Here We Go Again: American Stage in the Park is back with ‘Mamma Mia!’

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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American Stage in the Park, a celebrated Tampa Bay tradition for over 30 years, is back—this time with the timeless pop of ABBA in “Mamma Mia!” The record-breaking musical, one of the longest running in Broadway history, is playing now through May 12 at Demens Landing at 8 p.m. every Wednesday through Sunday.

“On the eve of her wedding, a daughter’s quest to discover the identity of her father brings three men from her mother’s past back to the island they last visited 20 years ago,” the production’s synopsis reads. “This enchanting tale of love, laughter, family and friendship features a large cast, non-stop laughs and explosive dance numbers for an unforgettable night under the stars!”

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Jane Castor poised to become Tampa’s first openly LGBTQ mayor

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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As Tampa highlights its diversity with the fifth annual Tampa Pride March 30, Jane Castor—the celebration’s two-time grand marshal and arguably one of the city’s most stalwart servants—will continue her journey to become Tampa’s first openly LGBTQ mayor.

Castor, who will face retired banker and philanthropist David Straz in Tampa’s runoff election April 23, is familiar with firsts. Ahead of her 31 years of service with the Tampa Police Department, which she began as a beat cop patrolling the city in 1983, she was elected the first female president of a Tampa Police Academy class.

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The Last Page with Senior Account Manager Russ Martin

By : Rick Claggett
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“I have newspaper in my blood and have worked in the industry for nearly 20 years,” says Russ Martin.

Russ began working for Watermark as a part time account manager in March of 2018. Within a few months Russ, and Watermark, realized the demands of managing marketing accounts were not conducive with a part-time schedule. Russ informed Watermark that his then current schedule would not allow him the time he needed to perform his tasks to the best of his ability, and he tendered his resignation.

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2019 WAVE Awards Spotlight: The Bow Wow Barber

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Tampa Bay’s Favorite Place to Pamper Your Pet

Like his four-legged clientele and the humans who “own” them, Bill Leuck sees walking into The Bow Wow Barber in St. Petersburg as a real treat.

“We’re extremely pet friendly,” the owner says of his grooming business. “We like to play with the dogs and they love coming here.”

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The 2019 Watermark WAVE Award Winners

By : Watermark Staff
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When we first introduced a two-part voting structure for our annual Watermark Awards for Variety and Excellence, or WAVEs, we wondered if the added step would leave a lower turnout at the polls.

We were surprised to find that the first year with the new system fetched us more votes than we had ever had before. In the past two years, we have continued with the two-part voting process and you have continued to surprise us with your turnout.

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The season of love is back, and so are we with 10 of Central Florida and Tampa Bay’s Most Eligible Singles

By : Watermark Staff
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“I’m in the mood for love simply because you’re near me. Funny, but when you’re near me, I’m in the mood for love.”  Those opening lyrics to “I’m in the Mood for Love” were written by lyricist Dorothy Fields more than 80 years ago, but they are arguably the best description of love’s holiday, Valentine’s Day.

Like joy with Christmas and food with Thanksgiving, love is elevated during Valentine’s Day. That is why we here at Watermark started last year what has now become an annual tradition: presenting Central Florida and Tampa Bay’s 10 most eligible singles for the year.

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Watermark’s Most Eligible – Tampa Bay: DeLaran Withers

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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AGE: 49

HOMETOWN: Fort Myers, Fla.

IDENTIFIES AS: “DeLaran. I love who I love.”

PRONOUNS: She/Her/Hers

SIGN: Aries

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Watermark’s Most Eligible – Tampa Bay: Cole Foust

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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AGE: 24

HOMETOWN: Brandon, Fla.

IDENTIFIES AS: Gay, Transgender Male

PRONOUNS: He/Him/His

SIGN: Leo

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Watermark’s Most Eligible – Tampa Bay: Te Monet

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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AGE: 39

HOMETOWN: Niagara Falls, N.Y.

IDENTIFIES AS: Transgender Female

PRONOUNS: “She/Ma’am/Fish/Queen”

SIGN: Gemini

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Watermark’s 2019 WAVE Awards Final Round – Tampa Bay/Sarasota

By : watermark staff
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We asked for your local favorites and you responded in the largest numbers we have ever seen. The 2019 WAVE Awards are now in full swing and, thanks to you faithful readers, we have our Top 3 in each category.

Now it’s time to tell us the top of the tops.

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Watermark’s 2019 WAVE Awards Final Round – VOTE NOW

By : watermark staff
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We asked for your local favorites and you responded in the largest numbers we have ever seen. The 2019 WAVE Awards are now in full swing and, thanks to you faithful readers, we have our Top 3 in each category. Now it’s time to tell us the top of the tops.

The WAVE Awards, or the Watermark Awards for Variety and Excellence, recognize the best in Central Florida and Tampa Bay’s LGBTQ community in the areas of activism, service, entertainment and more.

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Second Chances: The LGBTQ community, addiction and the road to recovery

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Editor’s Note: At their request, the last names of three recovering addicts featured in this story have been abbreviated for their anonymity and to protect the programs utilized to maintain their sobriety.

It wasn’t drinking his own urine that forced Michael J. to make a change in his life. He’d already decided he should. That just got him high again from the crystal meth coursing through his system, his only access to the drug while strapped to a hospital bed in Central Florida.

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