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Central Florida Edition December 2019

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on the inside

Central Florida Edition December 2019

Exclusive Interview with Disney’s Aladdin’s Ben Chavez

Disney's Aladdin will play the Straz Center For The Performing Arts from Dec. 19 through Jan. 5, 2020.

content:

• What’s Hot Central Florida • Screen Queen • Hot Bodies • Hot Advice

this month’s features:

• Holiday Gift Guide • Disney’s Aladdin • Elizabeth Banks

hot shots • Around Tampa Bay with Amy Demilo • Hamburger Mary’s Grand Re-Opening in Clearwater

What’s

HOT

...everything you need to plan your month


Gifts galore for him, her, they, and them–because secular Santa doesn't discriminate like hypocrite “Christians” DO...

The Vice Wines If any of your vices include a 2017 Mount Veeder Merlot, 2017 Spring Mountain District Cabernet Sauvignon, or 2018 Carneros Pinot Noir, stock up and save with these aptly named vinos handcrafted to make you feel naughty and nice. $28-$695, thevicewine.com

Budsies Selfie and Petsies Dolls Lookalike dolls made to order from submitted photographs of your human and pet pals are stuffed with so much holiday cheer that this thoughtful treasure will be cherished for years to come. Ideal for drag queens that have everything but this. $99, budsies.com; $59$199, mypetsies.com


Sprints Running Hat The super-light, moisturewicking Tropical Jaguars hat (unisex) protects athletes and outdoor enthusiasts from noggin burn and wet eyes whenever they feel like running wild. $29, getsprints.com

Bluprint Subscription Kick-start your secret Santa's side hustle with Bluprint – NBCUniversal's digital subscription service that offers classes, projects, and supplies across 20-plus crafting hobbies, like quilting, knitting, embroidery, and crochet – that can easily transform a creative procrastinator into a weekend money maker. $8-$200, mybluprint.com

Happy Holidays!

Kimball Quero Boots Step up your partner's foot-fashion game with these ruggedly constructed wingtip boots featuring mixed leather and rubber for a no-slip stride that are as dapper as they are 'damn, boy – you lookin' fiiine!' $245$255, querohms.com


Cat Ball Bed Cats lick their plates clean when there's fish on the menu, but roles are reversed when cute kitties become shark bait in this killer-cozy bed that's totally fin-tastic. $85, thecatball.com

Dessert Gallery Party in a Box A successful holiday potluck requires two staples: free-flowing booze and plenty of sweet treats. You'll find the latter in this Party in a Box available in Southern Pecan Pie, Tres Leches, To-Die-For Fudge Pecan Pie, or a customizable tasting box. $40-$89, dessertgallery.com

OurShelves Children's Book Box Guncles and lesbi-aunts will be bedtime-story superstars when they deliver this quarterly subscription box filled with racially and ethically diverse children's books featuring LGBTQ, feminist, and other traditionally underrepresented characters and families. $20-$70, ourshelves.com


Kombucha Making Kit Whether you guzzle it or gag on it, kombucha has proven it has staying power, and now the most healthconscious homos in your squad can whip up a fresh batch of their favorite fermented fizz without forking over a bundle per bottle. $45, farmsteady.com

Rory Rockmore Pronoun Necklace Using proper pronouns in the LGBTQ community can be confusing – you'll stand corrected if you accidentally misgender – but these 14K gold or white gold nameplate necklaces (also available in HE/him and SHE/her) remove all the guesswork so you can save face. $240, roryrockmore.com

The 5 O'Clock Box & Tom of Finland Vodka In these three-step kits – available in sparkling rosé , spiced Old Fashioned, smoky margarita, and Moscow mule – all 5-o'clock-somewhere-ers have to do is add alcohol (like Tom of Finland vodka), shake or stir, and garnish to get tipsier than a freshly cut Tannenbaum. $30, twistyourspirits.com; $35, tomoffinlandvodka


Quartz Collective Healing Crystals You don't have to believe in magic to reap the benefits of this collection of curated stones and crystals – which is backed by scientific research, btw – that can help facilitate healing, luck, confidence, and calm and soothe negative nervous energy like anxiety. Rub 'em hard enough and you might even conjure up a top that can host. $29, quartzcollective.com

Succulentsbox.com The best gift for friends in tiny apartments is even tinier plants that don't require a ton of care. Live-and-let-live succulents and minis are the perfect present – because who the hell wants to attend another ficus funeral? $5-$228, succulentsbox.com ......................................................................................................................................... Mikey Rox is an award-winning journalist and LGBT lifestyle expert whose work has been published in more than 100 outlets across the world. He spends his time writing from the beach with his dog Jaxon. Connect with Mikey on Instagram @mikeyroxtravels


