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S T. P E T E R S B U R G


| Jan. 21 - Feb. 3, 2010

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| Jan. 21 - Feb. 3, 2010

issue 17.02





The Broadway Musical hit Wicked returns to Tampa Bay for the third time beginning Feb. 3. The “real story” of the witches of Oz has become a phenomenon among LGBTs, especially gay men, and is already selling out the newly renamed Straz Center for Performing Arts. We ask those close to the production about our fascination.

6 | Orlando News

Drag diva RuPaul brings back her Drag Race on Feb. 1. This time around Florida has its own contestant to cheer on and RuPaul promises more backstabbing and bitch fights on the Logo original. Photo courtesy Mathu Andersen

Vehicles are vandalized at Revolution Nightclub; Kissimmee’s lesbian commissioner seeks re-election; more. 11 / STATE NEWS



8 | Tampa Bay News ASAP opens a new office within the Flamingo Resort; A special job


seeker program caters to LGBTs. 14 / TAMPA BAY MARKETPLACE

11 | State Two south Florida cities enhance human rights protections; LGBT


advocacy group focuses on Haiti assistance; more. 20 / MAIL


13 | Nation+World TAMPA BAY NEWS

Proposition 8, which bans same-sex marriage in California, is on trial;


Republicans move to fight Iowa’s marriage equality law; more. 48 / TAMPA BAY OUT+ABOUT

21 | Viewpoint Mary Meeks shares her experience meeting Cynthia Nixon and


discusses the battle to overturn Florida’s ban on gay adoption; Tom



Dyer talks about Tim Tebow’s decision to appear in a Focus on the



Family ad. 51 / ADVICE

25 | Winter Arts Guide Area venues are packed with upcoming shows and concerts. In our


annual Winter Arts Guide we serve up a list of shows and don’tmiss opportunities, discuss the cultural phenomenon Wicked and



investigate the artistic resurrection of the Parliament House. For those wanting to stay in, we take a look at some upcoming LGBT moments


on the TV landscape.


Nat'l A

watermark | preview

Jan. 21 - Feb. 3, 2010 |


editor’sdesk S

Steve Blanchard EDITOR

nation essentially asked for the destructive earthquake because of a “pact with everal weeks ago while I was leaving a nearby Wal-Mart, several men the devil” it made in the 1700s. Robertson referred to an old folk tale about the in Army fatigues stopped me. The young men explained they were Haitians’ desire to free themselves from the French by making the pact. collecting donations to assist disabled veterans of foreign wars. The Limbaugh, on the other hand, didn’t blame the massive earthquake on some money, they said, would go to providing medical care and other assistance to silly legend. Instead, he immediately capitalized on the disaster as a way to the men and women wounded while defending our country. attack Barack Obama, telling listeners that donating to the Haitian relief effort Before I dropped a dollar or two in the bucket, I hate to admit that I through the White House web site would be a mistake because the money hesitated a little bit. My first reaction was, “Why should I donate to an wouldn’t be used properly. organization that still discriminates against gay and lesbian people serving He says that Obama is going to use the calamity to “boost credibility with openly in the Army? Until Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is revoked, I should keep my the light-skinned and dark-skinned black community.” He also criticized money in my pocket or donate it to a more worthy charity.” Obama for politicizing the disaster. If by politicizing he But after assessing those gut instincts, I gave my means rallying former presidents George W. Bush and heart a moment to consider the situation. Why should Bill Clinton to offer relief, I guess he was right. I punish a group of people who endangered their Talking heads are My point is this: People need assistance and own lives to protect the rights that I do have in this turning the disaster into regardless of our political affiliation, sexual orientation country? or religious upbringing, we have a natural calling to While it wasn’t much, the small amount of cash I religious and political help. was able to hand over will go to a worthy cause, and propaganda. I researched Haiti to see where the nation stood on I’m happy I contributed. LGBT rights. In the mid-1980s Haiti passed a law that I bring this up because of the relief efforts decriminalized homosexuality and kept sexual relations underway to assist in the aftermath of the massive as a “private matter” between consenting adults. However, gays cannot get Haitian earthquake. The huge quake killed more than 100,000 people and has married there and civil unions aren’t an option. But that doesn’t mean the motivated people from around the world to give to people we’ve never met. people there don’t need our help. Several millions of dollars have been raised It’s a heartwarming story of human generosity during disastrous times. in the relief effort and local groups in Orlando, Tampa Bay, Daytona and South Unfortunately, as has happened with past calamities, talking heads are Florida are rallying communities to continue with assistance. turning the disaster into religious and political propaganda. We as Americans—and as LGBTs—have a history of giving generously to While I realize not every reader of ours is a left-leaning Democrat, I causes in which we believe. This is such a cause. We may not see Haiti as a would expect that anyone who uses a catastrophic natural disaster to stir “gay getaway” or a nation with an incredible record on human rights, but it’s a the pot of politics would be viewed negatively. Mouthpieces for the rightcountry of people who need our help. wing contingent of America have every right to share their thoughts on their For more information on donation efforts, visit respective programs. Rarely, I will agree with a statement or two from Pat Robertson and Rush Limbaugh. Other times, I simply ignore their asinine — comments and move about my daily life. On a completely different note, our annual sex poll is up on But recent comments from both of them concerning the earthquake are Take a look at our revamped questions and tell us disappointing. Robertson used his 700 Club to “inform” viewers that the small about your experiences. We’ll run the results in our Feb. 18 issue. | l |



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YOUR LGBT LIFE. Issue 17.01 | Jan. 7-20, 2010 WatermarkOnlIne.cOm WatermarkOnl

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| Jan. 21 - Feb. 3, 2010


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Out Kissimmee commissioner seeks re-election stephen miller Kissimmee | “I’ve tended to be a quieter commissioner,” says Cheryl Grieb, Kissimmee’s first gay elected official. “It’s tended to work well for me, because it’s like E.F. Hutton: When I do speak, people listen.” Grieb, who has lived and worked in Osceola County for most of her life, was first elected in 2006. She is up for reelection in August. Her post is significant to all LGBT people living in small Florida towns. Kissimmee has well over 50,000 people, but for most of its life, its population was barely over 5,000. In fact, it would’ve likely remained a small town if Walt Disney World hadn’t moved next door in 1971, about the same time a young Grieb and her family came to Central Florida from New Jersey. “My mom was very strong. My father passed away two years earlier, and he left her with kids ranging from 10 months old to 12 years old,” Grieb said. Grieb’s mom started doing real estate, later owning her own business. Grieb graduated from Osceola County High School, attended a semester at University of Florida, and then came back home to take a position at the front desk of her mom’s business. In 1991, Grieb bought the business. She sold it just over 12 years later. Grieb never touts her sexual orientation, but she’s never hides it, either. Instead, she and her partner Patti Daugherty seek to improve the city’s downtown, battle rural sprawl, and help the local economy. “I thought my being gay would come out during the election, and it did not become a big issue,” Grieb said. There has only been a single incident, which occurred last summer. Fellow commissioner Art Otero made a motion to change the Kissimmee city logo to include the worlds “In God We Trust.” At first, Grieb was supportive, knowing they worked in an area that largely espoused spiritual and religious values. However, in a June 23, 2009 article in the Orlando Sentinel, Otero revealed more of his personal opinion on the matter: “This nation has been moving toward more liberal postures such as homosexuality, gay marriage, abortion and the legalization of marijuana.” “I never felt that it was an attack on me personally,” Grieb says. “I know a lot of people feel that way, and it was unfortunate.” The logo change was dropped. The official reason was the $200,000 cost to Kissimmee, which has felt the recent economic pinch. Kissimmee is the seat of Osceola County, which has the largest

Cheryl Grieb, Kissimmee’s first openly gay elected official, plans to seek re-election in August.

foreclosure rate in Central Florida. “The economy as a whole is on everyone’s minds at the moment,” she said. “We’ve worked to have self-discipline as city employees and as citizens. We have a great city manager; we’ve done well overall with our finances.” Grieb said, though there have been a few people laid off, the city tries to move employees around instead of putting them on unemployment. Grieb also uses her real estate knowledge to intelligently manage local growth and said she wanted to work with the city to ensure growth while maintaining some of Kissimmee’s charm. “We basically changed an ordinance for the project saying they had to be 300 feet away from Broadway,” she said. “You can’t have those tall buildings that are going to dwarf, cover and shadow the old building. So we got the best of both worlds for that.” It was that project that first energized her work as Commissioner. Even though her sexual orientation hasn’t been an issue, Grieb recently asked her fellow commissioners to explore a domestic partnership benefit package. The mayor and other commissioners, even Otero, gave the nod to move forward. “It’s not going to be just for gay partners; it’s for unmarried heterosexual partners as well,” she said. “We have a lot of elderly folks who for one reason or another cohabitate, and this will help them.” So far, her levelheaded approach has served her well. “I am the type of person who has to absorb information for a while, mull it around, look at pros and cons, look at consequences, and then come out with what I think and why,” Grieb says. “I feel people here appreciate that.” | l |

watermark | orlando news

Tires slashed at Revolution jamie hyman Orlando | Police are investigating vandalism to at least two dozen cars parked near Revolution nightclub. According to a report from the Orlando Police Department, on Jan. 19, during the club’s weekly “Noche Latina� night, someone slashed or let the air out of several dozen car tires. All of the vehicles were parked in the Revolution parking lot or on the street nearby and the crime happened sometime between 1:30 a.m. and 2:16 a.m. No suspect descriptions were provided and the case is ongoing,

but it has been forwarded to the state Criminal Investigation Department for more investigation. OPD Sergeant Barb Jones said a hate crime determination is pending an arrest, because there’s no way currently to know the motivation behind the crime. It’s currently classiďŹ ed as “criminal mischief.â€? She said a 21-year-old woman ďŹ rst discovered the crime while leaving Revolution, and the other victims have opted to ďŹ le online. Therefore, they don’t yet have a complete count of cars damaged, but the report will be updated later. | l |

Jan. 21 - Feb. 3, 2010 |

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MBA serves seniors staff report Orlando | The Metropolitan Business Association is providing an opportunity to give that reaches beyond the holidays. MBA Cares lets donors sponsor a Senior Care Package for $15 via MBAOrlando. org. By early February, the packages will be delivered to a retirement home. They’ll contain essential toiletries and little luxuries like tea and perfume. Each package will also contain a card identifying the generosity of the donor. Mikael Frank Audebert, MBA Technology Director, said the program is aimed to bridge “the gap between [the LGBT] community and the straight community.� | l |

ABA to focus on HIV staff report Kissimmee | The American Bar Association is taking a closer look at legal issues surrounding HIV patients and their access to treatment. The ABA mid-year meeting in Orlando offers an HIV Law and Practice conference open to HIV attorneys, healthcare providers and social service workers. The goal is to explore how HIVrelated law and policy affects healthcare professionals’ work while teaching lawyers about their needs and experiences in working with HIV-positive patients. ConďŹ rmed speakers include Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Christopher Bates, Director of the OfďŹ ce of HIV/AIDS Policy within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Janet Cleveland, Deputy Director for Prevention Programs Division of HIV/ AIDS Prevention at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The conference runs Feb. 3-4 at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin. For more information visit | l |

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| Jan. 21 - Feb. 3, 2010

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St. Petersburg | Cory Jeffries knows how to network. He is the current president of the Tampa Bay Business Guild, Tampa Bay’s Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, a founding member of the GaYbor District Coalition, and former board member of Tampa Winter Pride. Jeffries has benefited from his networking involvements both socially and professionally, as a licensed massage therapist and business owner. But in the current economy he’s seen a downturn in business, and with the recent loss of his part time teaching job, he’s ready to take the next step. “I’m good at networking, but I certainly don’t know everything,” he said. “I’m looking for a way to sit down and see how to put [my skills] together for the next level.” Jeffries believes he’ll find that at an employment program launching Feb. 2 in St. Petersburg. First Unity of St. Petersburg will offer The Job Seeker Jump Start Program, an eight-week intensive program designed to help the unemployed or partially employed find a new job or potentially create a new business. According to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics’ most recent unemployment rates, Tampa Bay has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country. As of November 2009, the Tampa/St. Petersburg metro area reports unemployment at 12.3%, higher than the state average of 11.5%. These numbers put Florida and Tampa Bay in the top 15% of the reporting areas in the nation. Fred Baldwin, one of three coaches presenting the Job Seeker Jump Start Program refers to himself as the only openly gay Episcopalian minister in the state of Florida. He has a true concern for the unemployed within the LGBT community, and he is reaching out throughout Tampa Bay to do what he can to help. So Baldwin and his colleagues Larry LaBelle and Pegotty Cooper are offering the Job Seeker Jump Start Program to redefine the process of finding a job. And he says that begins not with a resume, but with the person. “The number one thing someone out of work has to face is how they feel about themselves, what they think about their skills,” Baldwin said. “You need real clarity about who you are; all the other stuff is unimportant without it.” The eight-week program begins with what Baldwin believes is a unique coaching component much needed in today’s market. He says many job seekers waste time searching through web sites. “Everything’s happening so quickly,” he

