Wedding Bells: Eddie Cooper and John Ryan

By : Samantha Rosenthal
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“It was the most perfect night ever,” Eddie says about their wedding. “Everybody had so much fun, and they laughed and they cried. Literally, every single person came up and said it was the best wedding they’ve ever been to.”

Eddie Cooper, who is a realtor for Mainframe Real Estate and the general manager of The Eo Inn, and John Ryan, who is a stage manager at Universal Orlando and a playwright, have been together for more than 10 years. They met during Christmastime at the then-Peacock Room during a monthly local performance night. John was performing at the event a spoof from Cabaret where he was dressed as one of Santa’s elves. Eddie was at the event to support the host Miss Sammy, who he is good friends with.

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A Gay Bar Star Reborn: Janine Klein brings self-effacing cabaret madness back to Parliament House

By : Billy Manes
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Local off-off-off-Broadway (like downtown Orlando’s Broadway Avenue for purposes of context) sensation Janine Klein has popped into our living space and plopped onto our couch as the summer storms have inclined her to. She’s not running away from anything. She’s just running.

“That’s God talking,” she laughs, tugging from a drink. “He doesn’t want me to do this show again.”

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Watermark’s 2015 Orlando Fringe Reviews: 1969: Stonewall

By : Samantha Rosenthal
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Bravo, I must say! Written and starring John Ryan, who plays Michael, “1969: Stonewall” was one of my favorite Fringe shows so far this year.

The play takes you back to 1969 in New York City right before, during and after the Stonewall Riots. With inside jokes and “gay humor” galore, the show had the audience laughing at all the right times. The show even had photos and footage from those years on the background screen which was an excellent visual supplement.

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Logan Donahoo gives direction through Fringe Fest’s gay offerings

By : Steve Blanchard
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Who better to guide us through the substantial gay-themed and gay-penned shows at the 2014 Fringe Fest than Logan Donahoo? The Orlando-based actor isn’t only a Fringe veteran, but the star and creator of the wildly successful Field Guide to the Gays, which returns for two shows this year.

“I’m also bringing Field Guide to the Logan to Fringe this year for five shows,” Donahoo says. “It’s more autobiographical. It’s like being on a date with someone who shares way too much about himself—and that date is me.”

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Miss Sammy Cooks Up a Fringe Confection

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Miss Sammy Bakes a Cake! is ostensibly a cooking show, but it harkens back to afternoon talk shows hosted by the likes of Merv Griffin, Mike Douglas and Dinah Shore. The atmosphere was cozy, the guests relaxed, and the stories from deep inside Hollywood.

But this time Sam Singhaus' beloved local character, Miss Sammy, is front and center. And that means the guests are drunker, and the stories (and props) are kinkier. Would Dinah Shore stir her cake batter with a vibrator?

As always, Sammy looks fabulous in a perky red wig and tight-waisted teal plaid shirt dress. She starts to bake a cake, and in true talk-show fashion guests stop by to plug their most recent books or recordings.

As Judy Garland, Mark Baratelli is uncanny and hilarious. Dressed in a black sequined mini-skirt like the ones Garland favored well into middle age, Baratelli's Judy is a talented mess andâ┚¬â€like Garlandâ┚¬â€riveting. You can't take your eyes off of her.

When Garland falls to the floor, Sammy ad libs: â┚¬Å”We're just two old broads that won't quit drinking.â┚¬Â

Baratelli dusts her off in time to belt out a breathy â┚¬Å”Somewhere Over the Rainbowâ┚¬ÂÃ¢â”šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Âwith word prompts needed throughout. Brilliant.

Happily, Baratelli's Garland will appear throughout Miss Sammy's run. Most of the other celebs are played by actors with their own Fringe shows who will drop in when scheduling permits. They include Carole Lee as Carol Channing and Ann-Margret, Danielle Hunter as Dolly Parton, and Jeff Jones as Satan.

Gidget Galore, a drag character created by talented Rich Kuntz, sends up Roseanne Barr, who's visiting Sammy to promote her new CD. Playing off Barr's disastrous handling of the National Anthem, Galore screaches â┚¬Å”You Light Up My Lifeâ┚¬Â and other sappy standards that continue longer than necessary. Joke played. Point made. Galore returns as Debbie Reynolds for a delightful duet with Sammy on Reynolds â┚¬Ëœ50s hit â┚¬Å”Aba Daba Honeymoon.â┚¬Â

Elaine Stritch was the final celebrity guest at this show. As played by Elizabeth T. Murff in signature oversized men's dress shirt and black tights and pumps, Stritch is befuddled and hilariously narcissistic. She thinks she's on The View â┚¬â€Ã¢â”šÂ¬Ã…”Where's Whoopi?â┚¬ÂÃ¢â”šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Â to hawk her version of Eat, Pray, Love. It's called Drink, Swear, Bitch.

John Ryan is a charming diversion while Sammy changes into a pink polka dot cooking apron with nothing underneath. Ryan hawks a Chatty Cathy-like â┚¬Å”Sassy Sammy Dollâ┚¬Â that spouts 20 adult sayings. Later, he sings a coda to backstage opportunism.

Sammy also chimes in with an old-school testimonial for her cold cream product: â┚¬Å”â┚¬Â¦ when you need to get something messy off your face.â┚¬Â

The show proceeds at a quick pace carried by Miss Sammy's archly effervescent personality and obvious love of the business of show. The inevitable flubs are welcome opportunities for ad libs.

At the end, Sammy produces a cake with ingredients added by each of her guests. Like the show, it's clearly warped, but also clearly delicious.

Show: Miss Sammy Bakes a Cake!
Theatre Group: Kangagirl Productions
Venue: Silver
Remaining Performance:
5/28 Sat. 2:10 PM

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LGBTs get their weekly fix at devoted dinner

By : Jamie Hyman
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Fox’s hit show Glee goes far beyond simple, everyday television entertainment. The show attracts powerhouse guest stars with powerhouse voices ranging from Kristin Chenoweth to Josh Groban, six to ten million viewers tune in every week and according to Amber Riley, who plays Mercedes, the show has sparked a new glee club trend in high schools.

Glee is having an effect on fans of its campy, musical format as well. In Orlando, a group of LGBTs gather every Wednesday night for dinner, cocktails and a raucous, devoted viewing of each new episode of Glee. They call the party “Glee-hab.”

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