‘Aladdin,’ ‘Les Miserables,’ more coming to Dr. Phillips Center

By : Amanda Espinosa
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ORLANDO| The Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts announced their upcoming FAIRWINDS Broadway series for the 2019/2020 season in a press release Feb. 15.

Audience members can discover a whole new world this season with the musical “Aladdin.”  The Disney original is making a comeback with fan favorite songs, as well as new music. The season will also feature the Tony award-winning “My Fair Lady” and “A Bronx Tale” starring Richard H. Blake, known for his role as Tommy Devito in the “Jersey Boys” musical.

Dr. Phillips’ full 2019/2020 season line-up will include “Escape to Margaritaville,” “The Play That Goes Wrong,” “Aladdin,” “Mean Girls,” “Miss Saigon,” “A Bronx Tale” and “My Fair Lady.” Kicking off the season will be Tony award-winning  “Les Miserables,” available as a season option. According to their website, “these eight wildly popular shows will bring the best of Broadway to Walt Disney Theater.” Detailed information can be found below.

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PHOTOS: Metro Inclusive Health celebrates grand opening

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ST. PETERSBURG | Metro Inclusive Health welcomed the public into its 47,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art health and community center for its grand opening celebration on Feb. 9.

The organization, which unveiled its new name and branding Jan. 29, highlighted its many offerings with tours of its updated space as staff and clients alike provided personal testimony. Attendees were treated to a number of activities, a complimentary cookout and entertainment from the Scott and Patti show.

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Jury sides with transgender employee in ‘historic’ Iowa case

By : wire report
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) | A jury ruled Feb. 13 that an Iowa prison warden discriminated against a transgender employee by denying him the use of men’s restrooms and locker rooms in a verdict that advocates call “historic.”

Jurors also found that the state executive branch discriminated against Jesse Vroegh by offering medical benefits that would not cover his gender reassignment surgery. After making those findings, the eight-member jury awarded $120,000 in damages for emotional distress to Vroegh, 37, a former nurse at the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women in Mitchellville.

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4 men charged in beating of gay couple in Texas

By : wire report
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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) | Police say they have charged four men with aggravated assault after a gay couple was beaten in Texas.

Frank Macias, his brother Miguel Macias, Quinn O’Connor and Kolby Monell were in jail Feb. 13 in Travis County. They each were charged Feb. 12 with two counts of aggravated assault, a second-degree felony, for the Jan. 19 attack in Austin. Their bonds were set at $150,000. Jail records list no attorneys for them.

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Japanese same-sex couples sue for equal marital rights

By : wire report
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TOKYO (AP) | Thirteen gay couples filed Japan’s first lawsuit challenging the country’s rejection of same-sex marriage Feb. 14, arguing the denial violates their constitutional right to equality.

Six couples holding banners saying “Marriage For All Japan” walked into Tokyo District Court to file their cases against the government, with similar cases filed by three couples in Osaka, one couple in Nagoya and three couples in Sapporo.

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Univ. of Louisville LGBT health center hires new director

By : wire report
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) | A New York health care specialist has been hired to lead The LGBT Center at the University of Louisville’s Health Sciences Center.

A release from the university says Blaz Bush brings a skill set attuned to the needs of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

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Ministerial group denounces delegate’s anti-gay remarks

By : wire report
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BLUEFIELD, W.Va. (AP) | A ministerial group and a former delegate of Mercer County, West Virginia, have denounced disparaging remarks about the gay community made by the current county delegate.

The Bluefield Daily Telegraph reported Feb. 14 that the Bluefield Ministerial Association and former Republican Del. Marty Gearheart believe Del. Eric Porterfield’s comments to be inappropriate.

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Jay Goldberg serves stepsister realness in ‘Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella’

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Over 100 million viewers welcomed Julie Andrews into their homes for the live CBS premiere of “Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella” in 1957. It was a record-breaking feat for the musical theater writing team’s only piece produced exclusively for television.

The production would go on to spark multiple onscreen revivals, like 1997’s Brandy and Whitney Houston-led cult classic, and it would ultimately venture to the stage. It wasn’t until 2013 that the show would find its way to Broadway, however, where its stage revival garnered nine Tony Award nominations—winning one of those for best costume design and launching multiple national tours in the process.

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Florida legislator accuses fellow lawmaker of bullying

By : wire report
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ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) | A South Florida lawmaker has accused a fellow Democratic legislator of bullying her at a meeting of party leaders, but the other lawmaker says the exchange was being mischaracterized.

Florida Rep. Anika Omphroy on Feb. 11 wrote a letter to the Florida House speaker saying that Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith lashed out at her with “verbal assaults” at the meeting of Democratic leaders at an Orlando hotel last weekend.

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Smollett says he redacted phone files to protect privacy

By : wire report
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CHICAGO (AP) | Jussie Smollett on Feb. 12 said he redacted some information from his phone before giving it to Chicago police investigating a reported attack on the “Empire” actor in order to protect the privacy of contacts and people who are not relevant to the attack.

Smollett’s representatives issued a statement a day after police said the heavily redacted phone records he turned over to detectives this week were insufficient for a criminal investigation.

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Wyoming lawmaker disputes account of remarks about gays

By : wire report
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) | A Wyoming state lawmaker accused of comparing homosexuality to bestiality and pedophilia while talking to a group of high school students denied Feb. 12 that she made any such comparison but now said she faces “racial slurs” and threats as a result.

Republican Sen. Lynn Hutchings said in a statement she didn’t intend to demean the Cheyenne Central High School students and believes she treated them kindly. “It is unfortunate, but I now recognize, that my attempts at meaningful dialogue on this specific issue did not come across as I intended,” Hutchings said in the statement.

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Gay Muslim comic gone from Instagram after Indonesia warning

By : wire report
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JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) | An Instagram account that published comic strips depicting the struggles of gay Muslims in Indonesia has disappeared from the site following a frenzy of moral outrage online in the world’s biggest Muslim nation.

The Ministry of Communications said Feb. 13 that the account under the username Alpatuni was pornographic, which violated the law on information and electronic transactions. In a statement it said Instagram had “fulfilled” its request made in a warning letter for the account to be removed.

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