Watermark’s 2020 WAVE Award Winners – Tampa Bay

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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FAVORITE LOCAL POLITICIAN

First: Tampa Mayor Jane Castor

Second: St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman

Third: State Rep. Jennifer Webb

FAVORITE LOCAL ACTIVIST

First: Nadine Smith, Equality Florida

Second: Claire Elisan, Project No Labels

Third: Ashley Brundage, Empowering Differences

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Mary Kate Morrissey talks ‘Mean Girls,’ ‘Wicked’ and queer representation

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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When self-described tomboy Mary Kate Morrissey walked into her audition for the musical adaptation of “Mean Girls,” begrudgingly wearing pink and a pair of heels, she wasn’t expecting to see Tina Fey.

Having dressed to mirror the production’s popular “plastic” lead Regina George, she also wasn’t expecting the comedy icon to insist she play the reclusive Janis Sarkisian on the show’s first national tour. “It was the craziest thing,” Morrissey says. “She’s a legend. I originally auditioned to replace Regina on Broadway and my agents told me, ‘Please, please, please go buy something pink and a pair of heels. If you wear your sneakers to this audition, it’s not going to be good. I was like, ‘Oh, fine,’ and I walk in and it’s Tina Fey. Right there.”

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Watermark Giveaway: Tickets to see ‘A Drag Queen Christmas’ hosted by Nina West

By : Watermark Staff
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It’s the holidays and Watermark wants to gift you a pair of tickets to see some the most popular queens from “RuPaul’s Drag Race” this season!

“A Drag Queen Christmas” — hosted by Nina West and featuring Latrice Royal, Shuga Cain, Shea Coulee, William, Thorgy Thor, Lady Bunny and more singing seasonal classics and bringing that naughty holiday spirit — will be at The Plaza Live in Orlando Dec. 27 and the Straz Center in Tampa Dec. 29.

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Chris McCarrell leads ‘The Lightning Thief’ national tour

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Chris McCarrell knew he wasn’t done playing the titular lead he originated in “The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical” when the popular Off-Broadway production came to a close in 2017.

“My dream growing up was to get with a show at its ground level and truly watch it become what it needed to become,” the openly LGBTQ, 28 year-old performer says. “I just couldn’t sit at home while I knew people were seeing ‘The Lightning Thief’ and I wasn’t there. When I was offered the tour, I knew that if anyone was going to carry this character to the next step of the show, it had to be me.”

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Latrice Royale dishes on ‘All Stars,’ ‘The Naughty Tour’ and Amendment 4

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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“It means everything just to feel like a human,” Timothy Wilcots, known worldwide as “RuPaul’s Drag Race” alum and “All Stars 4” competitor Latrice Royale, says about the passage of Florida’s Amendment 4. “To feel like my debt is paid. I don’t have this scarlet letter haunting and taunting my life every time an election comes around. Now I can participate!”

While the Florida resident has certainly participated in “Drag Race” – placing fourth and snagging Miss Congeniality in season four, returning for inaugural spin-offs “All Stars” and the “Holi-slay Spectacular” and sashaying through tours like “A Drag Queen Christmas” – Royale’s voting rights were stripped after serving one year in prison until 2007.

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PHOTOS: Watermark Wednesday benefits Project No Labels

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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TAMPA | Watermark’s bi-monthly Tampa Bay social networking event Watermark Wednesday benefited area nonprofit Project No Labels (PNL) at The Franklin Manor Nov. 14.

PNL exists to unite all LGBTQ+ supporters in Tampa Bay through positive activities and events, Development Director Jonathan Soots shared with attendees. The organization promotes volunteerism and activism for a fulfilling LGBTQ+ lifestyle.

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Watermark Giveaway: Tickets to see ‘The Bodyguard’ and meet star Deborah Cox

By : Maia Monet
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The award-winning stage musical “The Bodyguard,” based on the hit film, is coming to the Straz Center in Tampa! The romantic thriller, packed with many of Whitney Houston’s greatest hits, tells the story of a superstar singer who falls in love with her ex-Secret Service agent-turned-bodyguard assigned to protect her from a stalker. Watermark is giving away two tickets to the March 20 performance along with a meet-and-greet with the star of the production, Deborah Cox.

To enter, comment on this post and tell us the name of your favorite Whitney Houston song. More details after the jump.

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Straz Center gets grant; Over 3,500 students to benefit

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Tampa | The Straz Center for the Performing Arts has announced its acquisition of a $20,000 grant from The Community Foundation of Tampa Bay to help bring the arts to the area’s disadvantaged students.

The Community Foundation of Tampa Bay is a partnership between donors, nonprofits, community leaders, businesses, volunteers and businesses. During their fiscal year of 2017, they awarded $10.3 million in grants to qualifying organizations in Tampa Bay.

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Watermark Holiday Giveaway: Win tickets to “A Drag Queen Christmas: The Naughty Tour” at the Straz Center

By : Jeremy Williams
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You better watch out. You better not cry. You better not pout, I’m telling you why. Drage Queens are coming to town!

Get ready as queens from RuPaul’s Drag Race are performing live on stage this holiday season in A Drag Queen Christmas: The Naughty Tour. Hometown hero Trinity Taylor hosts alongside some of the most talented queens this side of the North Pole including Sasha Velour, Latrice Royale, Farrah Moan, Kim Chi, Naomi Smalls, Chi Chi DeVayne and Eureka O’Hara.

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Andy Cohen joins best bud Anderson Cooper on stage at the Straz Center for a night of conversation

By : Jeremy Williams
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Andy Cohen is the wide-eyed, energetic host of everything. He executive produces the wildly popular Real Housewives reality television franchise on Bravo, and moderates the explosive reunions of the show’s housewives. He also hosts Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, and is the first openly gay host of an American late-night talk show.

This past summer, Cohen rebooted the ‘80s classic show Love Connection, which he also hosted, and hosts his own SiriusXM radio show called Radio Andy. As if that wasn’t enough to fill the schedules of a dozen people, Cohen also joins his best buddy Anderson Cooper on the road as they tour the U.S. with their show AC2: An Intimate Evening With Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen, coming to the Straz Center for the Performing Arts Oct. 7.

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The groundbreaking Broadway smash hit ‘RENT’ celebrates its 20th Anniversary with a tour across America

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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It’s been over 10,512,000 minutes since RENT took the world by storm in 1996, well over 525,600. But as Jonathan Larson’s original rock musical readies its 20th anniversary tour, it’s clear that every one of those minutes has indeed been measured in love.

The off-Broadway world premiere of RENT, a re-imagining of Puccini’s La Bohème, took place on February 13, 1996. The hit show transferred to Broadway on April 29 of the same year and went on to captivate audiences worldwide. It even inspired a 2005 film adaptation of the same name, featuring much of the original Broadway cast and earning nearly $30 million domestically.

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Watermark Giveaway: Tickets to see Bianca Del Rio’s “Not Today Satan” at the Straz Center in Tampa

By : Jeremy Williams
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Bianca Del Rio, the alter ego of comic Roy Haylock and season six winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race, is a self-professed “clown in a gown.”

This hilariously hateful comic is known for her foul mouth and unapologetic humor, but her victims hardly have time to feel the sting before she zips on to the next topic, and now you and a guest have the chance to see it all live as Bianca Del Rio brings her eye of judgement to the Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa April 7 at 8:00 P.M. in her new global comedy tour, “Not Today Satan.”

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