eternal rivalry of the “Vampire Lesbians of Sodom.”

The story moves forward in time first to the days of classic Hollywood, then to  the early 1980’s where the deep-rooted feud continues. Bette and Joan have nothing on these girls and they don’t care who gets in their way when all hell breaks loose.

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Watermark on the Fringe: “James & Jamesy In The Dark”

By : Jeremy Williams
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What is now becoming one of my favorite Fringe traditions, after having a delightful order of cheese curds on the Fringe lawn, I gathered my things and headed to the Silver Venue for the latest installment of Aaron Malkin and Alastair Knowles’ James & Jamesy series. This year they are shining brightly in “James & Jamesy In The Dark.”

It is difficult to attempt explaining a James & Jamesy show. First, these comical geniuses interact with the audience so much that no two shows are ever alike. Secondly, one of the greatest joys in watching a James & Jamesy show is not knowing what to expect when you enter the venue. What I will provide you is the set up.

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Watermark on the Fringe: “Flip”

By : Jeremy Williams
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What if everyone in the world had a switch around their neck that could be flipped at anytime to end that person’s life, would you try and flip someone’s switch? What would it take in this world to make you flip your own? These are the questions Adam McCabe asks in his Fringe show “Flip.”

The concept for the show —which McCabe lays out in the show’s program — came from a real life experience McCabe had with a friend in college who went missing. When he turned back up a few weeks later, McCabe found out his friend tried to commit suicide because he concluded that the world was meaningless.

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