Socks That Save LGBTQ Lives Take a cue from today's blacksock-showing youth and don this out-and-proud rainbow-stripe pair, the proceeds from each will benefit The Trevor Project to provide crisis intervention and suicide prevention for LGBTQ youth. $17, fairtradewinds.net

s r e f f u t S g n i k c o t S Axol & Friends These cute plush critters with a purpose have companion storybooks – Axol is gender neutral, using only the pronoun “they/them” in the books – which teach children about rare endangered species and advocate for sustainable, ethical production and consumerism while donating a portion of proceeds to youth empowerment programs around the world. $19, axolandfriends.com

HipDot Pressed Glitter Palette Hey Sis!, Big Boss Miss Ross, and Royal Riot are just a few of the names in HipDot's 15shade pressed glitter palette designed for all genders to beat their faces like Ziggy Stardust. Proceeds will be donated to the Anti-Violence Project. $30, hipdot.com

Tighty Whities Ornament Baby, it's really cold outside with these festive, glassassed skivvies that add some bulge to your bulbs. $18, alwaysfits.com


what’s hot By Scott Holland

everything you need to know

to plan your month

W

Welcome to the What’s Hot December column where we feature events happening all over Central Florida. Continue reading on to learn What's Hot this month. Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 7

Southern Nights Tampa presents Naughty Or Nice Onesie Party. Come dressed in you onesie and enter their contest. Doors open at 9pm, with no cover before 10pm for 21+ and $5 after 10pm for 21+ ($10 cover for 18-20). Music by DJ Antonio Valentine on the dance floor and DJ Ace Vedo in the Graffiti Lounge.

Show time 11pm & 12:30 w/ Drag Diva Hostess Jade Embers with special guests & SYTYCD current week winner. The Parliament House presents their annual “Light Up The Courtyard” a free community event, which will feature a Christmas parade staring Central Florida's Sounds of Freedom and the arrival of Santa Claus. DJ Brianna spins till 3am with the Footlight Players at 10pm and 12am. Dr Phillips Center Presents Il Divo: A Holiday Song Celebration at 8pm. Il Divo will perform songs from The Christmas Collection, their compilation of merry classics that was certified Platinum by the RIAA. The audience can expect to hear memorable interpretations of familiar Christmas melodies for a heart-warming start to the festive season. Il Divo has always stood out for its

peculiar mix of opera and pop in songs of different genres, and is the most important reference in the world of the crossover groups of classical music. Since its debut in 2004, IL Divo has triumphed on the most important venues around the world, and has sold over 30 million records throughout its career. Tickes start at $59.50 at DrPhillipsCenter.org

Sunday, December 8

Dr. Phillips Center Presents John Mulaney and Pete Davidson at 8pm. John Mulaney is an Emmy Award winning writer and comedian. He recently toured


the United States with, Kid Gorgeous, which was also released as a Netflix Special in May 2018 and won the Emmy for Outstanding Writing in a Variety Special. Additionally, he has hosted SNL twice, in April 2018 and March 2019. He can most recently be heard in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse which won the Golden Globe for best Animated Feature Film. Pete Davidson is a cast member on Saturday Night Live, where he has delivered many memorable features at the Weekend Update desk. Pete can be seen in Suicide Squad, and Big Time Adolescence which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January, and he is next set to star in Judd Apatow's next feature film for Universal Pictures, which he also cowrote. Other film credits include Netflix's The Dirt, Netflix's Set It Up, John Turturro's Going Places, and Judd Apatow's Trainwreck. Pete's other television credits include Greg Garcia's The Guest Book for TBS and the Comedy Central Roast of Justin Bieber and Rob Lowe. Tickets start at $49.50 at DrPhillipsCenter.org

Wednesday, December 11

The Straz Center presents “A

Tuna Christmas� from today until Sunday, December 22. You'll love A Tuna Christmas so much you'll want to sop it up with a biscuit. So grab your sweet tea and green bean casserole and head to the two-man, 20+ character pageant of Biblical proportions. Set in Tuna, the third-smallest town in Texas, during the annual yard display contest, drama erupts as a vandal desecrates this time-honored Tuna tradition. Tickets start at $32.50 at StrazCenter.org.

and the after party at with special guest performers

Friday, December 13

Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall presents Beautiful: The Carole King Musical from today through Sunday, December 15. Beautiful: The Carole King Musical tells the inspiring true story of King's

Thursday, December 12

Kai'ja Adonis and Jose Marrero present, The 12th Annual Broadway Christmas - A Broadway cabaret show benefiting The Trevor Project at Southern Nights Orlando.

