Screened Out – Into the Woods

By : Stephen Miller
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Meryl Streep, James Corden, Emily Blunt, Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine, Johnny Depp, Lilla Crawford, Daniel Huttlestone, Christine Baranski, Tracy Ulman, Lucy Punch, Tammy Blanchard, Mackenzie Mauzy, Billy Magnussen

If Stephen Sondheim’s famous, complex musical teaches anything, it’s to be careful what you wish for.

Sondheim fans have wanted a movie version of this show for a long time. Into the Woods gets the Disney treatment, with Chicago director Rob Marshall at the helm. It sounds like it could either be a fairy tale or a nightmare. It’s mostly successful – a charmer, with amazing performances, a lush score, rich lyrics, and a fantastical world. The actors seem to be having a blast, and many audiences will, too.

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Ty Herndon talks about being out and proud in country music

By : Gregg Shapiro
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Country singer Ty Herndon, who began topping the country music charts nearly 20 years ago, came out publicly as a gay man a week before Thanksgiving 2014. That’s something for which country music fans, gay and straight, can be thankful. A country chart-topper in the 1990s, Herndon’s hits include “What Matters Most,” “Living In A Moment,” “It Must Be Love” and “Loved Too Much,” to mention a few. Now an out and proud gay man, with a partner of five years named Matty, Herndon is one of the LGBT artists in Nashville working to make the country music capital a safe and productive place for out musicians and LGBT followers of the popular musical genre. We spoke with Ty about coming out, his career and more in late November 2014.

WATERMARK: It’s been about five days since your coming out story ran on People.com and you were discussed on CBS’s The Talk, CNN and interviewed on Entertainment Tonight. How has the experience been so far?
TY HERNDON: I feel so incredibly blessed. I have struggled with being gay my entire career and life. Of course, I’ve had so much support from my friends and close family that supported me, that knew I was gay. But it’s been so freeing for the fans to know; the fans in country music, especially. They have really been supportive and awesome. There are always going to be the naysayers and we’ve had a few of those. 99% of the feedback from the fans and in Nashville has been incredibly supportive. It’s blown my mind, to be honest with you. I feel extremely happy. And I feel extremely excited about the future because, really, at the end of the day I just want to be authentic and continue to make great music. That’s what I was what put on this planet to do, that’s my gift. I’m singing better than I ever have. There’s lots of music coming in the new year. That really makes me happy.

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Jo Dee Messina brings her career to Ybor Dec. 10

By : Zach Caruso
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Jo Dee Messina has taken her career into her own hands.

The country music star recently released her fifth studio album entitled ME, a project she completed without the help of a major label, and she is now hitting the road to tour in support of her latest offering and will be playing at The Ritz Ybor in Tampa on Dec. 10.

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Country crooners come out

By : Staff Report
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Country stars Ty Herndon and Billy Gilman are out of the closet.

Herdon went first, in interviews with People Magazine and Entertainment Tonight. His revelation inspired Gilman to go public as well.

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Sheryl Crow concert at Dr. Phillips Arts Center

By : Danny Garcia
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More than 1,500 music lovers crowded downtown Orlando for the Nov. 8 Sheryl Crow concert, a free show  and the very first concert in the Seneff Arts Plaza at Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.

Mayor Buddy Dyer introduced Crow, who played for a little more than an hour.

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Elton John says Pope Francis is his ‘hero’ at AIDS event

By : Wire Report
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NEW YORK (AP) – Elton John called Pope Francis “my hero” for his compassion and push to accept gays by the Roman Catholic Church, at his annual AIDS benefit.

John hosted the event, “An Enduring Vision: A Benefit for the Elton John AIDS Foundation,” Oct. 28 night in New York City. He said Francis is pushing boundaries in the church and told the crowd: “Make this man a saint now, OK?”

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‘Rent—In Concert’ is the newest offering from the Suncoast AIDS Theatre Project

By : Aaron Alper
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Sarasota – Rent is a time-honored musical amongst the LGBT community. It’s a story of a group of impoverished young artists living in Alphabet City in NYC while living under the nightmare of the initial onslaught of AIDS. It’s the perfect musical for the Suncoast AIDS Theatre Project to present Nov. 3 and 10 at Florida Studio Theatre.

Rather than being maudlin or prone of victimizing it’s gay characters (as many Hollywood movies are want to do) Rent imparted a message of hope amidst the decimation and that is probably the reason why it continues to be relevant more than 20 years after its debut.

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Mary Lambert brings her heart to Clearwater

By : Zach Caruso
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Mary Lambert is wearing her heart on her sleeve, and she wants everyone to know it.

The 25 year-old singer-songwriter just released her debut full-length album for Capitol Records, entitled Heart On My Sleeve, which features two breakout singles—“Secrets” and “When You Sleep”—and her supporting tour has her coming to The Capitol Theater in Clearwater Saturday, Oct. 25. It’s a return trip to Pinellas County for the singer, who performed at St. Pete Pride’s benefit concert in June.

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Lil’ Kim at Parliament House for COWP 2014

By : Samantha Rosenthal
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COWP 2014 was a week full of events with Lil’ Kim’s performance at Parliament House being the cherry on top. The Queen Bee of Hip Hop performed Oct. 11, accompanied by performances from Parliament’s drag queens and Footlight Players.

The venue was packed before midnight; Lil’ Kim didn’t take the stage until after 12:30 a.m. She perfomed many of her hits like “Lighters Up” and “Magic Stick” along with  new hits from her newly released mixtape Hard Core Mixtape 2k14.

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Parliament House: Lil’ Kim will “absolutely” perform Saturday night

By : Jamie Hyman
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Lil’ Kim is making some Orlando fans nervous with some cryptic Tweets, but according to Parliament House, Saturday night’s show will go on as scheduled.

The first sign that something might be amiss came Oct. 4, when the rapper skipped out on a scheduled pre-appearance meet-and-greet at The Manor in Ft. Lauderdale. According to TMZ, the meet-and-greet was booked mostly by gay fans.

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Dario could double attendance at Sarasota Pride

By : Joseph Kissel
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Sarasota – If pop singer Dario can nearly double the number of people at Lexington’s 2014 Pride event, the organizer of Sarasota Pride believes he can do the same there.

“His commitment to the prides has been great,” said Sarasota Pride Chairman Cindy Barnes.

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Pride in Concert: AJR and Meghan Trainor

By : Samantha Rosenthal
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A part of the XL 106.7’s Pride in Concert Series, Meghan Trainor and AJR took to the stage Oct. 8 at The Abbey near Lake Eola as a part of the week long of events for COWP.

Trainor performed her hit “All About That Bass,” while interacting with the crowd for her set.

AJR took to the stage to open up for her, even jamming on a ukulele at one point. The group is most known for their single “I’m Ready,” which samples a part from the hit television show Spongebob Squarepants on the song.

Follow the jump for more photos of the event.

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