Fred Baldwin has organized a Job Seeker Jump Start Program to help those looking for jobs in the down economy. | Photo courtesy Fred Baldwin

said, “they’ve become inefficient with so many people looking for jobs.” Instead, the Job Seeker Jump Start Program deals directly with what Baldwin says is the first layer of a job search, learning to manage the stress of a job loss, developing clarity about the job seeker’s direction, and building confidence in the value the seeker brings to the table. While Baldwin believes the style and message of the program is important, the venue is just as important. He says many people in the LGBT community have told him they are not comfortable going to employment programs where they do not feel as if they can be open about their sexuality. “If being LGBT is an important part of who I am, and I’m already anxious, how can I be affirmed in my job search?” Baldwin said. Baldwin believes his group has found a welcoming fit by partnering with First Unity of St. Petersburg, which promotes itself as an open spiritual campus where everyone is welcomed. Reverend Russell Heiland, First Unity’s Associate Minister, says the program is directly aligned with the church’s teachings. “We’re about personal empowerment, not victimization,” Heiland said. “A lot of people are looking at the economy and feeling like victims. When people know they are empowered from within, they can go out and achieve their dreams.” Jeffries agrees. He says he’s excited about the chance to better define his skills, and to network within the group. “Between First Unity and Fred’s group, they are providing our community with a phenomenal opportunity.” The program is free, but a love offering is suggested. To register call First Unity at 727-527-2222 or register online at | l |

watermark | tampa bay news

Jan. 21 - Feb. 3, 2010 |

ASAP lands at the Flamingo steve blanchard St. Petersburg | David Karst believes there’s still a certain stigma related to HIV tests in the Tampa Bay area. Many people are worried about what others will think if they get a test and too many people relate a test to “bad behavior.” Both views are not only ridiculous, but unhealthy. But that’s why the new AIDS Services Association of Pinellas office at the Flamingo Resort has an entrance on the parking lot side of the renovated building rather than by the pool. “Getting a test is the responsible thing to do,” the project coordinator said. “We want to make ourselves visible and available to the community and this is one of the best places to do that.” The new ASAP office officially opened in November, but the staff held a grand opening for the new location earlier this month. Karst said that as more people learn about the facility, more people have used the resource. ASAP’s Suncoast Project, as the satellite office is officially called, is funded through a grant from the Centers for Disease Control. That funding allows trained professionals to test for HIV through the “finger prick test,” which offers results in less than 30 minutes. While the grant is specifically geared toward testing “men who have sex with men,” Karst said that occasionally he and his staff will test a heterosexual person, thanks to an agreement with the Pinellas County Health Department. “But our grant is very specific,” Karst said. “We are here to serve the gay and bisexual men of Tampa Bay.” ASAP had a similar testing office at Suncoast Resort, which closed in 2007. Before opening in its Flamingo location, the Suncoast Project has operated out of an office on Central Avenue. That office is now closed. “The Flamingo actually approached us about opening here shortly after it opened its doors,” Karst said. “(Resort director) David Baker was a part of our advisory committee at Suncoast Resort and after this opened, the Flamingo decided it wanted this kind of facility on the property.” The new office is on the first floor on the north side of the complex. Four traditional hotel rooms were gutted, refurbished and redecorated and now offers two testing rooms. The “finger-prick” test is free, simple and virtually painless, according to Karst. A lance is used to prick a finger to extract two drops of blood. That blood is then mixed in a solution and in 20 minutes or so a reading is available. “It either shows ‘active’ or ‘nonactive,’” Karst said. “If it is active, we do a second test which is a test of cheek

David Karst, back, left, stands with ASAP employees outside the organization’s new office at the Flamingo Resort. | Photo by Steve Blanchard

cells. That second test is sent to a lab for confirmation.” The “finger-prick” test is 99.6% accurate and out of more than 6,000 tests administered since the CDC grant was obtained, only three have turned out to be a false positive. The secondary “confirmatory test” takes two weeks to get back, according to Karst. “We always tell clients right up front how accurate the first test is,” Karst said. “With every test we do a risk assessment on them. If they’ve had no activity and it comes up reactive, it’s possible that the test is wrong. But you never know when people are telling the truth.” Eventually, Karst hopes that Tampa Bay will resemble San Francisco in the way its citizens view HIV tests. In the Golden Gate City, he says, organizations like ASAP begin the day with lines of people outside waiting to get tested. “The people in California know it’s the responsible thing to do,” he said. “Everyone wants everyone else to know they’re getting a test. Here, people feel like they need to park down the street and come in the back door. It is a personal decision to get tested, but there is no shame in it.” ASAP’s mobile unit will also be utilized in the event the Flamingo location is busy. However, the unit will also be returning to Ybor City and other areas of Tampa Bay in February. The ASAP office at the Flamingo is open Wednesdays-Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sundays from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. Appointments are requested, but not required. For more information on the program, visit or call 727-321-7600. | l |

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| Jan. 21 - Feb. 3, 2010

watermark | sarasota news

Dr. Sporty claims discrimination by Red Cross staff report

for information about our AIDS programs & services visit us at ASAP - South 727.328.3260 ASAP - North 727.449.2437 Suncoast Project 727.321.7600

Sarasota | For years Damon Harper has volunteered with The American Red Cross. While he lived in Tallahassee, Harper, also known as Dr. Sporty, became certified in a number of programs within the local chapter of the organization. In 2004, shortly after assisting in the Red Cross’s efforts following Hurricane Charley, Harper relocated to Sarasota and continued his training. Harper is no longer affiliated with the Red Cross, however, because of alleged discrimination he experienced from an instructor at the Southwest Florida Chapter. Harper alleges that while he was taking a course the summer of 2009, an instructor told him, “We don’t want your kind here.” Harper said the instructor was eluding to his sexuality. Harper left the class and didn’t return. According to Harper, he reported the incident to the administrators of the chapter of the Red Cross but did not receive any communication back until January. “The silence spoke volumes,” Harper said. “[I] decided no longer to work with, volunteer or consult with The American Red Cross.”


In January, Harper started a web site to share his story. On, he outlines the entire chain of events and communications between him and the organization. He also talked about the incident on the Jan. 12 edition of the webbased Dr. Sporty Show. In a letter from American Red Cross to Harper, Southwest Chapter executive director Kevin Lindberg refused to appear on the show. He did, however, say that complaints concerning the instructor’s teaching techniques were investigated but were found to be unsubstantiated. He also added that the unidentified instructor is no longer with the organization. “Separately from the other students, you brought forth an allegation that the instructor made an inappropriate comment regarding your sexual orientation,” Lindberg wrote. “We have reviewed that complaint with the individuals alleged to have been present for the conversation and we are unable to substantiate your version of the events." Harper says the e-mail was sent to him after the show was recorded. He plans to keep the site outlining the incident up for the foreseeable future. | l |


Orlando Colonial Marketplaza Southwest Orlando The Marketplace at Dr. Phillips Altamonte Springs Palm Springs Shopping Center Lake Mary Lake Mary Centre Ocoee Shoppes of Ocoee East Orlando Waterford Lakes Town Center Tampa Bay Street at International Plaza Clearwater Countryside Mall Sarasota Westfield Southgate

watermark | state news

Jan. 21 - Feb. 3, 2010 |

Two cities take step toward equality

SAVE Dade helping Haiti

staff report

Miami | An advocacy group for LGBTs is working with government officials, Haitian groups and the Dade Community Foundation to provide relief after the devastating January earthquake in Haiti. In partnership with other LGBT organizations, SAVE Dade set up the “LGBT Community Response to the Crisis in Haiti Fund,” designed to raise money and ensure it is used wisely. “We’re working together to get help into the hands of those who need it most,”

Miami | Two Miami-Dade cites kicked off 2010 on a good note by passing proequality legislation. On Jan. 13, the City of Miami Beach unanimously approved a revised—and stronger—human rights ordinance. The very next day, the City of South Miami followed suit by passing a Domestic Partner Ordinance extending health insurance to domestic partners of city employees. The Miami Beach ordinance strengthens the language and enforcement options when fighting discrimination in the city. It passed a first reading in October, 17 years after Miami Beach became the first city in South Florida to pass a human rights ordinance. The new language doesn’t just update the rules. It creates a Miami Beach Human Rights Commission to serve as an

briefs Win tickets to two Miami Beach LGBT events The people behind the Winter Party Festival and Miami Beach Gay Pride are hosting a couple of contests. A winning original video can translate into a free ticket to the Winter Party Festival, Mar. 3-8. Videos can’t be longer than two minutes, should be uploaded to YouTube and the winners will be selected Feb. 19. Prizes range from a platinum pass to the festival to a Beach Party VIP ticket. Miami Beach Gay Pride is offering an eight-day pride vacation that includes a Caribbean cruise aboard the Norwegian Sky. The package includes roundtrip airfare from anywhere in the Continental U.S., three nights in Shore Club on South Beach and Miami Beach Gay Pride on April 17. Enter at between now and Mar. 14.

Cruise company offers commitment ceremonies Charter One in Fort Lauderdale now offers custom-tailored commitment ceremonies and other LGBT celebrations. Company co-owner Lauren Talchik said that while the State of Florida doesn’t recognize gay marriage, gay or lesbian couples should not refrain from celebrating their commitment to each other. She says the crew is gay-friendly and partners with local gay-owned vendors to create the shipboard events. The fleet includes a number of ships, from intimate 65-foot yachts to ships that can accommodate up to 400 guests. For more information, visit or call 953771-0102.

enforcing and advisory body with the power to reprimand businesses that violate the ordinance and revoke licenses from repeat offenders. South Miami’s Domestic Partnership Ordinance has been in the works for two years and is the city’s first-ever proLGBT legislation. It was cosponsored by South Miami Mayor Horace G. Feliu and City Commissioner Valerie Newman. Commissioners Velma Palmer and Lew Sellars voted against the ordinance. | l |

staff report


said Joseph Mooradian, a SAVE Dade staff member. Contributions can be made online at or by mailing a check. SAVE Dade has also compiled a list of donations most needed. Clothing is the biggest issue, but Haiti residents can also use blankets, canned food, water, bleach, powdered milk, diapers and flashlights. Drop-off locations have been secured at a number of storage units and other property around North Miami. A complete list of those sites is also available at | l |


| Jan. 21 - Feb. 3, 2010


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Prop 8 opponents bring witnesses to stand steve blanchard San Francisco | Lawyers seeking to overturn California’s ban on gay marriage presented witnesses this week that showed the impact legal marriage has on same-sex relationships. Witness Helen Zia testified that getting married to her partner Lia Shigemura brought big changes to her life. “Marriage made it very clear that I was family, that we were family, and I was where I belonged,” Zia said. Zia and her partner were among an estimated 18,000 same-sex couples that married in 2008 during a four-month window when the practice was legal in California. Until then, they had been domestic partners. Individual testimony was presented to show that California’s domestic partnership law, which grants same-sex couples the rights of marriage but not the title or the federal benefits, is not an acceptable substitute. Brian Raum, a defense lawyer representing sponsors of Proposition 8, the anti-gay marriage ballot measure approved by California voters in 2008, objected to the testimony and argued that individual experiences were irrelevant to the trial’s constitutional questions. Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker, who is hearing the case without a jury, said he would allow individuals to testify then give those statements their appropriate weight in his deliberations. Earlier in the day, a Cambridge University psychologist testified that children raised by same-sex parents are as well-adjusted and safe from abuse as kids who grow up with a mother and father. Lamb said there was no evidence that children with gay parents were more likely to become gay themselves or become victims of sexual abuse or incest. In addition, he said

no evidence exists that gays or lesbians were more likely to sexually abuse children. Sponsors of Proposition 8 have said restricting marriage to a man and woman can be justified by the need to foster procreation and to make sure that children are raised by their biological parents. Earlier, chief city economist Edmund Egan testified that a state ban on gay marriage is costing the city of San Francisco millions of dollars a year in lost revenue and increased services. He said married people accumulate more wealth and have more to spend on property and consumer goods, which bolsters tax revenue. Before the trial started, the U.S. Supreme Court voted to block cameras from covering the high-profile case. Walker had authorized real-time streaming of the proceedings for viewing in other federal courthouses in California, New York, Oregon and Washington. However, a conservative 5-4 majority ruled against streaming the trial to the other courts. Gay rights advocates condemned the ruling sought by lawyers representing proponents of gay marriage who were concerned that broadcasts would expose their trial witnesses to retaliation from gay marriage supporters. “The Supreme Court struck a huge blow against transparency and accountability,” said Rick Jacobs, chairman of the Courage Campaign, a Los Angeles-based gay rights organization. “This historic trial will remain largely hidden from public view, despite its historic potential to challenge and change the minds of Americans.” Lawyers for Proposition 8 sponsors were expected to start presenting their case late this week. For updated trial coverage, visit | l |

briefs Supreme Court intervenes in Washington State marriage case The Supreme Court is considering whether Washington state officials can release more than 138,500 signatures on Referendum 71, a petition seeking a vote on overturning the state’s domestic partnership rights. Protect Marriage Washington, which unsuccessfully opposed the law giving gay couples expanded rights, wants to shield from disclosure the signers of the petition for a referendum on that law.

Police force first Mr. Gay China pageant to close Police shut down what would have been China’s first gay pageant an hour before

it was set to begin. Organizers said eight police officers turned up at the upscale club in central Beijing where the pageant, featuring a fashion show and a host in drag, was set to take place.

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Senate Republicans challenge gay marriage Eighteen Iowa Senate Republicans introduced a joint resolution proposing a constitutional amendment specifying marriage between one man and one woman as the only legal union recognized in the state. Senate Joint Resolution 2001 faces nearly insurmountable odds in being debated during the 2010 session given the steadfast opposition from Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, a Council Bluffs Democrat.


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top web comments

yes, the ban is unconstitutional and the courts will decide accordingly. Yes, 3 years is enough time to change Floridians’ minds. no, because the ban is not actually a violation of LGBT rights No, it will take much longer than 3 years to gain the necessary public support.


26% 16%


AT WATeRMARKOnLIne.COM, We AsKeD yOu: The ACLU is kicking off a 3-year campaign to overturn Florida’s ban on gay adoption.


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I will never understand why CNN A year ago, if we had read in the paper executives thought that D-minus that employers were hiring again, that comedian Kathy Griffin was suitable for health care legislation was proceeding their network. She calls herself part of without a bump, that Afghanistan suddenly the D List and that’s where she should became a nice place to take your kids, remain. we would’ve known we were being lied Anderson Cooper is a classy man, to. Back then, we recognized that the and why executives think we want to problems Obama inherited as President see bad behavior from Kathy Griffin is wouldn’t go away overnight. beyond me. Doesn’t America see that During his campaign, Obama clearly she isn’t there to support a show or a said an economy that took eight years co-anchor, but instead make it all about to break couldn’t be fixed in a year, that her? “Look at me, see how vulgar I can Afghanistan was a graveyard of empires, be and see how shocking I can be so and would not be an easy venture for us. you will think Candidate of me as being Obama didn’t feed an icon.” The us happy-talk, which only icon she is is why we elected trash. How she him. He never said ever got on TV America could is beyond me. solve our health We need more care, economic people on TV and security with decorum problems without —Michael DoWlinG and good raising the deficit. behavior. Instead, he talked Let this be of hard choices a lesson to TV executives that what and contentious first steps towards fixing they put on TV is a reflection of them. problems that can’t be left for another day. America is tired of bad behavior from Right after Obama’s election we celebrities. More Anderson Cooper, seemed to grasp this. We understood that please and find someone for 2011 who companies would be happy to squeeze will complement him rather than steal more work out of frightened employees, the show. and would be slow to hire more. It’s time for Americans to realize Michael Dowling that governing is hard work, and that a Naples, FL president can’t just wave a magic wand and fix everything. Ellie Light Via e-mail

“Why executives think we want to see bad behavior from Kathy Griffin is beyond me.”