Doors Open at 8:30pm with show time at 9pm. Over 50 of Central Florida's top entertainers & artists will be joining their talents to bring the community together in hopes of raising money for a great cause. The $10 cover for the event includes the Broadway Christmas show

remarkable rise to stardom, from being part of a hit songwriting team with her husband Gerry Goffin, to her relationship with fellow writers and best friends Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann, to becoming one of the most successful solo acts in popular music history. Along the way, she made more than beautiful music, she wrote the soundtrack to a generation. To purchase tickets, go to: Vanwezel.org. Southern Nights Orlando's #FlexFriday welcomes Mayhem Miller from RuPaul's Drag Race Season 10. Drag Shows at 11pm & 12:30am featuring Roxxxy Andrews, Maya Andrews, Sassy Devine, & Tashae Sherrington! (18yr+ Welcome). If you can't make it to see Mayhem


tonight, you can catch her tomorrow, Saturday, December 14, at Southern Nights Tampa.

Saturday, December 14

The Parliament House presents an Ugly Sweater and Onsie party where the ugliest sweater and best onsie each win a $150 Amazon gift card. DJ Brianna spins till 3am with the Footlight Players at 10pm and 12am. Southern Nights Tampa presents The Invasion of the Ginjas Party. Watch out for all the hot & sexy Gingerbread Men as they will be all around for your holiday sampling. Doors open at 9pm, with no

Hostess Jade Embers with special guests & SYTYCD current week winner.

Sunday, December 15

Renowned mentalist and magician Alan Chamo, AKA “The Mind Hacker,” will headline a benefit event for

Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) at the Roth Family Jewish Community Center in Maitland. The event will salute the men and women of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and highlight FIDF's well-being and educational programs. FIDF supporters Barbara and Burt Chasnov of Orlando will cochair this special event, which begins at 4 pm. All funds raised will go toward the FIDF Impact! program, which provides four-year scholarships to IDF combat veterans in need.

Wishes, playing for one night only at 7:30 p.m. This show brings to life a holiday story in a full-theatrical event for the entire family. This highflying and awe-inspiring spectacle will have audiences amazed by the acrobats, aerialists, hilarious hijinks and holiday cheer. The show blends the spellbinding grace and daredevil athleticism of the greatest circus performers complemented with a symphony orchestra showcasing the world's alltime favorite holiday classics. For tickets which start at $35, go to AmwayCenter.com

Wednesday, December 18

Hard Rock Event Center Tampa presents Creedence Clearwater Revisited at 8pm. After performing thousands of concerts delivering CCR hits live to millions of fans, Creedence Clearwater Revival rhythm section and co-founders, Stu Cook and Doug "Cosmo" Clifford have

Tuesday, December 17

cover before 10pm for 21+ and $5 after 10pm for 21+ ($10 cover for 18-20). Music by DJ Erik Armiliato on the dance floor and DJ Antonio Valentine in the Graffiti Lounge. Show time 11pm & 12:30am w/ Drag Diva

Amway Center is excited to announce the all-new holiday concert experience, Cirque Musica presents Holiday

announced they are taking their hard charging touring band Creedence Clearwater Revisited off the road after the band's 25th Anniversary in their farewell "Final Revival Tour."Tickets, which start at $100 are available at Ticketmster.com

Email WhatsHot@HotspotsMedia.com to have your event considered for “What’s Hot.”


Thursday, December 19

The Straz Center presents Disney's ALADDIN from today through Sunday, January 5. From the producer of The Lion King comes the timeless

at 10:30pm hosted by Cara Cavalli, with the main show at 12:30am Hosted by Axel Andrews as THE GRINCH, Roxxxy Andrews, & Kaija Adonis. The night will also star DJ Dlux (Jeff DLux Cowart) and DJ Sledge (Melvin Sledge).

Sunday, December 22

Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall presents Come Home for the Holidays with The TEN Tenors at 7pm! With a generous mix of festive favorites and modern holidays hits, The TEN Tenors will walk you through a musical winter wonderland that truly captures the

story of Aladdin, a thrilling new production filled with unforgettable beauty, magic, comedy and breathtaking spectacle. It's an extraordinary theatrical event where one lamp and three wishes make the possibilities infinite. See why audiences and critics agree, Aladdin is “Exactly What You Wish For!” (NBC-TV). Tickets start at $29 at StrazCenter.org. Southern Nights Orlando's Rush Thursday's presents GRINCHMAS with no cover before 11pm 21+ or with College ID until 12am. (18yr+ Welcome). Freshmen Lineup

essence of the holidays for the whole family, as well as many of the rock and classical songs that have made this group world famous. To purchase tickets, which start at $57, go to: Vanwezel.org.

