The groundbreaking Broadway smash hit ‘RENT’ celebrates its 20th Anniversary with a tour across America

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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It’s been over 10,512,000 minutes since RENT took the world by storm in 1996, well over 525,600. But as Jonathan Larson’s original rock musical readies its 20th anniversary tour, it’s clear that every one of those minutes has indeed been measured in love.

The off-Broadway world premiere of RENT, a re-imagining of Puccini’s La Bohème, took place on February 13, 1996. The hit show transferred to Broadway on April 29 of the same year and went on to captivate audiences worldwide. It even inspired a 2005 film adaptation of the same name, featuring much of the original Broadway cast and earning nearly $30 million domestically.

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Founder’s Day: Redefining my arc

By : Tom Dyer
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Tom Dyer Watermark gay

Tom Dyer

I decided to sell Watermark to our talented publisher, Rick Claggett, some time ago. In fact, I considered timing the transition to coincide with our 20th anniversary celebration last fall. But I wasn’t ready.

Last week I finally shared my plans with Watermark’s staff, just before the lunch break at our year-end retreat. I’d been contemplating the details for months,so my emotional reaction was a surprise. The shocked look on their faces illuminated something I had avoided: that a remarkable chapter of my life was ending. Along with some staff members, I shed a few tears.

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College-bound LGBT students receive Orlando Youth Alliance scholarships

By : Jamie Hyman
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OYAScholarships2015Two Central Florida LGBT students are getting a little help with their future by way of scholarships through Orlando Youth Alliance.

Emily Mound and London Nunn were awarded $1,500 each at OYA’s 20th anniversary reception at Dubsdread Country Club Aug. 14.

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Movies Out Loud huge hit with “Showgirls” at The Abbey

By : Jeremy Williams
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Movies Out Loud’s revival was a huge success with more than 100 tickets sold for The Abbey premiere of Showgirls.

Jeff Jones and Miss Sammy lampooned the film, which is the highest grossing NC-17 movie in cinema history and is celebrating its 20th anniversary.

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Watermark is bringing Movies Out Loud to The Abbey and this time it’s Fringey!

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Watermark Media and the Orlando International Fringe Festival are teaming up to resurrect Movies Out Loud for a new audience (and the old one too). The first one will be July 8 and continue on the second Wednesday of each month, but instead of a roaming venue, they have found a permanent home at The Abbey.

“The Abbey has stepped up as sponsor and it really is the perfect location,” said George Wallace, executive director to Fringe, via email.

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Preaching to the converted: Say Goodnight and Go

By : Ken Kundis
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KenKundisHeadshot_808353452Last week, I had the occasion of being in Orlando for a big technology conference. The timing was fortuitous. I am also in the process of putting my Audubon Park house on the market. This gave me the excuse to combine business with…well, personal business. I went by the old girl on Virginia Drive to clean out what I had left and turn it into the hands of my very capable broker.

I bought the house in 2003 and expanded shortly after. If I had sold the resulting three bedroom, two bath house when I moved to NYC in 2007, I would have made an almost 100% return on my investment. Nineteen months later, I was upside down on my mortgage.

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Suncoast Cathedral mourns the loss of ‘Rev. Sherry’ March 18

By : Krista DiTucci
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Venice – On March 11, 2015, the SunCoast Cathedral Metropolitan Community Church suffered a shocking loss when Rev. Dr. Sherry Lee Kennedy passed away unexpectedly.

“This is a gigantic loss for whole community,” said church member David Phillips. “She was well loved and respected. She spoke so well and had so much faith, and she knew the Bible inside out.”

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The Leather Pride Flag wasn’t designed with any specific symbolism

By : Staff Report
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For 35 years, the highly recognizable blue, black and white-striped flag with the red heart in the upper left hand corner has become a staple at LGBT Pride events. It easily distinguishes the leather crowd from the masses of LGBTs at any gathering and also marks the entry way to leather bars around the world. Today it even appears on bumper stickers and license plates.

Unlike the familiar rainbow flag that is most often associated with the gay rights movement, the colors of the Leather Pride flag weren’t designed with any specific symbolism. When it was first presented at the 1989 Mr. International Leather (IML) Contest in Chicago, no one had seen a widely accepted symbol of the leather community.

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Team Watermark: Why We’re Thankful 2014

By : Jamie Hyman
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“I’m thankful for a silly dog, new opportunities and a supportive wife and family.” — Patrick O’Connor, Creative Assistant

“This year I am thankful to have my family so close during the holidays. I’m also thankful for Icy Hot as I am getting too old to play softball!” — Rick Claggett, Publisher

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A strained relationship and a drag queen make for campy holiday humor in Who Took the Last Ketchup

By : Aaron Alper
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St. Petersburg – In a season where saccharine holiday smarm floods the cultural landscape, Gypsy Productions’ release of Who Took The Last Ketchup? One Hell of a Holiday Vacation may be the incendiary, albeit heartfelt, itch you need to scratch.

Directed by noted local renaissance man Trevor Keller and featuring an original script by local playwright Michael Matteo (An Evening with Mr. Johnson: It’s Hard Being A Dick!), Ketchup takes place on the last night of Max (Peter Konowicz) and Lena’s (Skyla Luckey) annual holiday vacation to Florida. It’s also the same night Walter (Eddy Ganim) a homeless drag queen, enters their world.

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Watermark’s 20th Anniversary Party in Tampa Bay

By : Patrick O'Connor
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Watermark celebrates 20 years this year, taking the party over to Tampa Bay.

The evening was held at Crumb&Cork Oct.8, where the LGBT community joined the Watermark staff for a night to celebrate the last 20 years of the newsmagazine.

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Photos: Watermark’s 20th Anniversary Party Orlando

By : Jake Stevens
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Hundreds of community members gathered at the Orange Studio Sept. 13 to celebrate 20 fabulous years of Watermark.

Many were engrossed by the slideshow displaying photos spanning the past two decades, while others enjoyed the delicious food and drink provided by John Michael Catering, and music by DJ Capt. Kirk.

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