Send all correspondence to Letters may be edited for space or clarity. Opinions expressed in reader mail do not reflect those of Watermark’s staff.

watermark | viewpoint


beauty queen and orange juice spokesperson turned anti-gay activist. Bryant kicked off her anti-gay campaign in Miami as well, propelled by her own twisted obsession with sex, exhorting Florida’s citizens to “save our children” from the clutches of predatory “homosexuals.” Because of the ignorance of Florida’s citizens 33 years ago, and the stereotyped misinformation zealously fed to them by Bryant and her cohorts, the campaign was successful and her legacy plagues us to this day. On Jan. 9, standing in the same city where Bryant ignited her vicious crusade, our redheaded hero declared that “now is the time to end this ban.” Nixon came to Miami to ignite a new campaign to change the hearts Sex and the and minds of Florida’s citizens about gay City of Miami parenting, offering her own beautiful family as an example. Nixon and her partner are engaged and are jointly raising Nixon’s two biological children. Mary Meeks Nixon, a fierce activist in the fight for marriage equality, told us, “Our right to marry is extremely important, but I feel that our ability to create families is perhaps even more important.” She cited that every major medical, psychological, and child welfare organization in the nation opposes Florida’s ban, noting their overwhelming consensus that children raised by gay parents are just as well adjusted psychologically, socially and academically as children raised by heterosexual parents. On a very poignant and personal note, Nixon commented, “I think specifically of the gay men and lesbians that I know that have t was hot at The Shore Club in Miami formed their families through adoption, and Beach Jan. 9. Despite the record-breaking then I think, ‘In Florida those families never cold temperature outside, Cynthia Nixon, would have come to be.’ And it just makes me the sexy red-headed star of Sex and the City, know that in Florida, if that law didn’t exist, was heating up the media room with her these children would not be in limbo in foster dazzling smile and effusive charm. Nixon and her cohorts on Sex and the City are wellcare. Nixon was joined at the ACLU event known for their obsessions with all things sex by Martin Gill, the Miami gay man in their city, the Big Apple. But the Emmy, represented by the ACLU who is the plaintiff Tony, and Grammy award-winning, openly lesbian actress was not in Miami to promote in the pending lawsuit challenging the constitutionality the highly-anticipated of the ban. Four new Sex and the City years ago he and movie. She had flown into wintry Florida to his partner took in “If its repealed, we two very troubled lend her star power to know that the same young boys as the kickoff event of foster parents at the the ACLU’s campaign folks who brought us to end Florida’s request of Florida’s Amendment 2 are DCF, miraculously abominable gay healed their minds adoption ban. standing in the wings and bodies, and in My partner and I ready to initiate a drove to Miami from the process created a happy and loving Orlando to interview statewide ballot family. this passionate activist to reinstate the Gill wanted to for an upcoming project. adopt the boys but adoption ban.” was denied because Florida is the only of the ban, and now state in the nation with has been forced to an explicit statutory take on a monumental legal fight to save his ban that prohibits its gay and lesbian citizens from adopting children. The adoption ban family from being ripped apart. In November 2008, a Miami trial court ruled in Gill’s originated more than 30 years ago, thanks favor, and the case is currently on appeal. But to the hysterical scare-mongering of another even if the courts ultimately throw out the celebrity red head, Anita Bryant, former


Jan. 21 - Feb. 3, 2010 |

statutory ban, we know that the same folks who brought us Amendment 2 are standing in the wings ready to initiate a statewide ballot to reinstate the ban. That’s why the ACLU and other civil rights organizations are implementing this campaign now to educate the public and advocate on our behalf. But they can’t do it alone. They need high profile celebrities like Nixon to speak out, they need fair-minded public leaders to speak out, and they especially need all of us to speak out. It’s our families that are at stake. In 1977, Anita Bryant believed that the people of Florida could be scared into mindless submission by obsessing about the notion of gay sex, and she was right. She succeeded in implementing a law that


has hurt Florida’s gay citizens, and more importantly, has hurt Florida’s parentless children—literally destroying any prospect of the thousands of happy homes that could have been. On Jan. 9, Nixon came to Miami and stepped into that spotlight because she believes that the people of Florida are ready to reject this ugly legacy from our past, and that new happy families can be a reality in Florida’s future. Please join Gill, who will be in Orlando on Jan. 22 and 23, and learn how you can help repeal this horrendous ban. Visit ACLUFL. org/training for more information. | l | Mary Meeks is an Orlando-based lawyer.

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watermark | viewpoint



So a Jan. 17 story touting his appearance in a commercial that will air twice during the upcoming Super Bowl was not unusual. Filmed in Orlando, the 30-second spot will reportedly feature Tebow and his mother sharing a personal message. Tebow has often said that he hopes to use his high profile to spread the Gospel. This, and the eye black Bible verses and “God bless” salutations, concerned me. But my concern was tempered by his innocent sincerity and the limits of his previous outreach, mostly within father’s mission in the Philippines. Say it ain’t so, hisSo I was alarmed to read that his commercial is sponsored by Focus on the Tim Tebow Family, a virulently anti-gay conservative Christian ministry that has actively immersed Tom Dyer itself in electoral politics as well as the debate over abortion and marriage rights. The Colorado-based organization’s founder, James Dobson, has said that gay marriage will lead to “marriage between a man and his donkey.” He believes that, “[h]omosexuals are not monogamous. They want to destroy the institution of marriage. It will destroy marriage. It will destroy the earth.” Until just a few months ago the organization was heavily invested in ministries designed to convert gays to heterosexuality. According to their Web site at, “Just as there are many paths that may lead a person to experience same-sex attractions, there are likewise multiple ways out.” These conversion ministries were reportedly handed over to Orlando-based im Tebow made me proud to be a Exodus International as part of cost-cutting Gator. And this week he taught me an that involved the shedding of 275 jobs. Just important lesson about heroes. FYI: the Tebow spots will cost Focus on the At the University of Florida in Gainesville, Family more than $5 million. the handsome red brick law school is just a The commercial will likely share a pro-life short distance from Florida Field. But when message from the Tebows’ own experience. I was there the football team was unranked While pregnant and on a mission, Pam Tebow and unimpressive. Saturday afternoon games contracted amoebic dysentery and lapsed into were an afterthought, and cheers from the a coma. When she massive stadium were came to, doctors urged barely loud enough to her to abort the child disrupt study. to prevent further These past four Perhaps it is wrong to damage to her body. years, with the 6’2” make heroes of the She refused, and her 230-pound Tebow son, Tim, was born playing quarterback, young. It is certainly healthy. the Gators have a mistake to overlook It’s an inspiring won two national story, and worthy of championships. their limitations. consideration. But They finished third it implies causethis season because effect where there of a single loss. In is none. Should it then be contrasted with a 2007—the off year—Tebow compensated for commercial featuring a mother who selfa 9-4 record by winning the Heisman Trophy aborted with tragic consequences, or who was as a sophomore. raped and had inadequate support to deal with Part field general, part bulldozer, part the result? cheerleader-in-chief, Tebow has electrified Tim Tebow is a remarkable athlete. He Gator Nation and all of college football. More is also a devout Evangelical Christian with than one sportswriter has called him “the an apparently literal belief in the Bible, and greatest player in college football history.” a clear road map to salvation. A virgin, he His missionary background is inspiring. His opposes sex outside marriage, and likely even face and body seem chiseled out of marble. contraception within marriage. There can be Everything about him appears heroic. no doubt that he presently opposes LGBT Even though Tebow’s college football equality. career is over, his life is still chronicled daily He is also very young. Despite worldly in the sports section of local newspapers.


accomplishments, his belief system is still based on limited input and experience. For that reason, there is much that can be forgiven or otherwise overlooked. And still much to admire. But there can be no justification for his affiliation with a fear-based organization that spreads untruths and damages lives. Just in the past two years, 10 researchers have claimed that Focus on the Family misrepresented their work to justify anti-gay policy pronouncements as “scientific.” An example: that homosexuality is caused by child molestation. If Tebow’s goal was to share a pro-life message, there are many less toxic vessels with which to associate. I hope some day his

Jan. 21 - Feb. 3, 2010 |


ministry will expose him to a cross-section of his LGBT brothers and sisters. And that he will approach them as Jesus would, with an open mind and loving heart. Perhaps it is wrong to make heroes of the young. No matter how dazzling their accomplishments, it is certainly a mistake to overlook their limitations. Tebow will play in at least one all-star game later this month. I have a suggestion for his black eye Bible verse. In Matthew 5:10-11, Jesus says, “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.” | l |


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Movie Reviews pg.27

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Gays and Wicked pg.36

Television pg.45

lawrence ferber


Speed Racers W

hen Logo’s hit RuPaul’s Drag Race was renewed, drag queens from all corners put their pedals to the metal to secure a spot. Debuting Feb. 1 at 9 p.m., season two entails a fiercer competition with more contestants (12 up from 9), celeb guest judges—including Kathy Griffin, dance diva Martha Wash, Kathy Najimy, Debbie Reynolds, and punk icon Henry Rollins—hysterical challenges, and higher production values (yes, the White Diamonds-like hazy filter effect is gone!). Of course, the titular grand dame

is back—RuPaul, aka RuPaul Andre Charles—playing both out-of-drag Tim Gunn-style mentor and glamazonian judge. The diva herself spoke with us about the upcoming season as did Orlandoarea contestant Tyra Sanchez (see page 44). Watermark: How do these contestants size up to the first season’s? RuPaul: The kids this year had the luxury of having seen the first season, so

we really got the players out this time. The people thinking, “You know what, I have what it takes. I am going to go in and audition and let these children have it.” A lot of them are younger and have an edgier angle and they’re also, shall I say, more ambitious (laughs). New York’s well-known Hedda Lettuce aggressively campaigned to get on. Were you pleased or surprised by some of the queens who tried to get on? No. I’ve been doing this for almost

30 years and you have to try every angle. Hedda I’ve known for 20 years probably. What are the biggest differences between season one and two? The production value is amazing, light years beyond the Vaseline on the lens in the first season. But it’s also the contestants. Their level of ambition and willingness to cut off each other at the knees is pretty amazing to me. The first Continued on page 44 | uu |


| Jan. 21 - Feb. 3, 2010

January 27, 2010


takes pleasure in presenting:

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$55 per person PLUS TAX & GRATUITY Paired with these outstanding wines will be Orlandoʼs finest Spanish food chosen especially for this once-in-a-lifetime event!

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April 18, 2010






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Minutes from Orlando at 633 Osceola Ave. Winter Park, FL 32789



February 27, Saturday - 5pm Preview, 6pm Auction Artworks by Picasso, Rembrandt, Dali, Chagall, Miro Max, Tremler, Azoulay, Maimon, Tarkay For all guests: Complimentary cocktails & hors d’oeuvres, FREE art print valued at $100 & FREE raffle tickets for framed artworks valued up to $1000!

RSVP now at or call toll free 866-590-7571

watermark | film

Jan. 21 - Feb. 3, 2010 |



stephen miller

Youth in Revolt

(Starring Michael Cera, Portia Doubleday, Jean Smart, Steve Bucemi, Fred Willard)



h, young love…young, fiery, passionate, stupid love! Youth in Revolt is a typical teenage comedy, but it’s elevated by its own sense of style and surprise. Michael Cera (Superbad, Juno) is a geeky teenager looking to lose his virginity; that’s a pretty common movie plot. He finds the “girl of his dreams” (Doubleday) and creates an alternate personality to win her affections. We’ve seen that before, too. What we haven’t seen is schizoid Cera’s alter ego “François,” a Eurotrash sociopath who causes fires and steals cars, wracking up an impressively funny criminal record. YiR is a good adaptation told with panache. The film is broken into chapters with odd animation. Also, everyone here is achingly brain-damaged about their passions. Divorced mom Smart and dad Buscemi are love’s fools, and even neighbor Willard is a die-hard idiot about his social causes. Finally, this isn’t just a film about losing your virginity. Even with his penchant for destruction, the mentally unstable and moronic Cera still makes us root for his immature romance. Maybe it’s because we’re all a little stupid when it comes to love.

The Lovely Bones

(Starring Saoirse Ronan, Mark Wahlberg, Rachel Weisz, Susan Sarandon, Stanley Tucci)


Director Peter Jackson (The Lord of the Rings series, King Kong) has decided the much-admired book The Lovely Bones is about interesting visuals and not about a family moving through grief and loss. It’s a missed opportunity compliments of an overworked special effects crew. Ronan (Atonement) is Susie Salmon. At the beginning of the film, we learn she was murdered in 1973 by superbly creepy neighbor Tucci. She was fourteen and her body was hidden. Her parents (Wahlberg, Weisz) endure years of mental torture as Ronan watches from her Technicolor purgatory. A lot of Jackson’s adaptation is really confusing. No one seems to age. The mother leaves; the mother comes back. There’s this

strange girl who can “feel the dead.” Nothing provides a cohesive story arc. The Lovely Bones possesses some very emotionally affecting moments, but they’re always interrupted by Jackson’s elaborate version of the afterlife. Instead of growing to understand the characters’ emotional struggle over several years, we get piecemeal scenes interrupted by extensive special effects.