Friday, December 27

Murray & Peter presents “A Drag Queen Christmas – The Naughty Tour,” in Orlando tonight at Plaza Live and in Tampa on Sunday, December 29 at The Straz Center. It's a magical (and hilarious) evening of holiday performances featuring contestants from the reality television show on VH1. Here come the queens in their biggest holiday costumes with back-up dancers and a

full stage production. Warning – adult content (because they're drag queens). Doors at 7pm, show at 8pm. There will be a 20minute intermission. For more information or to purchase tickets (Don't forget about the VIP Meet and Greet) go to: DragFans.com. Jim Gaffigan is a Grammy nominated comedian, actor, New York Times best-selling author, top touring performer, and multiplatinum-selling father of five. Gaffigan is known around the world for his unique brand of humor which largely revolves around fatherhood and his observations on life and food. In addition to his own television show, widely popular stand-up comedy and best-selling books, Jim has guest starred on many television comedies and dramas, ranging from “Portlandia” to HBO's cult hits “Flight of the Concords” and “Bored to Death” to dramatic roles in all three versions of “Law & Order.” On


the silver screen, his credits include Three Kings, Hot Pursuit, Super Troopers, and 17 Again amongst many others. Gaffigan costarred Peter Sarsgaard and Winona Ryder in Magnolia Picture's 2015 drama, Experimenter. Tickets start at $45 at DrPhillipsCenter.org

Saturday, December 28

Reminder that the last Saturday of every month Barcodes Orlando presents “Leather Night� hosted by Sir Joey with a Cigar Social at 9pm and demonstrations throughout the night. As always free parking and no cover!

Sunday, December 29

Seminole Hard Rock Tampa invites you to join them at the Tampa Bay Daylife pool party as they "Drop It Like It's Hot"

with special guest DJ Snoopadelic, aka Snoop Dogg, from Noon to 6 pm(rain or shine). Guests must be 21 or older to attend the event. Tickets are $40. For Cabana/VIP reservations, please call 813-421-2582.

Tuesday, December 31

(At Press time I could only find one event for New Year's Eve, but we will do an update online with all the fabulous New Year's Eve events happening in Central Florida later in the month)

To Celebrate New Year's Eve, the Parliament House features the winner and 1st runner up of Ru Paul's Drag race Season 11: Brooke Lynn Hytes and Yvie Oddly. They will also feature the Footlight Players, DJ Scott Robert, and a countdown at midnight. Tickets, which are $20 in advance, $30 at the door and a $50 VIP option can be purchased at Parliamenthouse.com

Saturday, January 4

Neema presents the grand Re-Opening of Upscale Latin Night: AMOR at Clandestino (41 W. Church St, Orlando). Doors open at 9pm with no cover before 10 pm and onlu $10 after 10pm. Showtime is at 12am and stars Angelica Sanchez, Jeivy Lalique, Yeisa Jovovich and Elishaly D'Witshes.


Ben Chavez

By Scott Holland

D

Disney's Aladdin will play the Straz Center For The Performing Arts from Dec. 19 through Jan. 5. From the producer of The Lion King comes the timeless story of Aladdin, a thrilling new production filled with unforgettable beauty, magic, comedy and breathtaking spectacle. It’s an extraordinary theatrical event where one lamp and three wishes make the possibilities infinite. Aladdin, the hit musical based on the Academy Award-winning animated film, opened on Broadway at the New Amsterdam Theatre to critical acclaim on March 20, 2014 and quickly established itself as one of the biggest new blockbusters in recent years, breaking 14 New Amsterdam Theatre house records; worldwide it has welcomed more than 10 million people and grossed over $1

billion. Its global footprint includes productions in Tokyo, Hamburg, London, and of course the tour across North America. Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions, under the direction of Thomas Schumacher, the show features music by Tony Award and eighttime Oscar winner Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast, Newsies, Sister Act), lyrics by twotime Oscar winner Howard Ashman (Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid), three-time Tony Award and three-time Oscar winner Tim Rice (Evita, Aida) and six-time Tony Award nominee Chad Beguelin (The Wedding Singer), with a book by Beguelin, and is directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Casey Nicholaw (The Book of Mormon). Aladdin, adapted from the animated Disney film and centuries-old folktales including “One


Dec. 19, 2019 through Jan. 5, 2020 Thousand and One Nights,” is brought to fresh theatrical life in this bold new musical. Aladdin’s journey sweeps audiences into an exotic world of daring adventure, classic comedy and timeless romance. This new production features a full score, including the five cherished songs from the Academy Awardwinning soundtrack and more written especially for the stage. Aladdin is designed by seven-time Tonywinning scenic designer Bob Crowley, six-time Tony-winning lighting designer Natasha Katz, two-time Tony-winning costume designer Gregg Barnes and sound designer Ken Travis. It was a pleasure to sit down with Ben Chavez, who plays Omar for this exclusive Hotspots Interview:

At what age did you begin performing and how did it happen?

I always had an infinity for music since my

parents played, and I started performing when I was 3 years old playing piano. I started giving recitals at age 4. That same year I got involved in singing, dancing and acting. I caught the bug and have never stopped pursuing it. I ended up going to my dream school, NYU, and got a BFA in acting with a focus on musical theater. I have been fortunate enough to be working in theater, since I graduated in 2015.

What was your first professional role?

The first professional role I had I would never do again, it was a swing in a regional production of Grease at Northshore Music Theater outside of Boston. It was in between my junior and senior years of college. I was covering 8 different roles, it’s incredible hard!

How did you get cast in Disney’s Aladdin?

