Orlando Overheard: Phile Under Phantastic!

By : Anonymous
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Despite the public announcement he was retiring in Jan. 2018, LGBTQ Ally and multi-WAVE award winner, Jim Philips recently announced he was sticking around as the host of “The Philips Phile” for at least one more year.

The show will keep the same format with the exception they will only be on the air Monday thru Thursday in the 3:00 -7:00 p.m. slot. 

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09.07.17 Publisher’s Desk

By : Rick Claggett
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Musical theater is god to me. Yes, I subscribe to the idea that theater is spelled with an er not re at the end. Theatre is like pineapple on pizza. It’s weird. It just doesn’t belong. I digress.

Broadway ranks at the top of the list of my favorite things, right next to Air Supply, of course. I’m holding out for the day I get to see the Broadway show based on Air Supply songs. Can you imagine? My gay heart would explode! Until then, it’s enough for me sit in the park and watch American Stage Theatre Company put on Hairspray, or go to the Calvary Church to see Central Florida Community Arts’ concert version of Titanic: The Musical. Both were incredible, by the way. We are lucky to have such amazing local talent bringing to life Broadway shows that many people don’t get a chance to experience. We are also fortunate to have fabulous venues for Broadway tours to entertain us.

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Wanzie’s 2008 Fringe hit “When Pigs Fly!” screening to raise funds for sick family member

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Michael Wanzie will be screening his 2008 Orlando Fringe hit When Pigs Fly! at The Abbey Sept. 18 to help raise funds for his nephew, whose daughter is battling leukemia.

Devin Miko, who is 11 years old, was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia last May.

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Savoy Orlando’s Starlite Room gets into the theater game

By : Jeremy Williams
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Savoy has been the LGBTQ bar with a small town feel for more than a decade. In fact, it celebrates 13 years as Orlando’s small town gay bar this month.

In the last few years Savoy has undergone renovations and upgrades to its interior, and while the main bar has maintained its success with cool drinks and hot dancers, the other half has struggled to find its identity. Enter Orlando’s theater god Michael Wanzie.

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Hope & Help move into new facility, prepare for annual Headdress Ball

By : Natalie Caballero and Rachel Dececco
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ORLANDO | Hope & Help opened up shop in a brand new location Aug. 1, with the launch of their new and improved website to follow shortly, all less than two months before their biggest charity event of the year, the annual Headdress Ball.

The non-profit organization, which opened in 1988, is now located at 707 Mendham Blvd in Orlando, and is Central Florida’s oldest and largest HIV/AIDS testing, education and care center.

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“ThanksKilling: The Musical,” “Wanzie with a Z” win in first ever Watermark Splash Awards

By : Jeremy Williams
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Watermark handed out the first ever Splash Awards during Orlando Fringe’s 2017 Closing Ceremonies and Awards at Loch Haven Park May 29.

The Watermark Splash Awards, or “The Splashies” as some were calling them on the Fringe lawn, allowed our readers to vote on their favorite LGBTQ and LGBTQ-themed shows from this year’s amazing selection.

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Watermark on the Fringe: Wanzie with a Z

By : Rick Claggett
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Who can tell a story better than Michael Wanzie? Three Wanzie’s can.

Wanzie with a Z is the real-life journey of actor/playwright Michael Wanzie from age six to 60. Josh Lefkowitz stars as young Mikey Wanzie age six to 17, and he lays the groundwork for what will certainly become a multi-award-winning Fringe fave. Mike Wanzie, age 17-30, is played by Joshua Roth, who gives us the coming-of-age story. The cast is completed by Wanzie, played by himself from age 30- 60. His role helps the audience, as much as Wanzie, make sense of the first 30 years.

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Orlando 2016 Fringe Review: IN CLOSE QUARTERS A Story of Love and War

By : Samantha Rosenthal
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in close quarters

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IN CLOSE QUARTERS: A Story of Love and War
Silver venue, find showtimes

While it may be safe to say that almost any show Michael Wanzie puts on is worth seeing, you won’t want to miss going to see this one—simply because it could easily win this year’s “Best Show” award or “Best Drama” award.

Many associate Wanzie shows with comedic plotlines, musical parodies or over-the-top productions, but IN CLOSE QUARTERS: A Story of Love and War breaks that mold, and it does it in all the best ways. There were gasps and plenty of tears shed from the audience.

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“Christmas Spectacular” update: Wanzie wins!

By : Jamie Hyman
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We recently reported that Watermark columnist and Orange Blossom Trail Living Nativity Christmas Spectacular creator Michael Wanzie received a cease and desist letter from attorneys for Radio City Music Hall, accusing him of infringing on their trademark of the phrase “Christmas Spectacular.”

Wanzie posted an update, that he’s been back and forth with the attorneys since, discussing the boundaries of satire and the legal battles he has fought (and won) regarding other parody productions. Find out what happened after the jump: 

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Wanzie’s Living Nativity Christmas Spectacular 2015

By : Billy Manes
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Michael Wanzie’s Orange Blossom Trail ‘Living Nativity’ Christmas Spectacular rides again! And has a baby.

Though there will be no more chances to relive the unlivable, to partake in the holy birth of the baby Jesus, like, for real, we did witness the immaculate conception last night, and OH MY GOD. Here are some pictures we snapped of the incredible cast (Doug Ba’aser, Blue Star, Wanzie and more), because your holidays need to be more fucked up than they already are!

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Overheard in Orlando: Fringe lottery, Stonewall bartenders and Universal’s Beetlejuice’s demise

By : Anonymous
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The Fringe Jackpot!:
The Fringe lottery is complete, and although the wait list is long, a lot of your favorite local Orlando LGBT performers are set to have their own shows. Although most artists don’t announce the actual name of the show until after the new year, Watermark was able to get the inside scoop for some. Yow Dance will return with a dance revue, Logan Donahoo will be performing another one man show that he promises to be semi-educational and of course entertaining. We have Michael Wanzie, who will be revisiting his very first Fringe show, a drama about two soldiers stuck in a foxhole, one gay and one straight. There will be a show about Five Lesbians Eating a Quiche. Comedian, Disney fan and Movies Out Loud host Jeff Jones is writing a comedy, this time not set in hell, but a sit-com style show about four Disney animatronics living together as roommates called Animatronicans; the show will feature the Polar Bear (from the now closed Maelstrom), Abe Lincoln (the Hall of Presidents), the Dreamfinder (Journey to Imagination) and John (Carousel of Progress).

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9.24.15 Editor’s Desk

By : Billy Manes
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BillyManesCap

Billy Manes

“It’s not going to stop ‘til you wise up.” That’s the song, the notoriously tear-dredging anthem of internalized polar angst penned by Aimee Mann for the film Magnolia nearly two decades ago, that was dragging my internal jukebox into the ground this morning before work. No, it’s not because I’m an alcoholic, or a drug addict, or a cop, or a former child star, or a dying television host, or a survivor of sexual abuse, or a frog falling from the sky – though none of those were lost on me in various moments of central casting, hanging out by the craft service table of existential self-mythology. I’ve been down. I am out. I’ve moved up.

We all have, in many ways. Or so you would think. I don’t want to pussyfoot around the issues of rising ships and incremental gains at this point, because that’s something that implies an apathy that doesn’t necessarily ring with truth: not in this guy, not in this paper. Yes, it is important to mind our tempers as we watch prospective politicians toss our names into the gutter in order to gain base-minded cheers in election years, just as it is important that we scream from the tops of our lungs (and/or social media fingers) at the injustices still lying before us, sometimes in the simple code of Facebook speak.

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