The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus

(Starring Christopher Plummer, Heath Ledger, Lily Cole, Johnny Depp, Jude Law, Colin Farrell, Tom Waits)


The mind of director Terry Gilliam (Brazil, The Fisher King) must be an odd place, not unlike the brain of his old decrepit Dr. Parnassus. Both are filled with strange, wonderful, horrible things that possess absolutely no logical basis or moral consistency whatsoever. They also can serious try the patience. Dr. Parnassus (Plummer) is a thousandyear-old man who constantly gambles with the devil (the very funny Waits). So far, Parnassus has won immortality, magical powers, and a great daughter (Cole). However, one bet goes awry and he’s about to lose his child. Just then, he meets possible salvation in a dying man (Ledger in his last film role, doubled by Depp, Law, and Farrell). The three other actors cover Ledger’s role in a neat bit of plot trickery. The rest of the visually-overwhelming, strangely plotted movie makes no sense whatsoever. In a story about good versus evil, the doctor himself is deeply morally bereft. Because his central character is not empathetic, Gilliam creates a rich palette, but he can’t make us care.

In Youth in Revolt, Michael Cera plays both a geeky teenager and his bad-ass alter ego.

Bullock is amazing as the bulldozer of a kind heart. She’ll likely see a few nominations. This biopic pushes its Christianity, but thankfully not too hard. It’s also emotionally affecting, but it feels formulaic; maybe that’s the way it happened. It does seem weird that the family is so calm; no one ever challenges Bullock’s loony Southern character on her obsessive need for “Christian” control. However, exploration of beliefs is probably not the point of the movie; it’s primarily a feel-good flick. Maybe, it will also move

audiences to be a little crazy themselves in the name of what is right and good. | l |


Overflowing uncontrollably with glittery fabulousness


Pretty damn good, but it’s no Sunset Boulevard


An entertaining enough flick with perhaps a few gaping holes


Ever so slightly watchable, even if it is just because of that hot actor


Two hours of your life you’ll never get back



The Blind Side


(Starring Sandra Bullock, Tim McGraw, Quinton Aaron, Kathy Bates)


This true story has already racked up over $200 million. Obviously, there is a current market for uplifting morality films. Decorator mom Bullock lives in an upscale Memphis McMansion. When she notices a homeless giant of a kid (Aaron), she takes him in. The fact that he’s black registers, but she still does what she thinks is right. With this saccharine family behind him, the boy became Michael Ober, professional football player.

APRIL 9-APRIL 18 MAJOR SPONSORSHIP PROVIDED BY Sponsored in part by United Arts of Central Florida and the State of Florida, Department of the State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Arts Council, National Endowment for the Arts and Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. In addition, this project is funded in part by Orange County Government through the Arts and Cultural Affairs Cultural Tourism Project.


| Jan. 21 - Feb. 3, 2010

watermark | winter arts guide

footlight parade! A cAst Of cOlOrful chArActers resuscitAted PArliAment hOuse’s legendAry PerfOrmAnce venue.

stephen miller


rlando | “Owners Don and Susan don’t like to ever leave the Parliament House,” jokes local playwright, producer and actor Michael Wanzie. When asked about how entertainment has expanded over the years at the world-famous resort’s Footlight Theater, he adds “If Kenny Howard and I make sure we have plays and cabaret and other stuff here, Don and Susan never have to go anywhere else!” Then, Wanzie’s infectious, crackly laugh rings through the Art Deco lounge of the theater. This 200-seat performance space with its attached bar area at the Parliament House was for the long time primarily a place for drag shows and contests. “A man in a dress would come out, lipsynch to a song, collect the tips, and then walk off. That’s it!” kvetches Parliament House owner Don Granatstein; his stories are delivered with quite a bit of vaudevillian charm. “It was a little boring after a while,” concedes Don’s wife and business partner, the quiet and attentive Susan Unger, who admits to a critical eye for detail. The couple committed to upgrading and expanding the resort’s entertainment offerings. They knew they needed to find the right partners. “Michael Wanzie is the key to the theater’s success,” Don beams. Today, the Footlight is a respected local venue, sponsoring an extremely eclectic mix of drag shows, theme parties, plays, contests, karaoke, cabaret, dance performances, and even bingo. It provides a space for up-andcoming performers, and it sponsors generous fundraisers for many local organizations. The place is covered by Central Florida press and even garners occasional mention in the New York Times and Washington Post. However, in 1999 when the couple took over the resort, the entire complex was run down. It was a place which only got press because of drug arrests and indecent exposure complaints. The story of how the theater and resort turned itself around is full of lively and committed characters—armed with mutual respect and driven to provide light-hearted entertainment—who made minor miracles happen. In fact, the plot would make a good show.

“What we were really looking at was the property next door,” Don admits when they first considered buying the Parliament House, The Footlight Theater, and the Carolina Moon Trailer Park nearby for possible timeshare property. “I thought, ‘This is insane!’” Don admits. Michael Wanzie and Tommy Wooten perform in Carolina Moon at the Parliament House Footlight Theater in 2009. “It’s beat up, dirty, and the clientele often attracts trouble.” A year ago, Susan and Kenny Howard Orlando Sentinel talked about the landmarks— Susan adds, “I remember being up at 3 finally struck a deal to give his and Wanzie’s Chastain’s Diner, Woolworth’s downtown. It o’clock in the morning before closing, asking production company “Wanzie Presents” the made it a trip down memory lane for audience Donald if we were doing the right thing.” theater every Saturday night at 8 pm, before the members.” Donald laughs at their bravado: “We’re two 10 and 12 am drag shows. Suddenly, the Footlight was attracting more straight people; we’re going to fix this place up, “We write up a contract, we all agree, and than just a gay audience. and we’re going to bring people back.” then we never sign it,” Howard says with a “That play was a large part of inviting the As amazing as it seems, that’s exactly what laugh. straight community to join us here,” says Don, they did. “They are always are so honest and giving,” who considers himself and his wife so much “They spent well over a million dollars that Wanzie says of the owners. first year to clean this place up,” Wanzie reports a part of the local LGBT community, he often Perhaps it’s because Howard and Wanzie refers to it as “our admiringly. have so successfully tapped into the local community.” Wanzie himself audience, expanding the clientele, maintaining What Carolina had been coming to “People around here their salacious humor while fostering Moon started, Ladies the Parliament House immeasurable amounts of good will. of Eola Heights—a since 1977. He’s seen have definitely drunk “People around here have definitely drunk drag-laden show the place through three the Wanzie Kool-Aid!” the Wanzie Kool-Aid!” Howard jokes. “There about local Southern owners, including are so many people—straight people, even mavens—turned years of decline —Kenny HoWArd elderly people—who come here for the play, into a cultural before Don and Susan stay for the drag, and then go drinking and phenomenon. That took over. He first dancing afterwards.” second show ran approached Bill Miller “Wanzie is a huge part of the draw here,” for nine months, attracting national attention and Michael Hodges in 1982 to sponsor his Don says. and buses from area retirement communities. play David’s Time after the gay-themed play However, it’s not just Wanzie Presents that The shows integrated the LGBT community was kicked out of two other local theaters. The enlivens the Footlight Theater. Susan sets up into Central Florida history, and audiences performances at the Footlight were successful, charity events, convincing performers like quit caring that they were at a notorious gay starting Wanzie on a three-decade artistic Leslie Jordan to donate to the Orlando Youth landmark. relationship with the space. There is a lesser-known fourth person in this Alliance. She has added choreography and Even before Don and Susan, the Footlight costumes to shows, working with performer creative team: director Kenny Howard, who had productions like Bent. The play was Darcel Stevens to turn once-disparate drag Wanzie has worked with since 1999. presented here in Central Florida soon after its numbers into a single cohesive night. Local When asked how he and Howard met, Broadway run, thanks to the work of legendary choreographer/DJ Blue has presented her Wanzie quips, “I moved next door to him, local performer Paul Wegman (also known captivating dance extravaganzas under Wanzie and he kept pestering me to come over, have a as P). The Footlight also encouraged another Presents. Wanzie and Howard have invited cocktail, and listen to show tunes.” local luminary David Lee, who produced well-respected talent like Luerne Herrera, When Wanzie finally took his neighbor Christopher Durang’s Titanic years before he’d Jason Wetzel, John DeHaas, Becky Fisher, up on the offer, the two hit it off immediately. cause a splash in the local premiere of Hedwig Carol Stein, and Andrea Canny to present Three years later, Wanzie asked Howard to and the Angry Inch. cabaret in the lounge. direct Two Men Trapped in Women’s Bodies at However, everything changed with “We want to make sure the gay community Parliament House. Wanzie’s play Carolina Moon in 2003. is always comfortable, because this place is “I knew right then and there his ability was “The idea was totally Susan’s,” Wanzie refreshing and fun,” Wanzie says. “It’s now not special to them,” says Don. says. “She had pestered me to please write a “But we also want it to be so much more a question of finding a director for a piece; if I play about the people in the trailers before the than that;” says the careful, attentive Susan write something, Kenny’s going to be working last of them left. It ran for seven months, even Unger. “We want to be the whole entertainment with me.” three months after I left it. The review in the

watermark | winter arts guide

2010 winter arts guide lisitings


daytona beach & space coast DAYTONA PLAYHOUSE 386-255-2431 Jan. 29-Feb. 7 The Girls of the Garden Club


Jan. 29 The Moscow State Symphony Orchestra Jan. 31 Verdi’s Rigoletto Mar. 13 Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Mar. 28 Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra


Feb. 13 Harry Connick Jr. Feb. 16-17 A Chorus Line Feb. 18 Gladys Knight Feb. 25-26 Lord of the Dance Mar. 6 Brevard Symphony Orchestra Symphonic Tribute Mar. 12-14 Stomp Mar. 20 Foreigner Apr. 11 Chita Rivera My Broadway

LITTLE THEATRE OF NEW SMYRNA BEACH New Smyrna Beach 386-423-1246

Feb. 28-Mar. 14 Kiss Me Kate Apr. 9-18 The Dixie Swim Club May 14- 23 Incorruptible

MUSEUM OF ARTS AND SCIENCES Daytona Beach 386-255-0285

Continuing The Cuban Collection


Daytona Beach 386-671-3461 Jan. 27 Vince Gill Feb. 17 Cabaret Feb. 20 Michael Amante’s tribute to Luciano Pavarotti Mar. 30 Church Basement Ladies Mar. 31 One Night of Queen Apr. 2 Peking Acrobats Apr. 3 100 Years of Broadway Apr. 19 Beauty and the Beast

orlando ALBIN POLASEK MUSEUM & SCULPTURE GARDENS Winter Park 407-647-6294

Through Apr. 18 Maidens and Monsters: 80 Years of Pulp Art

AMWAY ARENA 407-489-2020

Mar. 5 Taylor Swift Mar. 10 Michael Bublé Mar. 13 Eric Clapton/Roger Daltrey Apr. 6 Stars on Ice Apr. 19 Nickelback


Rollins College, Winter Park AnnieRussellTheatre 407-646-2145

Jan. 21 - Feb. 3, 2010 |


Hollingsworth Fine Arts Painting restoration Frame restoration Gilding

Serving Central Florida for over 25 years 407 -422 -4242

Jan. 28-31 Mr. Marmalade Feb. 12-20 How I Learned to Drive Mar. 19-20 Rollins Dance XXIV Mar. 25-28 Frankie and Johnny in Clair de Lune Apr. 16-24 Playhouse Creatures


Through Feb. 14 Phantom of the Opera Feb. 21 The Clean-up Woman Mar. 9-14 In the Heights Apr. 27-May 2 Xanadu May 18-29 Spring Awakening

BREAKTHROUGH THEATRE OF WINTER PARK 407-920-4034 Jan. 29-Feb. 14 Five Women Wearing the Same Dress


Rollins College, Winter Park 407-646-2526 Jan. 23-Aug.1 Wonderful and Curious: The Genesis of the Collection

FOOTLIGHT THEATER AT THE PARLIAMENT HOUSE 407-454-8478 Jan. 23 Jonny McGovern Continued on page 30 | uu |

To eat well is to live well. BELLINI BRUNCH Saturday-Sunday 11am-3pm REGULAR HOURS Sun.-Thurs. 11am-10pm Fri. & Sat. 11am-11pm

407-351-8909 • The Mall at Millenia


| Jan. 21 - Feb. 3, 2010

watermark | winter arts guide | uu | winter arts


from p.29

Jan. 30 Twisted Sisters: Lost Scenes from Stage and Screen Feb. 6-27 Waiting for Maupin Feb. 15 Miss Large & Lovely Feb. 18 Orlando Gay Chorus: Uncut Cabaret


QUEER QUILLS Preserving History


f you live in the Orlando area and are unfamiliar with the names Margaret Nolan and Scottie Campbell, you either just moved here or do not see much local theater. Between the two, they have written, produced, directed and acted in more local productions than the average American sees in a lifetime. Whether it’s under the banner of Nolan’s Kangagirl Productions or Campbells’ Heidi Dog Productions, this out, proud and talented duo have entertained the Central Florida, and occasionally New York, theatergoing masses for more than two decades. Together or separately they have been involved in such productions as A Midnight Snack with Tom & Vincent, Lilly and Lila’s Lovely Lesbian Hour, Coming In, Who You Is Anyway, Welcome to Hell, Pieface! The Adventures of Anita Bryant and The Orlando Youth Alliance’s Suitcase of Memories and High School Queerbook. They two teamed up once again in 2009 to launch the Queer Quills play reading series with the goal in mind to showcase plays that reflect the LGBT journey through live theater. “I think it’s important that we not forget the journey we are taking as a gay community and how we have been depicted and how we have allowed ourselves to be depicted in plays and musicals,” says Campbell. “It is an important part of that journey and should be remembered and passed along to gay youth.” With Queer Quills, Nolan and Campbell also saw an opportunity to present plays that weren’t likely to be produced in the Central Florida area or that hadn’t been seen in a while. Luckily, tackling material that might be considered too risky is a challenge that these two have never shied from. “Personally, I feel it’s also extremely important and valuable to present these works, particularly the ‘classics,’ to a younger audience,” says Nolan. “Then they can understand how important the work is as it fits into not only gay history but also in theatre and literature.” The first two readings were Air by Josh Levine and Lillian Hellman’s The Children’s Hour, which were done as benefits for Orlando’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center. The Children’s Hour was produced in conjunction with Rollins College with involvement from students, teachers and alumni alike. The discussion after the reading was so robust that the decision was made to move the series to an actual theatre closer to the school’s campus in Winter Park. The proceeds from future readings will now go to benefit SPECTRUM, the LGBT student organization at Rollins. Beginning with the Feb. 7 reading of Mae West’s controversial play The Drag, to be directed by Christine Robison, the series will premiere at the Breakthrough Theatre on Fairbanks Avenue in Winter Park. In April the series will present a reading of Spring’s Awakening by Frank Wedekind that will be directed by Jeremy Seghers. This is the play that served as the basis for the recent hit Broadway musical Spring Awakening, the national tour of which is coming to Orlando’s Bob Carr in May. The Quills team is currently in talks with the organizers of Gay Days about bringing the reading of local playwright and Rollins alum John Ryan’s Christopher Street to the annual event’s official host hotel in June. For more information on the Queer Quills readings visit | l | John Sullivan

February 2 Guys, a Girl, and an Art Show March Recent Works by Keith Theroit, Dawn Rosendahl, and Cheryl Turner April Bold Art 5 May Recent Works by David Miesrow and Jennifer


Winter Garden 407-877-4736 Feb. 12-21 Driving Miss Daisy Mar. 12-Apr. 3 The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged) Apr. 23-May 6 Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat


don’t miss…

INDIGO GIRLS Feb. 27 | Hose of Blues, Orlando

The harmonic duo brings their sing-along acoustic music back to Orlando, supporting their first independent release Poseidon and the Bitter Bug. Dress in comfortable shoes and learn all the lyrics, because you’ll be standing, singing, and swaying along with all the other Sapphic songstresses of Central Florida.

