Overheard in Orlando: A Mistaken Marriage

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On a personal note
Same-sex couples who legally tied the knot at The Center on Jan. 6 received a special card from Hal and Linda Johansen, who were in town visiting their son, Ben Johansen, and his partner, Tim Vargas. Inside each card was a note personally congratulating the couple and a lottery ticket. The Johansens also gave each couple heart-shaped candy. According to Ben, his parents wanted to make sure each couple felt loved.

Contagious congratulations
The Metropolitan Business Association’s president Nayte Carrick and partner Michael Deeying received plenty of congratulations after a mass wedding on the steps of Orlando City Hall Jan. 6. The problem was, the two were there supporting friends who were married, not getting married themselves. The case of mistaken identity was perpetuated with Channel 13’s looping teaser to the story that showed the couple dressed to the nines and standing side by side. Deeying said he found the experience humorous.

Over the New Year’s weekend, the Full Moon Lounge at Woodstock hosted a preview/construction party that showcased the new property without officially opening it. There was a 20-foot stage with a 20-foot rear projection screen decked out in lights as several different DJs spun throughout the weekend. One patron was David Lee, well known in the theater community for his portrayal as Hedwig several years ago at the Fringe Festival. Lee said the setup of Woodstock caught his eye and admitted he wouldn’t mind dusting off the old Wig in a Box for a possible return to the role. Theater will have a home at the new facility. Owners told Lee the stage and screen will double in size when construction is complete, giving him ample room to do his thing. Another preview/construction party is scheduled for Jan. 16-18 at the property.

Engaging Billy
There has been a handsome man at the side of Orlando Weekly writer Billy Manes lately. His name is Tony Mauss and he just so happens to be Manes’ fiance. Watermark requested the “T” on Tony and Billy explained the two have been great friends for the better part of the last decade. When Manes tragically lost his partner, Alan, a few years ago, Tony was at the grieving Manes’ side. The relationship progressed from friends to roommates and, when same-sex marriage arrived in Florida, Manes admitted to a rough moment. When he broke down, he said Tony caught him and when the two made eye contact, Billy knew he saw the love of his life. Cliche? Maybe. But it shows that great things can come of tragedies. Mazel tov, boys!

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