The tour has been out on the road for almost 3 years and I auditioned for this role when it first launched 3 years ago. I made it to all of the call backs, and in the last round they chose someone


else. I was heartbroken as I knew this role was perfect for me. After two years that actor left and they called me to audition again, and this time I was cast. In theater, no doesn’t always mean no!

How exciting is it to be on your first tour?

It’s amazing! All I ever really wanted to do once Graduating College was travel and perform and its what I am doing. I am visiting cities I thought I would ever see. Traveling the world I have met so many amazing people, eat great food. The highlight for me is bringing Broadway to people all around the country. Seeing their faces mean the world to me.

Other than this role, what has been your favorite to play?

I did a production of Alter Boys in Cape Cod and I got to play the role of Juan. It’s a boy band dancing spectacle in those insane 90’s costumes. It was so much fun to play!

What is your fantasy role?

Hamilton is obviously a revolutionary show and it would be awesome to be in that show playing either Hamilton or the Lafayette Jefferson role. I would also love to be Frankie Valley in Jersey Boys.

What should our readers expect from this production of Disney’s Aladdin?

First of all this show is for any age, and makes for an awesome date night. You will laugh your butts off. Anyone who loves Disney and/or Aladdin will love this show which features a really great love story between 2 people who want to make a better life for themselves. When Jasmine and Aladdin take that magic carpet ride it’s like nothing you have experienced in theater before.

For more information on Ben Chavez, follow him on Instagram.com/: Ben__Chavez. Tickets for Aladdin, which start at only $29, may be purchased by calling 813.229.STAR (7827), in person at the Straz Center Ticket Sales Office or online at Strazcenter.org.


By: Chris Azzopardi Elizabeth Banks is here for all your lesbianenergy needs. After starring in Pitch Perfect, which never quite gave a cappella group members Beca and Chloe the full-on queer relationship fans (and even star Anna Kendrick) yearned for, Banks returned for Pitch Perfect 2 as star, producer and director, the musical-comedy's lirtation with queerness still very much intact. You could say the same for Banks' new Charlie's Angels and its own ranking on the

Kinsey Scale, which de initely leans a little gay. Banks wrote, directed and produced the feature under Brownstone Productions, which she co-founded with her husband, Max Handelman. In addition to working behind the camera to launch the fearless trio – portrayed by Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott and Ella Balinska – into our modern, sexually luid era, Banks also stars in the spy epic, playing an ex-Angel and one of the ilm's multiple Bosleys. Notably, Stewart


It was intentional then?

I'll tell you, this is what it is: We have a very inclusive, open, loving movie set and I get to make movies with multiple women who get to sit around in rooms and touch each other and hold hands, because that's what women do, right? We just really tried to be as loving and accepting of each other as possible, and if that creates some vibes that people want to interpret, so be it.

After the trailer dropped, this film was dubbed “Charlie's Gayngels” by some queer fans. Is a part of you upset that that wasn't the actual title? (Laughs.) I wish it was just Elizabeth's Gayngles. I'll make a new movie that says that.

Was it your intent to remain sexually ambiguous with these characters?

photos: sony pictures

I think ambiguity is kind of modern now. I think the luidity is very modern right now. Kristen's character is de initely gay in the movie. I mean, she wanted to be gay in the movie and I'm like, “Yeah.” I made sure we kept that little moment in so that you understand what she was attracted to. And you're welcome to talk to her about it. She loves to be open about it. I just wanted to make sure that she was able to present a character that she was fully behind.

Was it important to you to cast somebody whose sexuality aligns with that of the character she's playing?

portrays her secret agent character Sabina Wilson, the irst Angel to be depicted as a member of the LGBTQ community, to re lect her real-life queer sexuality. On a recent morning, Banks called to talk about busting up gender expectations, canceling straight, white, cisgender men and how – yes, kweens – “Kristen's character is de initely gay in the movie.”

So, Elizabeth, are you seeing the lesbian energy in this film that every other lesbian is seeing? (Laughs.) I am! Sure, of course.

Yeah. I will say none of them had sexuality written into the script and everybody in the script sort of lirted with everybody (laughs). Everybody could go all ways at all times and we didn't want to put any limits on anyone. It's a really great way to investigate your mark.

Speaking of investigating your mark: Pitch Perfect fans were rooting for Beca and Chloe to get together, and that never happened.

Both of them date boys in the movies.

Hey, that means nothing.

Apparently it means nothing. But they


do dates boys in the movie. And they do get naked in the shower together, but lots of people get naked in communal showers in college.

That wasn't my college experience, but please, tell me about yours.

(Laughs.) I de initely was naked in lots of communal showers.

So, back to Sabina: She identifies as gay? Or does she identify as queer, lesbian, bi?

I believe that she refers to herself as queer.

To have a queer lead in a Charlie's Angels movie, does that feel like a big deal to you? It's never happened before.