Mar. 27 G Love and Special Sauce


Mount Dora 352-383-4616


Feb. 26-May 1 Auspicious Vision: The collection of Edward Wales Root

Mar. 19-Apr. 11 Good News! May 7-30 Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks



Continuing The Japan Craze and Western Art 407-297-8788

Jan. 29-Feb. 28 Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead Feb. 19-Mar. 4 Topdog/Underdog 407-351-LIVE


Mar. 14 Air Mar. 26 Lewis Black Apr. 9 Lisa Lampanelli Apr. 15 David Grey Apr. 16 Styx

Mar. 26-Apr. 18 pARTicipation 2010 May 7-July 7 The Matrix: André Smith

Maitland 407-539-2181

Winter Park 407-645-5311

ORANGE COUNTY REGIONAL HISTORY CENTER 407-836-8500 Feb. 6-May 16 Out of This World: Costumes from Film & TV Lights! Camera! Action! Filming in Paradise:

ORLANDO BALLET 407-426-1739 Feb. 19 Bailamos! Continued on page 33 | uu |


Feb. 5 Owl City Feb. 10 Newfound Glory Feb. 12 Sister Hazel Feb. 16 Flogging Molly Feb. 27 Indigo Girls Mar. 4 Henry Rollins

don’t miss…


Apr. 20-21 | Van Wezel Performing Arts Center, Sarasota Apr. 27-May 2 | Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre, Orlando This show blatantly calls itself “children’s theater for 40-year-old gay men!” The über-bad 80s movie was about a Greek muse who comes down to earth to help a hunk open a roller-skating rink. We’re not kidding–-that’s the plot! This musical remake celebrates all that was cheesy and hokey with a nod and wink. It’s an evening the smile will never leave your face.

Jan. 21 - Feb. 3, 2010 |



| Jan. 21 - Feb. 3, 2010

BUY A FORD Keep your money in AMERICA



watermark | winter arts guide

Jan. 21 - Feb. 3, 2010 |


| uu | winter arts


from p.30

Mar. 19-21 Battle of the Sexes Apr. 23-25 Le Corsair

THE ORLANDO CHORALE 407-786-8624 Feb. 13 My Funny Valentine May 2 Bach Mass in B-Minor

donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t missâ&#x20AC;Ś

May 22-23 And the Envelope Please: 20 years of OGC


March 2 | Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater March 4 | House of Blues, Orlando

Singer and spoken word artist Henry Rollins will bring his spoken word tour to Florida, where he will undoubtedly play to a packed house of LGBTs. The former Black Flag frontman has been an advocate for LGBT rights for yearsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and he isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t exactly difficult to stare at for two hours either.

Feb. 16 Hamlet Mock-Legal Proceeding

OSCEOLA CENTER FOR THE ARTS Kissimmee 407-846-4643 407-648-0077

Through Jan. 31 A Chorus Line

May 20-31 Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival, Loch Haven Park



Through Jan. 30 Broadwaysâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Favorites: A Musical Revue Feb. 12-Mar. 6 The Fantasticks 407-896-4231

Through Mar. 21 Without a Trace: Artists Imagine a World Without Us Through July 18 Changing Landscapes, Changing Visions


Feb. 26-28 Carmen Mar. 6 Hal France Returns Apr. 3 A Tribute to Lenny Apr. 17 Color Cathedral May 8 My Fair Lady


Jan. 27-Mar. 3 Hamlet Feb. 10-Mar. 14 Allâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Well That Ends Well



407.857.6261 407-841-0083


Feb. 18-21 Antigone Mar. 25-Mar. 28 Rent Apr. 22-Apr. 25 Winds of Motion: An Evening of Dance

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Feb. 6 Motown Magic Feb. 12-21 The King and I Apr. 23-May 9 Grease

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Winter Park 407-645-0145 Jan. 29-Feb. 14 Married Alive!


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Feb. 16-17 Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks Feb. 25-Mar. 21 Ragtime Mar. 16-17 The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee Apr. 15-May 2 The Boys Next Door Continued on page 37 | uu |

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Video Surveillance Systems Burglar Alarms Access Control 24 Hour Monitoring

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May 22-23 | Plaza Theater, Orlando        The venerable Orlando Gay Chorus celebrates a literal score of singing and         bringing the community together. This concert sees the 60+ members pulling together their most beloved songs along with favorite tunes voted on by their audience. Come celebrate and wish them many more decades of musical magic!       

Serving Seminole, Orange, & Volusia County Florida areas

FL license EF20000770 866.961.7649


| Jan. 21 - Feb. 3, 2010



Jan. 21 - Feb. 3, 2010 |



watermark | winter arts guide

| Jan. 21 - Feb. 3, 2010

a ‘wicked’ obsession GayS Gravitate to the Broadway SmaSh, cominG to tampa in FeBruary

john chambrone


ince its debut in 2003, Wicked has captured the imagination of fans around the country. The “untold story” of the witches of Oz made Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel household names and put a new spin on the classic tale of Dorothy and the whole Wizard of Oz premise. While the play itself has no gay theme or gay characters within it, gay men, especially, have flocked to the production around the world. Wicked returns for the third time to the David A. Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa on Feb. 3 for a four-week run, and the local LGBT community is already snatching up tickets for the award-winning musical. “Wicked is by far the best musical I’ve seen,” says Tampa resident Todd McNeil. “Every time my partner and I go to see a play, we always compare it to Wicked. So far, nothing has topped that experience. There’s something so magical about it. The characters are amazing, it has a familiar feel since we were all raised on The Wizard of Oz and we feel like we’ve been let in on a secret that nobody else knows. It’s an amazing production.” McNeil, who says he enjoy singing, has the karaoke soundtrack and knows most of the songs by heart. “There’s a message there,” he says. “Elphaba has a lot to overcome because she’s different. I think everyone in our community can relate to that.” For Idina Menzel, who played the original “Elphaba” on Broadway, the support the LGBT community has given Wicked is not a surprise. “I have compassion and empathy for my gay fans because I have very close gay friends,” Menzel told Watermark. “One of my best friends is in Holland right now with his boyfriend, and it’s a much more

open environment there. I know what it’s like to have to convince people why you love somebody, and that shouldn’t really be the case. It shouldn’t really matter.” Of course, a main message of the production is accepting those who are Donna Vivino, left, plays “Elphaba” and Chandra Lee Schwartz plays “Glinda” in the touring production of Wicked, different, as the green-skinned Elphaba coming to Tampa Feb. 3. | Photo courtesy Joan Marcus character tries to fit into her surroundings. “The show is smart, witty, and works actor playing the “Witch’s Father” in the “I like that [fans] look to this green on so many levels,” McMahon says. touring production coming to Tampa, the character as someone who’s beautiful, “Gays appreciate that Elphaba is an gay appeal of the play reaches far beyond someone who’s unique and different but outsider like many of us are or were. It’s the struggles of acceptance faced by still beautiful,” Menzel says. about not judging a book by its cover. Elphaba. He sees a link between the story Kristen Chenoweth, who portrayed Elphaba is shunned because she’s different and the LGBT civil rights movement. “Glinda” in the original production, is and then she’s seen as a villain because “We think we are accepted by society also not surprised by the legions of gay the folks of Oz don’t understand her.” fans following the touring production. The and then it comes to the important things And it’s that lack of understanding and it feels like we still have a lot to do,” Emmy-award winning actress and bornthat could be the reason behind the McMahon said during the tour’s stop in again Christian has been supportive of the equality movement’s slow march forward. Philadelphia. “We are never accepted. By LGBT community for years. While today’s political climate is slowly the end of Wicked, “I can only go accepting of LGBT equality, a parallel is Elphaba is this on the fact that I easily seen between the struggle of the mysterious figure was born short,” character and the struggle of the LGBT that goes away. The Chenoweth says, “Elphaba has a lot community. audience sees it, but when asked about Regardless of how much of a political the cast still sees her many Christians' to overcome because as the Wicked Witch spin is put on Wicked and the messages it beliefs that she’s different. portrays of acceptance and understanding, of the West.” homosexuality is a Chenoweth believes it has one underlying Since joining the sin. “I’m petite. I’m I think everyone in story to tell: a story of friendship. cast more than a four-eleven and if our community can “This is special,” she says. “This is year ago, McMahon it were a sin for a relate to that.” about friendship, love and forgiveness and has seen the effects woman to be less acceptance and these are all things we’re of Wicked in the than five feet tall, —Todd McNEIl, taught. I knew it was going to be great.” LGBT community what would I do? a Wicked faN IN TaMpa And McNeil couldn’t agree more. first hand. Fans, he There’s nothing I “No other play can compare to says, are very vocal can change and I Wicked,” he says. “It’s actually kind of and several show don’t believe God unfair to any other production coming up to performances in costume. The cast makes mistakes.” through here. How can you compete with also gets invited quite regularly to see Just like the characters in Wicked, drag shows where popular scenes from the that?” LGBT people are who they are, Wicked runs at the Straz Center for production are recreated on smaller stages. Chenoweth believes. the Performing Arts through Feb. 28. “You’re born a certain way,” the actress The most popular scene recreated in drag For tickets and more information, visit shows, he says, is Elphaba’s “Defying says. “I’m talking about being born who Gravity” number, which closes the first act or call 813-229-7827. | l | you are and being true to who you are.” of the play. For Kevin McMahon, an openly gay

watermark | winter arts guide

Jan. 21 - Feb. 3, 2010 |

2010 winter arts guide lisitings

[ t a m pa B ay ]

clearwater & largo LARGO CULTURAL CENTER 727-587-6793

Feb. 20 Going Green: The Musical

RUTH ECKERD HALL 727-791-7400

Jan. 28 Vince Gill Jan. 29 Paul Anka Feb. 12 Harry Connick, Jr. Feb. 13 Gladys Knight Feb 18-20 A Chorus Line Feb. 27 Lord of the Dance Mar. 2 Henry Rollins Mar. 17 Craig Ferguson Mar. 19 Liza Minnelli Mar. 26 La Boheme Mar. 27 Bill Cosby Mar. 30-Apr. 4 Dixie’s Tupperware Party Apr. 3 One Night of Queen Apr. 10 Lisa Lampanelli Apr. 12 Barbra and Frank: The Concert Apr. 27-29 Riverdance May 1 Ron White June 4-6 Chicago: The Musical

lakeland THE LAKELAND CENTER 863-834-8100 Feb. 1 The Wedding Singer

Feb. 2-3 Dionne Warwick Feb. 25 American Voices with Crystal Gayle and Larry Gatlin Mar. 2 100 Years of Broadway Mar. 11 Cirque Le Masque


Lakeland 863-688-7743 Through Apr. 4 Joseph Raffael Jan. 23-Apr. 4 Kenneth Treister: The Colors of Nature Mar. 27-June 20 Florida Landscapes Apr. 10-June 27 Japanese Textiles and Prints Functional Ceramics Apr. 24-Aug. 8 Art and Design: Movement

st. petersburg AMERICAN STAGE 727-823-7529 Jan. 22-Feb. 7 Blithe Spirit Mar. 12-28 Driving Miss Daisy Apr. 23-May 16 Hair

June 11-27 November July 23-Aug. 8 The Seafarer


Feb. 13-May 16 Cut! Costume and the Cinema

FLORIDA ORCHESTRA 727-362-5440 Through Jan. 24 Cirque De La Symphonie Jan. 26 Vivo Mixer Jan. 29-31 Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 Feb. 12 and 14 Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 Feb. 18 Music Around the World Feb. 19-21 A Tribute to Ray Charles Feb. 20 Bravura Brunch Feb. 26-28 Ravel’s Bolero Mar. 5-7 Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue Mar. 11 Romantic Bohemia Continued on page 38 | uu |

don’t miss…

HARRy CONNICK JR. Feb. 12 | Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater Feb. 13 | The King Center, Melbourne

The New Orleans-bred singer-turned-actor-turned-singer secured a large LGBT audience when he played Leo on the long-running NBC sitcom Will & Grace. The jazzy performer has returned to his roots and is sure to bring fans from all walks of life to his concerts throughout Florida.

Inventor, artist, scientist, engineer, biologist, musician, philosopher.

Meet the ultimate multitasker.

