Here We Go Again: American Stage in the Park is back with ‘Mamma Mia!’

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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American Stage in the Park, a celebrated Tampa Bay tradition for over 30 years, is back—this time with the timeless pop of ABBA in “Mamma Mia!” The record-breaking musical, one of the longest running in Broadway history, is playing now through May 12 at Demens Landing at 8 p.m. every Wednesday through Sunday.

“On the eve of her wedding, a daughter’s quest to discover the identity of her father brings three men from her mother’s past back to the island they last visited 20 years ago,” the production’s synopsis reads. “This enchanting tale of love, laughter, family and friendship features a large cast, non-stop laughs and explosive dance numbers for an unforgettable night under the stars!”

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‘The Inheritance’ among the big winners at Olivier Awards

By : Wire Report
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ABOVE: Cast of “The Inheritance” (Image by Marc Brenner, Courtesy of InheritancePlay.com)

LONDON (AP) | “The Inheritance”, an epic drama about gay lives in New York, and musicals “Come From Away” and “Company” were the big winners at British theater’s Olivier Awards on April 7, receiving four trophies apiece.

“The Inheritance,” Matthew Lopez’s drama about young gay men living in New York a generation after the AIDS crisis was declared best new play.

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Streisand-centric ‘Buyer & Cellar’ delights at Florida Studio Theatre

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Before she was watching HBO documentaries to craft controversies of her own, film and stage superstar Barbra Streisand was generating another type of headline: for her interior design.

That’s because Streisand—the only artist to receive Oscar, Tony, Emmy, Grammy, Directors Guild of America, Golden Globe, National Endowment for the Arts and Peabody awards—has a mall in the basement of her Malibu mansion. “Instead of just storing my things in the basement,” the diva detailed to Harper’s Bazaar in 2010, “I can make a street of shops and display them.”

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‘Dear Evan Hansen’ star Ben Levi Ross talks living authentically and launching a national tour

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Since its world premiere in 2015 and its Broadway debut the following year, “Dear Evan Hansen” has captivated audiences with its contemporary and cautionary tale of a high school student waving through a window and yearning to be found.

The megahit musical—which features a book by Tony Award winner Steven Levenson, direction by Tony Award nominee Michael Greif (“Rent”) and a score by Grammy, Tony and Academy Award winners Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (“La La Land” and “The Greatest Showman”)—quickly became a household name. In 2017, it was nominated for nine Tony Awards and won six, including Best Musical. The following year, its original Broadway cast recording won the 2018 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album.

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Orlando’s Broadway Brunch Bunch takes their hit show from the dining room to the main stage

By : Jeremy Williams
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If you have been to Hamburger Mary’s Orlando on a Sunday for its Broadway Brunch then you already know that no one does Broadway like drag queens do Broadway.

Each week for nearly the last seven years a team of drag queens, singers, dancers, actors and comedians—collectively known as the Broadway Brunch Bunch—put on one of Central Florida’s best shows all while their audiences “eat, drink and be Mary.”

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‘Aladdin,’ ‘Mean Girls,’ more featured in Straz Center’s 2019-2020 Broadway season

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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The Straz Center for the Performing Arts announced its nine-show, 2019-2020 Broadway season March 17.

Roald Dahl’s “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” leads the season Oct. 8-13, 2019. It features songs from the original film and a “toe-tapping and ear-tickling new score.”

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Janet Jackson announces Las Vegas residency

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Janet Jackson is now the latest pop star to embark on a Las Vegas residency.

Jackson announced that her new show “Metamorphosis” will take place at Park MGM’s Park Theater for 15 dates starting on May 17. The show will be “peeling back the layers of the immensely private life of Janet Jackson, sharing her transformation from a young girl with issues of self-esteem to global Icon” and include a “special 30-year anniversary celebration of her ground-breaking album Rhythm Nation,” according to the announcement.

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‘The Golden Gals Live’ to take the stage at Parliament House

By : Lauren Lee
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ORLANDO | Picture it: Orlando, 2019. The Parliament House’s Footlight Theatre sets the stage!

Some of Central Florida’s most talented drag queens are getting together over a few cheesecakes at Parliament House to bring you “The Golden Gals Live.”

Ginger Minj, Divine Grace, Gidget Galore and MRMS Adrian will take the stage as Blanche, Dorothy, Rose and Sophia, respectively. Rounding out the cast will be Watermark WAVE winner Doug Ba’aser playing a lesbian.

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‘Aladdin,’ ‘Les Miserables,’ more coming to Dr. Phillips Center

By : Amanda Espinosa
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ORLANDO| The Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts announced their upcoming FAIRWINDS Broadway series for the 2019/2020 season in a press release Feb. 15.

Audience members can discover a whole new world this season with the musical “Aladdin.”  The Disney original is making a comeback with fan favorite songs, as well as new music. The season will also feature the Tony award-winning “My Fair Lady” and “A Bronx Tale” starring Richard H. Blake, known for his role as Tommy Devito in the “Jersey Boys” musical.

Dr. Phillips’ full 2019/2020 season line-up will include “Escape to Margaritaville,” “The Play That Goes Wrong,” “Aladdin,” “Mean Girls,” “Miss Saigon,” “A Bronx Tale” and “My Fair Lady.” Kicking off the season will be Tony award-winning  “Les Miserables,” available as a season option. According to their website, “these eight wildly popular shows will bring the best of Broadway to Walt Disney Theater.” Detailed information can be found below.

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Jay Goldberg serves stepsister realness in ‘Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella’

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Over 100 million viewers welcomed Julie Andrews into their homes for the live CBS premiere of “Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella” in 1957. It was a record-breaking feat for the musical theater writing team’s only piece produced exclusively for television.

The production would go on to spark multiple onscreen revivals, like 1997’s Brandy and Whitney Houston-led cult classic, and it would ultimately venture to the stage. It wasn’t until 2013 that the show would find its way to Broadway, however, where its stage revival garnered nine Tony Award nominations—winning one of those for best costume design and launching multiple national tours in the process.

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Out comedian Michele Balan talks about how her life and times have changed

By : Lauren Lee
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Michele Balan was the last lesbian comedian left standing on “Last Comic Standing” in 2006, and has appeared on “Where are they Now?,” “Comics Unleashed” and “The Joy Behar Show.” Life has been constant travel for the self-described “bi-comical” entertainer, as for the past seven years, she has been consistently packing, unpacking and repacking some more for comedy shows on popular cruise ships.

Balan said that every time she was about to quit comedy, something came her way. She worked temporary and bartending jobs and had to overcome many financial and cultural obstacles to get to where she is now. She says she feels lucky to be working every week and making a living doing something she has a passion for, whether that’s performing on cruise ships or for LGBTQ audiences in comedy clubs.

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‘Perfect Arrangement’ brings America’s gay witch hunt to Tampa Bay

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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America celebrated the rise of the sitcom in the early 1950s, collectively declaring “I Love Lucy.” But as the country welcomed the golden age of television, fear-mongering politicians in D.C. were only seeing red.

That’s because Sen. Joseph McCarthy had introduced the second Red Scare to the masses, claiming that communists had infiltrated the U.S. federal government. Perhaps even more dangerous, Republican leadership asserted, were the gay men and lesbians who had done the same—deemed communist sympathizers and security risks susceptible to blackmail due to their homosexuality. Their hatred gave way to the Lavender Scare, a parallel witch hunt and the mass firing of gay and lesbian federal workers in the early 1950s.

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