Central Florida native Michael James Scott heads back to Agrabah (and Orlando) to play the Genie in ‘Disney’s Aladdin’

By : Jeremy Williams
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Michael James Scott has run the gamut when it comes to appearing on Broadway. He has been in “Mamma Mia!,” “Hair,” “Elf,” “Something Rotten!” and “The Book of Mormon” to name a few, but there is one role above all that he is most associated with — “Aladdin’s” Genie.

“I call it my ‘Genie journey,’” Scott says. “I never expected it to be a part of my life for this length of time and for it to literally take me all around the world.”

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Southern Nights Orlando hosts 12th annual Broadway Christmas for The Trevor Project

By : Lora Korpar
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ABOVE: Southern Nights Orlando’s promotional art for the 12th annual Broadway Christmas performance (from Facebook)

ORLANDO | Central Florida LGBTQ nightclub Southern Nights will be hosting the 12th Annual Broadway Christmas cabaret with proceeds benefiting The Trevor Project.

Over 50 Central Florida entertainers will come together to perform comedy and music from some of Broadway’s most famous shows. The event is hosted by Kai’ja Adonis and Jose Marrero.

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Billy Porter teams with Idina Menzel to record a holiday classic

By : John Paul King of the washington blade, courtesy of the national LGBT media association
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ABOVE: Billy Porter and Idina Menzel keeping warm in their new video duet (Image via YouTube)

As Christmas approaches each year, it comes with the anticipation (and maybe also the dread) of the next glittery, fabulous new holiday single to be dropped by a pop star.

This season has already brought us Sam Smith’s rendition of Donna Summer’s classic “I Feel Love” (okay, not exactly a Christmas song, but coupled with those Target holiday commercials it seems as festive as “Jingle Bells”), but the winner might just have landed under our trees courtesy of not one, but two of Broadway’s brightest lights.

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Erica Roberts and Rebekah Piatt turn SAVOY Orlando into a piano bar every Friday

By : Lora Korpar
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Orlando community members can belt out their favorite show tunes every Friday night at the city’s first drag queen piano bar experience thanks to Central Florida drag queen Erica Roberts and local gay bar SAVOY Orlando.

Roberts started the piano bar night over the summer and pianist Rebekah Piatt joined the team in September.

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Orlando native and out performer Michael James Scott to reprise role of Genie in ‘Aladdin’ at Dr. Phillips Center

By : Jeremy Williams
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ABOVE: Michael James Scott as the Genie in “Disney’s Aladdin” North American tour. (Photo by Deen van Meer, courtesy Dr. Phillips Center)

ORLANDO | The hit Broadway musical “Disney’s Aladdin” is coming to the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts Jan. 22-Feb. 9, 2020. It was announced Sept. 13 that Orlando native and out performer Michael James Scott will be performing as the Genie during the musical’s run in Central Florida.

Scott graduated from Dr. Phillips High School and has appeared in the Broadway productions of “The Book of Mormon,” “Something Rotten,” Hair,” “All Shook Up,” “The Pirate Queen,” “Elf,” “Mamma Mia” and “Tarzan,” as well as previously performed as the Genie in London’s West End and Australia, the latter of which won Scott a Helpmann Award—the Australian version of The Tony Award.

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‘The Prom’ wraps up Broadway run with real-life same-sex wedding

By : Mariah Cooper of the Washington Blade, Courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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“The Prom” celebrated one of its final shows on Broadway with an onstage, same-sex wedding.

Armelle Kay Harper, the script coordinator for the musical, and actress Jody Kay Smith were married during the show’s curtain call at the Longacre Theatre on Aug. 3. “The Prom” co-book writer Bob Martin officiated the nuptials.

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American Stage closes 2018-19 season with ‘Fun Home’

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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 ABOVE: American Stage’s three “Fun Home” Alisons, photo courtesy American Stage.

American Stage is closing out its 2018-2019 season with the hit musical “Fun Home,” playing now through Aug. 18.

The celebrated production is based on Alison Bechdel’s best-selling graphic memoir of the same name and was the first Broadway musical to feature a lesbian protagonist. It introduces audiences to Bechdel at three different ages, following her as she unravels the mysteries of her childhood while seeing her parents through grown-up eyes. 

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Broadway showcase to benefit Project No Labels

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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TAMPA | Tampa Mayor Jane Castor will provide opening remarks June 22 during the 13th production of Life Amplified Connections, a Broadway-themed showcase benefiting Project No Labels (PNL) at Stageworks Theatre.

Life Amplified has tackled issues like human trafficking, bullying, PTSD and sexual violence to raise funds for nonprofits since 2013. The gathering is produced by the philanthropic side of marketing company WriteOne Creative Services and will feature 21 performers from throughout Tampa Bay. A number of community partners will showcase their services ahead of the event.

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Southern Nights Orlando to host holiday benefit for The Trevor Project

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Southern Nights Orlando hosts the 11th annual Broadway Christmas cabaret, presented by Kai’ja Adonis and Jose Marrero and benefiting The Trevor Project, Dec. 20.

Adonis and Marrero began Broadway Christmas in the mid-2000s after they lost a friend to suicide.

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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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‘Something Rotten!’ actor Nick Rashad Burroughs talks about being on Broadway, working with Todrick Hall and what inspires him

By : Jeremy Williams
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Nick Rashad Burroughs grew up singing in the church in Birmingham, Alabama. As the son of a preacher, Burroughs spent his days either with the youth choir or running track.

“Track was my focus at the time,” Burroughs says. “I found theater a bit late, but just in time to go to college for it.”

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