Opening February 13 LIMITED ENGAGEMENT

Promotional Partner:

Media Sponsor: This Exhibition Has Been Created By Grande Exhibitions, The Anthropos Foundation, Italy and Pascal Cotte, France. DAvINcIThEGENIus.coM



| Jan. 21 - Feb. 3, 2010

watermark | winter arts guide | uu | winter arts



Costume and the Cinema


t. Petersburg | The art of costume design has long been associated with the LGBT community. Now, Tampa Bay residents will get a chance to see some famous costumes up close with the premier of Cut! Costume and the Cinema at the Florida International Museum at St. Petersburg College. The new exhibition opens Feb. 13 and runs through May 16 at the college’s downtown St. Petersburg campus. More than 40 period costumes, created by and borrowed from the costumier Cosprop, Ltd. in London, will showcase the art of making costumes for film. “We are thrilled to host the world premiere of this wonderful exhibit,” says Kathy Oathout, director of operations at the Palladium, FIM and SPC Downtown Arts. “This collection has never been seen outside of London and we are excited to offer it to our patrons.” Films represented in the exhibit range from Angelica Huston’s period dress from Happily Ever After, pictured, to the late Heath Ledger’s costume for Casanova. Other famous costumes in the exhibit were worn by Daniel Craig, Kate Winslet, Sandra Bullock, Uma Thurman, Johnny Depp and Robert Downey Jr., the star of the current hit Sherlock Holmes. According to Oathout, more than 30 actors will be represented by costumes from 27 films. Many of the costumes in the selection have won major film awards, including Oscars from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and BAFTA Awards from the British Association of Film and Television Awards. As these awards testify, costume is the essential ingredient to the authenticity of a period film. According to a release from Cosprop, Ltd., costumes set the scene, providing information about where and when the drama is taking place, and introducing characters by giving clues about their status, age, class and wealth as well as their position in the story. Nowhere is this more evident than in the Venetian upper class 18th-century silk brocade coat of Heath Ledger (Casanova) verses the distressed leather jacket worn by Daniel Craig (Defiance) while hiding from the Nazis in World War II. Out! Costume and the Cinema is open to the public beginning Saturday, Feb. 13 at the Florida International museum at 244 Second Ave. N., St. Petersburg. The Museum is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. The museum is closed on Mondays. For more information on the exhibit and for ticket prices, visit Steve Blanchard

from p.37

Mar. 13-14 Marvin Hamlisch Mar. 19-21 Mendelssohn’s Elijah Apr. 8 Russian Extravaganza Apr. 10-11 A Century of Broadway Apr. 17-18 Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5 Apr. 30-May 2 New World Symphony May 7 Blue Planet Live! May 14 and 16 Ginastera’s Harp Concerto May 20 Wonderful Waltzes May 21-23 Classic James Bond May 28-29 Gunther Herbig Conducts

GULFPORT PLAYERS Gulfport GulfportCommunityPlayers 727-322-0316 Mar. 4-14 You Can’t Take it With You Apr. 22-May 2 Cookin’ with Gus

MAHAFFEY THEATER 727-898-2100 Jan. 23 Cirque De La Symphonie Jan. 31 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Tour Feb. 13 Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles Feb. 16 Sleeping Beauty Feb. 20 A Tribute to Ray Charles Mar. 5 The Rat Pack is Back Apr. 10 A Century of Broadway Apr. 15 Chicago Apr. 18 Celtic Women Apr. 25 Stomp

don’t miss…

DIXIE’S TUPPERWARE PARTY Mar. 30-Apr. 4 | Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater

What started as an entertaining way to sell Tupperware products has turned into a career for “Dixie Longate,” the company’s number one sales representative. The southern “belle” will literally sell the plastic stuff from stage while telling tales of her mixed up family, her children and her probation officer. You’ll be sure to laugh plenty—and you’ll more than likely leave with a few items to keep your food fresh.


Through Apr. 4 The Baroque World of Fernando Botero Feb. 6-May 30 A Test of Faith: William Blake’s Illustrations for the Book of Job Apr. 17-Aug. 15 Whistler, Hassam, and the Etching Revival

ST. PETERSBURG OPERA 727-822-3590 June 4-6 Carmen

STATE THEATRE 727-895-3045 Feb. 2 and Feb. 9 Phat Tuesdays Feb. 3

Between The Buried and Me Feb. 20 Against Me! Feb. 25 The Black Dahlia Murder Feb. 27 Keller Williams Feb. 28 Exposure Music Festival Mar. 3 Twizted Mar. 11 NeedToBreathe Mar. 18 Badfish: A Tribute to Sublime Mar. 22 Alesana Apr. 8 Copeland

STUDIO AT 620 727-895-6620

Through Feb. 1 Through the Eyes of My City, Its James: Photography by James Whittinghill Continued on page 40 | uu |

SALVADOR DALI MUSEUM 727-823-3767 Through Feb. 28 Traces: Mabel Palacin Through Apr. 18 Dali: Gems Dali Illustrates: Alice in Wonderland Apr. 23-Dec. 31 History of the Dali Collection

don’t miss…


May 20-Jun. 6 | Straz Center for the Performing Arts, Tampa The new musical Mary Poppins is bound to delight all theater-goers, but we’re suspecting that the LGBT forces of Disney have created a live musical experience that could rival The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast. With a cast direct from New York and new songs mixed with old, Mary Poppins is perfect for the “Mary” in all of us.

Jan. 21 - Feb. 3, 2010 |


Fernando Botero, Melancholy (1989) Oil on canvas

The Baroque World of

Fernando Botero January 9 - April 4

100 Monumental Paintings, Sculptures, and Drawings by one of the world始s most popular artists Organized and circulated by Art Services International, Alexandria, Virginia

Presenting Sponsor:

Lead Sponsor:

255 BEACH DRIVE N.E. | 727.896.2667 | FINE-ARTS.ORG


watermark | winter arts guide

| Jan. 21 - Feb. 3, 2010

| uu | winter arts


from p.38


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LASER HAIR REMOVAL Face Chest Back area Under arms Manzillian Brazilian Buttocks with perianal Leg area Bikini

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Academic Alliance In Dermatology 4238 W. Kennedy Blvd. Tampa, Florida 33609 | (813)879.6040 813-265-4000 Through Jan. 30 The Senator Wore Pantyhose Feb. 12-Mar. 6 Second Summer Mar. 19-Apr. 11 Murdered to Death Apr. 23-May 15 Norman, Is That You May 28-June 19 What the Rabbi Saw July 2-24 Monkey Soup


FordAmphitheatreTickets. com 813-740-2446 May 7 Tim McGraw and Lady Antebellum

GORILLA THEATRE 813-879-2914 Through Feb. 7 The Drunken City Mar. 11-Apr. 4 The Lark Apr. 15-May 2 Shirley Valentine

ST. PETE TIMES FORUM 813-301-2500

Feb. 5 John Mayer Feb. 10 Black Eyed Peas Mar. 4 Taylor Swift Mar. 13 Michael Bublé Apr. 4 Smuckers’ Stars on Ice Apr. 17 Bon Jovi

STAGEWORKS THEATER 813-251-8984 Feb. 12-28 Agnes of God May 13-30 Eurydice July 8-25 The Perfect Ganesh

don’t miss…



Jan. 9-Apr. 4 | St. Petersburg Museum of Art, St. Petersburg Colombian artist Fernando Botero is one of the world’s most popular artists and an advocate for social equality. His monumental bronzes have appeared in New York, Paris and Washington, D.C. Now his Baroque World of Fernando Botero is featured in St. Petersburg until April 4. Three large sculptures are outside of the St. Petersburg Museum of Art and 16 more are housed inside.


Feb. 3-28 Wicked Feb. 9-16 Godspell Mar. 3-7 Little House on the Prairie Mar. 26 Duncan Sheik Apr. 22-25 Becoming a Man in 127 Easy Steps May 20-June 6 Mary Poppins


Exhibits will be announced in February 2010 at the museum’s new location in downtown Tampa.

THE RITZ YBOR 813-247-2555 Feb. 3 Owl City Feb. 18 Rebelution Feb. 25 Corey Smith Mar. 5 Dropkick Murphys Mar. 26 G. Love & Special Sauce Mar. 28 Fiesta Italiana Ybor Apr. 24 Battle of the Band: Mayhem Edition Apr. 15 AMF Hair Show 2010


June Harmonia Mundi Continued on page 42 | uu |

don’t miss…

LADY ANTEBELLUM May 7 | Ford Amphitheater, Tampa

With their incredible good looks and American Country sound, Lady Antebellum is sure to put any country music fan in the mood for summer. The group, made up of lead singer Charles Kelley, guitarist Dave Haywood and singer Hillary Scott, is touring with Tim McGraw this season and lands at the Tampa Ford Amphitheatre on May 7.

Jan. 21 - Feb. 3, 2010 |



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watermark | winter arts guide

| Jan. 21 - Feb. 3, 2010

FEBRUARY 13-14, 2010

2010 winter arts guide lisitings

[ s a r a s o ta ]


Through Feb. 23 Life of Galileo Through Feb. 17 Searching for Eden: The Diaries of Adam and Eve Through Feb. 28 The Last Five Years Through Apr. 11 Hearts Through Apr. 1 The Perfume Shop

CHURCH OF THE TRINITY MCC 941-355-0847 Jan. 31 Delores P. Berry Feb. 20 Shawn Thomas



Fields: A & B Divisions - Greco Softball Complex 11000 N. 50th St. C Division - Ed Radice Complex 14720 Ed Radice Dr. D Division - Larson Softball Four-Plex 1700 South Park Rd.

Come watch 65 teams from all over

North America

compete for the win! 941-955-1315 Through Jan. 28 A Golden Age of Sarasota Masters Feb. 5-Mar. 2 Craig Rubadoux: “One Man Show”

don’t miss…


Feb. 16 | Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, Sarasota She’s been through it all—marriage, parenting, and a husband’s suicide—yet Joan Rivers seems to only get better with age. From her self-deprecating plastic surgery jokes to her embracing of the LGBT community, Joan Rivers is an America icon that should be seen at least once in your life.

FLORIDA STUDIO THEATRE 941-366-9000 Through Jan. 29 The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee Through Feb. 13 Bridge & Tunnel Through Mar. 20 Reflections Jan. 26-Apr. 6 FST Improv Feb. 3-Apr. 3 Ruined Feb. 18-Mar. 1 Shear Madness

THE GOLDEN APPLE 941-366-5454

Through Feb. 21 The Marvelous Wonderettes Feb. 24-Apr. 4 Li’l Abner April 7-May 30 The Andrews Brothers


don’t miss…


Through Feb. 23 | Asolo Repertory Theatre, Sarasota


March 23-June 5 Night Train to Memphis April 7-May 29 Shotgun July 16-17 2010 Sarasota Improv Festival

Science and faith have battled throughout history—including in recent elections. So a story about Galileo’s passion to unearth truth through science seems fitting for 2010. The David Edgar drama follows the astronomer’s observations through his telescope and the discoveries he made on a universal and personal level.

Through Jan. 24 Sugar Babies Feb. 18-Mar. 7 Curtains March 25-Apr. 11 Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat May 6-23 Gypsy


Through Apr. 10 Gothic Art in Gilded Age Feb. 13-Apr. 25 In Search of Norman Rockwell’s America

watermark | winter arts guide

Jan. 21 - Feb. 3, 2010 |


May 22-Sept. 5 HEYDEY: Photographs of Frederick W. Glasier April 24-July 18 Splendid Treasures of the Turkmen Tribes from Central Asia

SARASOTA BALLET 941-351-8000

Jan. 29-31 Othello Boutique Feb. 19-21 Vespri I Napoletani Apr. 2-3 There Where She Loved Pineapple Poll Apr. 23-25 The Infernal Galop

SARASOTA OPERA 941-366-8450 Feb. 6-Mar. 21 Cavalleria Feb. 13-Mar. 13 The Magic Flute Feb. 27-Mar. 13 Hansel and Gretel Mar. 9-20 Giovanna d’Arco (Joan of Arc)

THE PLAYERS 941-365-2494

Through Jan. 24 Some Enchanted Evening Feb. 3 Lazy Fairy Improv Troupe Feb. 11-21 Lend Me A Tenor Mar. 18-28 Fiddler on the Roof Apr. 22-May 2 The Who’s Tommy


Jan. 29 Vince Gill Feb. 1 Girls Night: The Musical Feb. 3 The Martha Graham Dance Company Feb. 9 Hairspray Feb. 10 Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles Feb. 14 Gladys Knight Feb. 16 Joan Rivers Feb. 19 Patti Lupone Feb. 23-28 Mamma Mia!

don’t miss…


May 6-23 | The Manatee Players, Bradenton Anything written by Stephen Sondheim is sure to capture the imagination of the LGBT community. The musical Gypsy has lived on for decades and the local Manatee Players will present the story of Gypsy Rose Lee and her show biz mother. The talented local troupe is sure to captivate audiences with this hefty undertaking.

Mar. 14 Cirque Le Masque Mar. 17 Liza Minnelli Mar. 20 Pink Floyd’s The Wall Apr. 1 One Night of Queen Apr. 2 In The Mood: A 1940s Musical Apr. 3 Lonestar Apr. 11 Barbra and Frank: The Concert Apr. 15 Big Bad Voodoo Daddy Apr. 20-21 Xanadu

VENICE THEATRE Venice 942-488-1115

Through Jan. 31 Sly Fox Jan. 29-Feb. 28 Mid-Life! The Crisis Musical Feb. 8 Almost ABBA Feb. 16-Mar. 14 Annie Feb. 28-Mar. 1 Late Nite Catechism 2

March 11-Apr. 11 RENT March 30-Apr. 18 Dearly Departed Apr. 5 Revolution: A Beatles Tribute Apr. 15-May 2 Beast on the Moon May 4-23 Doubt May 11-23 Honk! May 28-June 13 Married Alive!