It's so interesting. I'll be honest, it feels so natural to me that these characters would live in this way. Again, I feel like it's the most modern version of Charlie's Angels and speaks to the audience that's here for it right now. It was never a big deal, it was not a big deal. We talked about it and it just… happened. It was very natural.

How much of Sabina's queerness was Kristen's idea and how much of it was yours?

I wrote that little moment in that script for her to be like, “Ohhh, hello!” to another woman because I wanted it, even though she lirts with guys and then beats them up. It was important for Kristen to present herself as queer in the movie and I was all for it.

Was she responsible for the hair too?

Oh, I de initely wanted her to have that hair. We wanted to play with expectations of Kristen Stewart in the movie, so I told her from the get-go, “I want to open the movie with you in full Barbie regalia. I want you to have the long, blond hair.” She played Gisele on SNL and we looked at a lot of those photos for reference, like long, long, beautiful hair and bright pink dress. You know, the whole thing. Just super comfortable in her skin, so then when she transformed in the opening scene of the movie, it was like, ha-ha, you thought it was one thing but it's something totally else. We were presenting something that really had a big turn. It wasn't like she took off a long, blond wig and then just had shorter blond hair, you know what I mean? (Laughs.) I really wanted there to be a distinction so that you know she's truly playing a character and the real her is underneath.

“Queer Eye” style expert Tan France visited the “Charlie's Angels” set. Did he approve of everything in that giant closet where the Angels's wardrobe is housed?

(Laughs.) I wish he was able to consult on the closet! But he was with us after we were done in the closet (laughs). We were in Istanbul together. We had so much fun. I was so grateful that he came. I don't think he's ever been to Istanbul, which is a really incredible city. And he loved the ilm and is a huge supporter of it. He's just been great.

Are you a “Queer Eye” groupie now?

Oh, I've been a groupie since the original Fab Five, honey. I love the irst go 'round. I'm back for round two. I can't get enough. I have not seen (the special) Tokyo (season) yet. Have you?


No, but I've got a box of Kleenex ready to go.

Yeah, exactly. I bawl during every single episode. (Laughs.)

How did you connect with Laverne Cox for her cameo in “Charlie's Angels?”

I got to develop two television shows with her and love her and I think she's an incredible talent, and she blessed Charlie's Angels. I told her a year-and-a-half ago when I irst started, “I have something in mind for you and it will be small at irst, but I promise there's more if you'll just trust me,” and she was like, “Let's do it. Anything.” Off we go!

You seem to be strongly suggesting you're working on another “Charlie's Angels” film. Are you thinking of making an even queerer follow-up?

I can't… I don't want to… I just want to tell you I always keep her in mind.

It's been said that you playing a space witch in “Power Rangers,” Rita Repulsa, is the ultimate queer role. Is that really your queerest role yet?

Oh, she is probably really high on the energy scale, isn't she? Wow. And also just the costuming. And she was real mad at guys too, by the way (laughs). Yeah, I'm gonna go with Rita, for sure.

You're gonna go with her over Effie Trinket in “The Hunger Games?”

I think so, yeah. I think Ef ie's kind of asexual, actually. She's more of a drag queen; she really has an af inity for Haymitch, obviously. I think that's real. The two of them had a connection but I think in general, yeah. Asexual.

Will LGBTQ characters be among the cast of your HBO show “DC Super Hero High?”

I don't want to say too much about that, honestly. But I'm sure self-exploration will be a part of

their journeys as they are very young and in high school.

As a producer, how important is LGBTQ inclusivity when it comes to the projects that you oversee?

I think it's really important. Also, it's really good business. I'm all about trying to be fresh, and some (people) are like, “You seem to have a lot of female-fronted ilms and television shows. You have Aidy Bryant on Shrill, Kristen... ”

The fact of the matter is that as a businesswoman, I'm trying to create (in a way) that feels really fresh to people, that feels like you haven't seen it before, that feels exciting and new and speaks to right now. It just comes down to the fact that a white, male, cisgender perspective is just not fresh. We've been looking at 'em for 100 years (laughs). And in media right now, I'm about giving voice to something a little different than that. As editor of Q Syndicate, the international LGBTQ wire service, Chris Azzopardi has interviewed a multitude of superstars, including Cher, Meryl Streep, Mariah Carey and Beyoncé. His work has also appeared in The New York Times, Vanity Fair, GQ and Billboard. Reach him via Twitter @chrisazzopardi.