VILLAGE OF THE ARTS 941-747-8056 Feb. 5-6 American Watercolor Show Feb. 5-27 Benefit Exhibit at Still Life in G Gallery Feb. 12 Cupids, Cosmos and Cinema March 6-27 Re*Vision Recycled Art April 3 Garden Walk in the Village April 9-18 Manatee Jazz Fest April 10 Fashion Show, Art and Jazz

don’t miss…


Mar. 11-Apr. 11 | Venice Theatre, Venice The bohemian musical RENT is a gay staple that seems to pop up on and off Broadway several times a year. The massive production has a large cast, amazing sets and music the audience will hum well after the closing curtain. No matter the size of the company performing it, RENT is a must-see.



arasota | Jeremy Heideman is making a name for himself playing the outsider on center stage. In Venice Theatre’s production of the Tony Award-winning I Am My Own Wife, Heideman plays the starring role of Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, a German transvestite who survives not only the Nazis but the following Communist regimes in East Berlin. He plays Charlotte, but also the other 30-plus characters included in the drama, based on playwright Dough Wright’s interviews with the main character. It was another “outsider”—Moliere’s title character “Alceste” in The Misanthrope—that started Heideman’s love affair with acting. “I did do some acting in high school,” Heideman, 28, said. “And I did enjoy it. But it wasn’t until I did The Misanthrope at New College of Florida that I realized that acting was what I wanted to do. It was the sense of being a part of something bigger than me. Even a one-man show is so collaborative. I was never one for team sports. But when I was doing The Misanthrope, the director really pushed me to be as physically grotesque with the role as I could. “He pushed me to be a physical actor and no one had ever done that. And I realized the papers I was writing for my theater history class were better than any of the other classes I was writing, so I understood this was something I was good at.” Heideman would go on to receive his bachelor’s degree in theater from Florida State University in Tallahassee. He recently moved to Sarasota, but has called Bradenton home for 21 years. Sticking close to home, he has performed with the Island and Sarasota Players and the Sarasota Renaissance Fair. “The best thing about the Renaissance Fair is it is heavy duty improv training,” Heideman said of the work he has been doing with the fair since 2006. “If a prop isn’t behaving the way it should or a sweater I’m suppose to take off a shelf suddenly unravels on the spot, you have to incorporate into the scene like that was supposed to happen.” If actors are really con-men, as it’s been said, there’s another skill they have to master besides convincing the audience. It’s reading them. Heideman has to work overtime in that capacity in My Own Wife as he plays more than 30 characters, and he switches from one to another, often in the same scene. His pacing can change every night depending on the audience. “The biggest concern is you have to make sure the audience is coming with you,” he said. “I can see the logic of how the scene is set up, but the audience might not. So you have to listen to those very small sounds the audience will make. Are they with you? Are they confused? Are you putting them to sleep?” Then of course, there are the times where opportunity strikes, and you really take them with you. “I was doing The Misanthrope and there was the scene where my character was proposing to a character that had been after him the entire play,” Heideman said. “And I got down on one knee, and proposed and there was this very pregnant pause and someone in the audience sneezed. I said, ‘Godzundheit’ and went right back into character. The audience ate it up.” Renee LePere


watermark | television

| Jan. 21 - Feb. 3, 2010

| uu | RuPaul from p.25

year the kids were diplomats. They knew they were representing years of this genre being absent and were very cordial. Not so much the second season. First episode this season, these bitches have come out ready to cut. There will be blood. The first challenge is hysterical. As with season one, it’s a Mike Ruiz photo shoot, but this time you have airplane enginecaliber wind machines blowing on them so hard their false eyelashes are flapping and at least one wig flies off. What else is in store, and how do you come up with them? They always start from my own career and what I’ve done. We twist that around to make it work for TV. I did a photo shoot once with David LaChapelle where he had fans going and people blowing bubbles. It was for some Japanese catalog or something in 1990. It was pure hell on wheels. I couldn’t focus. He’s got music blasting. Where’s the camera? So all of them come from things I had to do myself. There’s a wedding challenge. [And] a sort of Golden Girls challenge where the girls have to make up their senior equivalent. Lots of really great stuff. Is there an Ongina moment this year? A big, emotional revelation? There seems to be [huge revelations in] every single show. We are dealing with queens here so there is drama abound. We also have more queens and shows. The first season we had nine queens and this year we had 12. It just ups the ante that much more. Is there a bit of behind the scenes scoop that might enhance our viewing of season two? When we’re doing our comments of the kids when they do their runway, I say tons of stuff and the things they choose to put in the show are what they decide are funny enough. My favorite from last season was when Rebecca Glasscock was doing her “executive realness” walk and took out a cell phone. I mouthed what I thought her conversation was—“Donald Trump, why you old geezer!” It became our tagline for everything. In fact, you’ll hear me in the second season every time I say Pandora Boxx’s name, I [say it in the same intonation]. It’s still a nod to the Donald Trump line! The day following season two’s premiere, Harper Collins publishes RuPaul’s Guide to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Style. What can you tell us about this tome? It’s a style guide, but the angle is style from the inside out. Finding your own voice and frequency and decorating that once you find that voice. | l |


mongst the contestants in the second season of RuPaul’s Drag Race is Gainesville-born, Orlando-based Tyra Sanchez, a.k.a. 21-year-old James Ross, who performs every Friday and Saturday night at Pulse nightclub. Of Tyra, who works a Rihanna hairstyle and at least a touch of Akashia-esque attitude in the first episode, RuPaul says: “We had about three applicants who could play the ‘Tyra’ character. It’s like an ensemble cast. But this kid really punched. She won out because she’s got it. She’s gorgeous, smart, and brings the drama.” Ross, who reveals that he has a son in his introduction clip online and in the first episode, gave a call to dish about his experience, RuPaul, being a father, and the Orlando drag scene. So what made you decide to enter and how did you nail the audition? Tyra Sanchez: I just was myself. I showed some of my performances and most of the outfits I have made. I introduced myself as a guy and a girl and introduced my son, also. All of my friends wanted me to do it. I had doubts, like they won’t choose anyone from here in Orlando. But a friend I was talking to at the time filled out the application for me and said you “have to do it.” So I did a tape and sent it in. What was Ru like out of drag? Out of drag, pretty much the same person. In and out, she liked to laugh and have fun.

lawrence ferber


But in drag, by virtue of being the head judge, she’s a de facto colder person than the male mentor. Yes. How does Orlando fare in the drag department? Orlando is good. It’s kind of behind because there aren’t a lot of drag shows here, and everything has to be upbeat numbers. You can’t do old school music. You have to stay up in the music and you have to be on top of your fashions and with the rest of the world. It’s a good thing, but sometimes it’s a bad thing because if you do a ballad or something you have to be cautious because the audience might not like it. You mention your son quite a bit in the first episode, and how you want to win this for him, but you don’t really discuss how you came to be a father. Can you tell us more about that? I was in 11th grade and I met his mother. By the end of our 11th grade year she was pregnant, and the first week of my senior year he was born. I stayed on my own. I was in a hotel for about 6 months, and then I finally got my own apartment. We were split up the

last couple of months but we’re still friends now and work hard to help each other out. What did his mother say when you got on the show? She thought it was hot. She’s come to the club and seen some of my shows before. So she was OK with it. She liked last season. Are you looking forward to the day your son can meet alter-ego Tyra? I do one day, hopefully, want to tell him. I don’t think now will be a good time. Eventually he’s going to find out and I don’t want him to on his own—I want to tell him.

and I can relate to that. I’m always quiet and people take that as my being stuck-up or a bitch when I’m just being dedicated to my work. Did anything surprise you about the experience? The thing that surprised me the most was Ru. She was a regular person, a regular human being. Not at all [a big diva]. Who is this year’s villain or bitch? I don’t know. I think everyone has their personalities and big ideas so I think everyone would be a villain and the bitch together.

So are the Orlando queens cheering you on? The ones I work with are cheering me on. The ones I was friends with before have actually distanced themselves from me. They don’t talk to me as much. I guess it’s a good thing because it was negative. Whatever they said to me about the show was negative. Being away from them has actually been good.

What did you think of the judges? I loved the judges. They did their job. They were there to critique us and give us pointers and we had to listen to what they gave us. Pretty much whatever they told me I took it in and learned from it. My favorite judge would have to be Santino Rice. Santino wouldn’t sugarcoat anything; he would give it to you straight up. He would give you exactly what you needed to hear.

Who was your favorite contestant from season one? Rebecca Glasscock, because Rebecca was one of the pretty girls but also quiet and people took it as her being stuck-up or a bitch

And what will you do if you win? If I win I’ll first move to L.A. and find a place to stay for me and my son. Hopefully I’d get into music and acting and continue my drag career. | l |































Hot! That’s the best way to describe the new series coming to Starz beginning Jan. 22. Spartacus: Blood and Sand, tells the tale of gladiator Spartacus (played by hot Australian actor Andy Whitfield) and his struggle in the brutal world of the arena, where blood and death are primetime entertainment. Early reports say that Spartacus has a man-slave that provides some pretty steamy scenes—and muscular men clad in leather harnesses set up the perfect opportunity for plenty of flesh. Don’t worry ladies; this appears to offer something for you too. Former Xena Lucy Lawless is part of the cast as Lucretia, Spartacus’ nemesis who is described as “sexually voracious.” Did we mention this sounds hot? | l |


Homo-erotic sex appeal is nothing new on the vampire series True Blood. But for season three, the HBO series is reportedly ramping up the gay story lines. When the series returns in June, sexy Kevin Alejandro (Southland) joins the cast as an orderly named Jesus, who takes care of Lafayette’s mother. For the first two


Feeling a bit overextended?



Spartacus: Blood and Sand


True Blood

Okay, we know the popular talent show is already airing on Fox. But right now all we’ve been able to see are the auditions featuring “guest judges” like Kristin Chenoweth, Shania Twain and Mary J. Blige. The segments were recorded last summer before former judge Paula Abdul announced her departure from the show. While her crazy behavior will no doubt be missed in season 9, her leaving has made way for the addition of Ellen DeGeneres to the judging panel. The talk show host joins American Idol judges Simon Cowell, Kara Dioguardi and Randy Jackson in February as singing hopefuls compete in Hollywood week. The “everyman” perspective of DeGeneres should provide some new judging criteria and we just can’t wait to see how the comedian handles bad performances and Cowell’s snarky remarks.


Finding the “gay angle” of this show is like trying to find a gay bar in Ybor City— simple. The musical/comedy following the lives of a high school glee club has bolstered Fox’s ratings and has us all humming mashups of some of our favorite tunes. When it returns in April, Glee is promising several surprises, special guests and awesome musical numbers. Among them is a duet between Jane Lynch’s villainous Sue Sylvester and Olivia NewtonJohn. According to a report on Entertainment Tonight, the two will sing Newton-John’s 1980s hit “Physical.” “Sue” will surely steal the show as the track-suit wearing cheerleading coach and we can’t wait to see how “Sue Sees It.” In a related note, Matthew Morrison, who plays glee club teacher Mr. Schuester, will release a solo album in the fall. He recently signed a deal with Mercury Records and details will undoubtedly be released when the show returns in April.



Jan. 21 - Feb. 3, 2010 |



American Idol



seasons, the muscular, yet campy Lafayette has been a supporting player with a few same-sex flings. Apparently this season brings Lafayette to the forefront with a steamy relationship with Jesus, and both characters are reportedly slated to appear in every episode. Not only will the story arc boost the series’ gay appeal even more, the addition of award-winning actress Alfrie Woodard as Lafayette’s mother will surely lure even more fans to the hit show.



lorida’s cold snap is (hopefully) over, but that doesn’t mean cooler temps have left the Sunshine State just yet. Winter is still with us and for television addicts that means a slew of new and returning programming to get us through the remaining few months of non-beach weather. Staples like Logo and Here! are still providing LGBT entertainment and RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 2 premieres Feb. 1 and promises to be more catty than last year. (See story on page 25). But other networks executives seem to finally understand that there’s an LGBT audience out there craving story lines for our community. As we prepare for the onslaught of awards shows in the coming months, we thought we’d look at some of the more anticipated shows with gay or gay-friendly angles that have us wanting to snuggle on the couch for a fun night in.


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watermark | event planner

| Jan. 21 - Feb. 3, 2010

Andrew Citino

Jonny McGovern

Mr. U.S. of A. Florida winner Andrew Citino will tour Tampa Bay this month to raise money for his upcoming national contest in Oklahoma.

Comedian Jonny McGovern will perform at the Parliament House on Saturday, Jan. 23.

Kristine W Singer Kristine W will appear at Sawmill Campground’s White Party on Saturday, Jan. 30.



[ST. PETERSBURG] The Baroque World of Fernando Botero

[DADE CITY] Kristine W

Colombian artist Fernando Botero is known for his massive bronze sculptures. Now, more than 15 of them are on display at the St. Petersburg Museum of Art. The LGBTsupportive artist will have his works displayed through April 4 at the downtown location. For more information visit

For the Love of Clay II

For the second time, the Studio at 620 will present For the Love of Clay, a pottery exhibition and sale featuring several Tampa Bay-area ceramists. The Saturday, Jan. 30 event is free and complimentary light fare and refreshments will be available at 4 p.m. For more information and specific information on artists, visit

comedy ORLANDO] Jonny McGovern Live

For one night only, “The Gay Pimp” Johnny McGovern from Logo TV’s Big Gay Sketch Show will perform at the Footlight Theatre at the Parliament House on Saturday, Jan. 23 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 at and reservations are recommended.

film [ST. PETERSBURG] Oh Vey! My Son is Gay!

Friends of the Festival returns with its monthly film series on Saturday, Jan. 23, at Muvico Baywalk, with Oh Vey! My Son is Gay! The comedy follows a young man’s struggle to come out to his Jewish parents, who are desperate to see their son married. Stars like Carmen Electra and Jai Rodriguez make this a must-see. For more information, visit

Songstress, diva and LGBT activist Kristine W will bring her talents to the stage of Sawmill Campground on Saturday, Jan. 30. The stop is part of the campground’s White Party and her tour to promote her latest single, “The Power of Music.” For more information visit

theater [KISSIMMEE] A Chorus Line

A Broadway classic is taking the stage at the Osceola Center for the Arts. A Chorus Line provides a glimpse into the personalities of the performers and the choreographer as they describe the events that have shaped their lives and their decisions to become dancers. The show runs through Jan. 31, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. with a 2 p.m. matinee on Sundays. Adult tickets are $15, seniors get in for $12 and student admission is $10, via the box office at 407846-6257, ext 0.