around tampa bay by amy demilo

The Boys at Bradley's on 7th Steam Fridays, looking hot at the Honey Pot

Marshall Welch and Moma DeMilo at the Stone Soup Company

Corey G at Zydeco Ybor city

Bingos at the Spookeasy Lounge


Screen Queen: The Johns By: Chris Azzopardi

Polyester

John Waters staged a live chicken decapitation for his 1969 debut feature Mondo Trasho. In the following year's Multiple Maniacs, he made anal sex with rosary beads a thing. And in Pink Flamingos, Divine, his drag muse, committed fully to her art by eating real dog crap for a scene. So by the time 1981 rolled around, the King of Filth was over it, ready to move away from the ilth and ind some fresh inspiration via

the 1950s. He looked to bygone moms, speci ically the classic trope of the overburdened middle-class housewife. With a beefed-up budget of $300,000, he rounded up his motley crew of John Waters regulars, including Divine as Christian mother-of-two Francine Fishpaw, for Polyester, released in 1981. A hysterically melodramatic spoo ing of the American suburbs, the ilm holds up as one of Waters' inest comedies – due in large part to the game cast, including Edith Massey as Francine's debutante friend Cuddles, who regularly dispenses basicmom-type inspirational bromides to soothe Francine. And with Tab Hunter playing opposite Divine as, naturally, the hunk who swoops in to save her from domestic agony – his name, Todd Tomorrow, is over-the-top perfection – Polyester nudged Waters closer


to mainstream notoriety and would eventually give him enough household-name clout to make Hairspray and Serial Mom. Among the supplemental features on Criterion Collection's new Waters-approved Blu-ray edition is a feature where Hunter, in an interview shot several years before his death in 2018, appears on-camera to discuss playing Todd despite his agent's advice to pass. In a separate interview conducted by out ilm critic Michael Musto speci ically for this special edition, Waters discusses various aspects of the ilm, including the movie's wide-ranging smells (the Criterion edition includes an “Odorama” scratch-andsniff card), Tab Hunter's kiss with Divine, and Divine's evolution from monster to heralded sympathetic housewife.

Rocketman

Elton John's on-the-surface glitzy, larger-thanlife story can't be contained to a mere biopic. The shiny gay costumes, the shiny gay glasses. The drugs, the overdose. The parental rejection. But then, of course, the story's greatest turn of events: how Elton John rose above it all to become, well, Elton John. So Rocketman, fortunately, is a razzle-dazzle, Broadway-big musical with an apt surrealist lair that arranges the elements – the dark, the decadent – of Elton's life and career into a wild, otherworldly fever dream (it even leans proudly into its subject's innate queerness, unlike last year's Bohemian Rhapsody). In the ilm, directed by Dexter Fletcher, we meet Elton as he makes a very Elton entrance, storming into the scene with fully bedazzled devil horns, feathered wings and gemencrusted heart specs to go to … rehab. Amid parental pushback on his passion for

music and his homosexuality, a critical career moment occurs at one of L.A.'s historically famous music venues, the Troubadour, where Elton jams on the piano, playing his hit “Crocodile Rock.” When he hilariously levitates, the crowd joining him in mid-air as he hovers over his piano bench, Elton's life is no longer a match for reality. Only a supernatural lourish can truly register his emerging stardom. Capturing the essence of Elton with precision, charm and his own singing voice – and the heartbreak of having your parents reject you – is Welsh actor Taron Egerton. His magnetic presence is such a staggering revelation it's impossible to imagine what Rocketman would be like without him carrying it on his sequined shoulders. Included among the supplemental features is “Becoming Elton John,” where Egerton talks about


transforming into John; during the short feature, John, executive producer, discusses watching the ilm, calling it simultaneously “eerie” and “satisfying.” Clips on staging the musical numbers and the costumes, as well as Egerton's studio session (where John gives Egerton free rein), are also among the loaded special features.

timed hiss) and Alan (Austin Crute), a pair of theater a icionados who, like other well-rounded side characters in the ilm, eschew cookiecutter stereotypes. They are each their own messy person (look no further than George's appropriately melodramatic take on an Alanis classic). They read like real people, people you could've known. In that sense, Wilde's biggest triumph is its authenticity, but Booksmart is also a weird, emotional and wonderfully queer-inclusive creation, which wisely stays rooted in the ilm's central, changing friendship. Featured on the ilm's Blu-ray release is a contextual feature with the cast and Wilde, as well as a peek into the delightful “dance fantasy” scene.

Booksmart

Nerd-friends Amy (Kaitlyn Dever) and Molly (Beanie Feldstein) have a bright future ahead of them. Amy is going to Columbia, and Molly is off to Yale. They worked hard to get into those Ivy League schools and have been rewarded accordingly… and, wait, the kids who drank and smoked and partied also got accepted to those schools? So Amy and Molly lose their shit, realizing that amid extracurricular's and college-prep courses they could've been playing beer pong, getting wasted, and waking up next to boys and, in the case of the casually queer Amy, girls. In a crazy, Superbad-type effort to squeeze in very last bit of drunken, drugged-out, jaillevel fun they didn't have in high school, Amy and Molly go all out the night before they graduate from Crockett High School for good. This is it. Their last shot at being remembered as more than total bores. A riotous, tender coming-of-age teenfriendship romp, director Olivia Wilde's directorial debut modernizes and diversi ies the classic school-comedy with a cast representative of the queer experience: there's Amy, but there's also George (the great Noah Galvin, who, at one point, unleashes a perfectly

As editor of Q Syndicate, the international LGBT wire service, Chris Azzopardi has interviewed a multitude of superstars, including Cher, Meryl Streep, Mariah Carey and Beyoncé. Reach him at chris@pridesource.com.


hot bodies By Tom Bonanti

M

How to Pep Up A Pooped-Out Metabolism

Metabolism refers to how your body transforms food into energy. A speedy, efficient metabolism means that you've got plenty of get- up- and- go for the activities you love, like working out and having sex. A sluggish metabolism often results in mental and physical lethargy, weight gain, and depression. Here's a list of culprits that can stall your metabolic rate and what you can do about them. Blame it on your parents. Well, not really, but a slow metabolism is often due to your genetics. While there's little you can do to alter your genetic profile, you can always change your attitude and lifestyle. Switch from eating heavy, big meals one or two times per day, especially late in the day, to eating several smaller meals and


snacks 5 or 6 times daily. Focus upon a high protein, low glycemic index carbs approach to your nutrition. Push yourself to be more active-walk, swim, cycle, workout, and take the stairs at work. Bad sleep patterns can wreak havoc upon your metabolism. Sleep deprivation makes it harder for your body to utilize energy in your waking hours. Over time, conditions like obesity, depression and diabetes are more likely to occur. If you're restless in the PM, turn going to bed into a nightly pleasurable ritual: remove all distractions, lower the room temperature, and avoid eating and especially drinking too late. Most adults require no less than 7-9 hours of uninterrupted slumber. Strict fad diets that are super low in calories and stingy with carbs can cause your energy levels to plummet big time. Starving your body to lose weight often has the reverse effect, making you store fat more

readily. If you need to lose fat, increase your activity levels and curb mindless snacking. Females should eat no less than 1700 calories/day; males no less than 200 calories per day. Also note: your body needs calcium, it's most important mineral for bones and metabolism. You can get it by adding soy or almond milk, greens and tofu to your diet. Chronic stress will tire you out on so many levels. The body produces a hormone called cortisol in response to daily panic and trauma. It is meant to give you a much- needed jolt of energy when you face a big challenge. Over prolonged and intense periods of stress caused by work, bad relationships, toxic people, etc. your body just keeps pumping it out. High levels of this hormone make it harder for the body to

produce insulin which puts the brakes on your metabolism and causes weight gain. Excessive amounts of cortisol in your system can result in muscle soreness and fatigue. Some findings have also linked high cortisol levels to lower testosterone production in many males. Find ways to de-stress: make time for friends, adopt a pet, swim, cycle, and of course, develop a great habit like working out! Tom Bonanti is a certified personal trainer and massage therapist (MA#40288) with his own one on one facility www.pumpnincgym.com in Ft. Lauderdale. Contact trainertomb@aol.com or call Tom (954) 557-1119 to schedule a massage or training session today.


hot shots photos by tony fowler

Hamburger Mary’s Grand Re-Opening Clearwater


hot advice By Andreus Quinones

How do Gay & Straight Friends React to Bi & Gay Relationships?

D

Dear Andreus, I am a bisexual man and currently dating a female. I feel that a lot of my gay friends are uncomfortable with my relationship, and are hanging out with me less, and leaving me out of our usual plans. What can I do to keep my friends? Sincerely, Marlon S. Dear Marlon, You must have an open and honest conversation with your friends. Let them know that they are important to you, but your relationship is important to you as well. Your happiness is paramount, and if these people are truly your friends, they will respect that. You in turn must find a healthy balance between the two, not forgetting to spend one on one time with your friends as well.

Dear Andreus, I have a boyfriend, and things have been going well. I have introduced him to a lot of my gay friends. I am not out to my straight friends, but since he has become an important part of my life, I want to introduce him to them, but am concerned about how they will react. Sincerely, Brian P. Dear Brian, The only way to know is to do it. You have no control over how people think and feel, only your own actions. The people who really love you and consider you their friend will remain in your life regardless. If anyone has a problem with it and does not wish to be friends with you any longer, let them go. No real friend will stand in judgement of you. Be happy, be proud and be free!


CELEBRATE YOU

Two continents. 35 countries. One love. Greater Fort Lauderdale invites everyone under the sun to the very first Pride of the Americas. Join hundreds of thousands of individuals who together will bring global attention to LGBT+ advocacy. All are welcome to fly your flag high, make an impact and radiate life – because who you are is worth celebrating. Make your plans at sunny.org/PrideAmericas Beach Party & Parade • Arts Festival • Fashion Show • Business of the Americas Conference Transgender Summit • LGBT+ Health & Wellness Conference


Profile for Hotspots Media Group

Hotspots Central! December 2019  

Hotspots Central! December 2019