[MELBOURNE] South Pacific

Critic John Simon called it “the greatest musical of all,” and it’s coming to Melbourne. Rodgers and Hammerstein’s classic musical South Pacific takes the stage at King Center for the Performing Arts through Jan. 24. The award-winning show starts at 8 p.m. most days, plus several 2 p.m. matinee performances. Tickets range from $35-$58 and are available at

[ORLANDO] Hamlet

The Bard of Avon’s tragedy Hamlet will be at the Shakespeare Theatre Wednesday, Jan. 27 through Mar. 23. Theatregoers can watch the prince driven to the edge of madness in the Margeson Theater Thursdays at 7 p.m.,

Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and during a 2 p.m. matinee on Sundays. The Feb. 25 show includes a post-show discussion session. Ticket prices range from $29 - $36 and are available at

Phantom of the Opera

The longest-running Broadway show in history has made its way to Orlando. The Phantom of the Opera is now playing at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Center Tuesdays through Sundays at 8 p.m. with a 2 p.m. matinee most Sundays. Ticket prices range from $30 to $70 at The show runs through Feb. 14.

[SARASOTA] I Am My Own Wife

Venice Theatre presents the Tony-winning I Am My Own Wife through Jan. 24. The one-man drama is based on Doug Writ’s interviews with Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, a German transvestite who lived through the Nazi and Communist regimes in East Berlin. The play stars Jeremy Heideman, who plays more than 40 roles in the production. For more information, visit or call 941-488-1115.

[TAMPA] Wicked

The real story behind the witches of Oz returns to Tampa when Wicked returns to the Straz Center for the Performing Arts on Feb. 3. Elphaba and Glinda tell the story of their relationship before Dorothy dropped in in this Broadway smash. For more information or tickets, visit

The Senator Wore Pantyhose Anything that implies cross dressing in the title has to be worth checking out. In The Senator Wore Pantyhose a senator running for president learns that being a respectable person doesn’t grab headlines. So when his campaign manager stages an adulterous scandal that goes horribly awry, he finds himself getting plenty of attention. They say there’s no such thing as bad press, but you can get too much of it. For more information visit or call 813-265-4000.

special events [TAMPA BAY] Mr. Florida U.S. of A Tour

Former Sarasota resident Andy Citino, also known as Six-Pak, will appear at several area clubs this month to raise money for his upcoming national Mr. U.S. of A. contest. Citino, who now resides in Las Vegas, will appear at Blur in Dunedin on Friday, Jan. 22, at the Peninsula Inn in Gulfport on Saturday, Jan. 24 and at the Flamingo Resort on Sunday, Jan. 24.

[WINTER PARK] Book Signing

Enid Jackowitz will be signing her book The Rest of the Way: A Coming Out Story for Parents and Children at the Winter Park Village Borders on Jan. 21. Jackowitz’s book tells the story of her son’s coming out, but is also about the author’s journey of selfdiscovery, from convention-bound Maitland housewife to spirited activist and counselor to hundreds of LGBT families in crisis. The signing is from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.


The first Human Rights Campaign Connect event of the year is at Sip on Virginia Drive in Orlando on Jan. 26. The free event is a social gathering with the opportunity to learn more about the HRC, a civil rights organization focusing on LGBT issues. The Connect event kicks off at 7 p.m.


Tickets are now on sale for Fresh, a culinary performance art event at Cameo Theatre showcasing a fantasy world of visual, dance and food art presented by a renowned dance group DRIP. There are evening events for couples Feb. 4-6 and 11-13, with a Big Gay Brunch event at noon on Valentine’s Day. Tickets range from $49 - $97.50 per person when purchased through Jan. 31, and then prices increase to $55 - $107.50 on Feb. 1. To reserve tickets or for more information, visit or call 517-449-3765.

Got an event you’d like to see listed in Watermark? At least two to four weeks in advance, send all pertinent info—date, time, place, cost, contact information for readers to get more details, and what the event is about—to, and we will feature it in the paper on a space-available basis.

Jan. 21 - Feb. 3, 2010 |



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| Jan. 21 - Feb. 3, 2010

watermark | tampa bay out+about

shot on site

Photography | Steve Blanchard, Kate Campbell, Ric Castro and Carrie West




4 5 6

1- Tampa’s Project Runway star Ben Chmura smiles with Kate Campbell at his viewing party in Tampa Jan. 14. 2- St. Petersburg stylist Ric Castro, center, smiles with other cyclists during the annual SMART Ride from Miami to Key West. 3- Singer Colton Ford performs at the Flamingo Resort in St. Petersburg. 4- John Burchett explains how speed networking works at the Tampa Bay Business Guild’s January meeting in the Doubletree Westshore banquet room. 5- Royalty contestants for the annual Florida Gay Rodeo Association contest pose after the competition at the Flamingo Resort on Jan. 9. 6- Friends smile after enjoying a meal at Hamburger Mary’s in Ybor City.

tampa bay overheard Solomons eyes Gulfport post A member of the St. Pete Pride Board of Directors is eyeing a political career in the neighboring city of Gulfport. Stanley Solomons, who is a St. Pete Pride cochair, has announced his candidacy for Gulfport City Council. The likeable and friendly Solomons has been a volunteer with St. Pete Pride for several years and also worked on the campaign for Steve Kornell, who won a St. Petersburg council seat last November. The openly gay Solomons is holding a fundraiser at Domain on Gulfport’s waterfront on Tuesday, Jan. 26. Donations are gladly accepted. For more information on his campaign, visit

Hot singer, not-so-hot mic It was a bit awkward at The Flamingo Resort when Colton Ford took the stage for a pre-concert preview on Jan. 15. The former porn star-turned-recordingartist was supposed to sing three or four songs in the resort’s Blu Room, but blown speakers and a questionable sound system cut the preview very short. After sound technicians fiddled with chords

and knobs in the sound booth for several minutes, the singer decided to cut the preview short halfway through his second song. Ford, who brought his incredibly handsome boyfriend Angelo along on the trip, was a good sport about the difficulties and simply said, “It happens. We’ll have it figured out by Sunday.” On Sunday, Jan. 17, Ford performed a full concert to a packed room with little trouble and said he’d gladly come back to the resort in the near future.

Steam celebrates two years It’s hard to believe that it’s already been two years since the iconic Steam Fridays at the Honey Pot in Ybor City kicked off one of the areas largest weekly dance parties. But come Friday, Jan. 22, the milestone will be reached. Guest DJ Johnny Vicious will help crowds celebrate the anniversary at 10 p.m. and will spin until 3 a.m. Free drinks, complementary champagne and a $1,000 balloon drop should entice partiers from throughout the Bay-Area to celebrate at the Steve Mossrun venue. Congratulations to The Honey Pot for a successful two years of Steam Fridays.

Got juicy gossip or amazing event photos? E-mail the dish or your photos (with full names of everyone pictured and event details) to

watermark | orlando out+about

shot on site Photography | Rick Claggett, Jake Stevens, Tony Ward and Don Williams 1– (R-L) Ian Russell, Brendan O’Connor, Margaret Mary Russell and Kyle Russell celebrate Scottie Campbell’s “Cushies for Tushies” birthday at Sip on Jan. 16. The party raised more than $1,150 for the Fred Stone Seating Project, which raises money to put new chairs and risers in the Fred Stone Theatre at Rollins College.

1 6



Jan. 21 - Feb. 3, 2010 |


3 4

2– (R-L) Host Miss Sammy and Project Runway season 7 designer and Orlando resident Jesse LeNoir “make it work” at the premiere party on Jan. 14 at Hamburger Mary’s. 3– (R-L) Norm Gentry and Judy Smith wait for the sewing and swearing to begin at Hamburger Mary’s Project Runway premiere party. 4– A few of the New Moon Sluggers from Ft. Lauderdale take a rest between games at the 11th Annual Orlando Meltdown Charity Softball Tournament Jan. 15 – 17 at the Seminole County Softball Complex. For tournament results, see page 53. 5– (R-L) Alan Meeks, Randy Ross, Rob Domenico, Damon Kosior and Scott Guthrie turn up the volume at the Lady Gaga concert Jan. 3 at the UCF Arena. 6– (R-L) Chris Draco and Joshua Hoskins do some networking at the first MBA gathering of the year Jan. 6 at Hard Rock Café.

orlando overheard Project Jesse On Thursday Jan. 14, hundreds packed into Hamburger Mary’s to cheer Orlando’s Jesse LeNoir throughout the premier episode of Project Runway: Season 7. Miss Sammy introduced the adorable LeNoir and modeled one of his creations. The mostly gay crowd—many of them friends of LeNoir and his fiancé, Brittany—cheered each time he appeared in eye-catching ensembles. With 13 initial contestants, LeNoir’s screen time was limited, but he survived the first round. Tampa’s Ben Chmura also advanced. Project Runway airs at 10 p.m. Thursday on Lifetime, and is repeated afterward and throughout the week.

Bar rumors of the week There is always news percolating about local LGBT bars, and sometimes it’s even accurate. Two interesting items recently crossed our desk. First it was rumored that R Bar, at the same location at the former Faces on Edgewater Drive, had been closed because after-hours strippers were offering up full frontal nudity. The bar is open for business, so this one appears to be untrue. Second, an e-mail claims that a former Orlando area Ramada Inn has been purchased and will soon re-open as a gay resort. That’s all we’ve

got, so we’ll call this one highly questionable. As always, if you have information to share email us at

Post It A 19-year-old self-described ‘porn star’ is at the center of a million-dollar lawsuit. According to the Orlando Sentinel, seven sexy pictures of Orlando resident Justin Kreuger were uploaded to Men4RentNow. com. But according to the suit, the photos are the property of San Diego-based Liberty Media Holdings. Liberty claims Kreuger has appeared in at least one of their features under the trademark name Corbin Fisher. The owners of say they “merely operate a classified ad service” and did not post the photos. But one can see how Kreuger might have been upset. His MySpace page makes his position clear: “I’m in porn. I’m not a whore.” Perhaps he’ll explain the difference to the judge.

Correction In our last issue, Watermark listed the wrong time and radio dial number for Outloud Orlando: The Homo Happy Hour. The show airs every Friday from noon to 1 p.m. on WPRK 91.5 FM.

Got juicy gossip or amazing event photos? E-mail the dish or your photos (with full names of everyone pictured and event details) to

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Orlando’s Paul Kusic (right), pictured with his partner Danny Veal, celebrates his birthday on Jan. 24.


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Orlando-based women’s social group and Internet mailing list WHAT (Womyn Here and There) celebrates its 7th anniversary on Jan. 24.

General manager of Orlando’s Toscana restaurant and partner to Watermark ad sales guru Don Williams, Jeremy Indomenico (Jan. 22); home inspector and partner to O-Town Realtor Danny Veal, Paul Kusic (Jan. 24); Singer and Tampa Bay performer Ashley Smith and St. Petersburg realtor Jim Longstreth (Jan. 25); mortgage broker, Phish Phest phenom and partner to Jane-of-all-trades Sue-Bee Laginess, Roxy Santiago and Ybor City special events promoter Chucky Ruckus (Jan. 26); FSU grad, adorable cub and Ocala muse Bill Bondank (Jan. 30); marketing pro and Watermark writing wit Ken Kundis (Jan. 31); St. Petersburg massage therapist Emily Stone, Tampa Softball player and Verizon rep Thomas Hale and barber and former Tampa resident James Bowman Harris (Feb. 1); Pinellas Park graduate and new south Florida resident Miguel Rivera (Feb. 2); Tampa licensed massage therapist, Reiki master and karaoke performer David Allin (Feb. 3).

MC Film Festival owners/GaYbor District Coalition founders and Tampa power couple Mark Bias and Carrie West celebrate their 32nd anniversary on Feb. 3.


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passings Russell Smith, 47, of Orlando passed away on Jan. 3. He is survived by Ronnie Green, his partner of 23 years. Jeffrey Allen Sitzlar, 37, of New Port Richey passed away earlier this month. He was a regular at Sawmill Campground. Memorial services were held on Jan. 12 at the Spirit of Life MCC in New Port Richey. Wyndham Hunt passed away on Jan. 17, 2010. He is survived by his longtime partner, John Sherman. The couple lived in Montserrat for many bears before a volcano devastated the Caribbean island in 1997. The two moved to Altamonte Springs but continued traveling the world together.

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watermark | viewpoint

An awkward arrangement ADVICE FROM

The Truth


necessary time, the two of you shake hands and go on your way. As for whether or not you can stay, if you truly believe your status as an out gay man would risk your life in your home country, why not apply for political asylum? Governments in a number of backward countries have recently re-criminalized homosexuality with some pretty strong penalties, up to and including death. It might be the perfect climate to make your case that having to move home to your country of origin will put you in grave danger. Here comes the Truth, baby: if you want to hold on to your life here, which clearly you do, you’re going to have to be creative and diligent. Best of luck. Dear Truth, I am a decent looking, single, gay guy in my early 30s with a steady job and good friends. I would say that I’m a pretty normal gay man, but I think my gaydar is broken. I go out about once a week to meet guys, either to the bars or other gay gatherings (i.e. softball, meetings, parties) but I can’t tell when other guys are cruising or even hitting on me. My friends are constantly telling me, “That guy was so into you!” but I never see it. The only time it’s obvious to me is when the guy is drunk and won’t leave me alone. Drunks are a real turn off, so I don’t even engage them. Of course, that means I go home alone. I know there’s a good guy out there looking for someone like me, but how will I know it if I see it? —Blind to Romance

Dear Truth, ’m dating this great guy from Sarasota, Mark, and we’ve been together for about two years. Mark is smart, funny and generous, and I really want to take our Dear Helen Keller, relationship to the next level. The problem I struggled all through high school French. is that I am not an American citizen and I I could memorize the words but it just never am here on a work visa. I have applied for clicked for me. Then one day, I looked at the my green card but I don’t know when (or board and suddenly everything made sense. It if) I’ll receive it. There’s another catch: I was as if someone turned on the lights in the have a wife in my home country (it was an room. The same can be said for some people’s arranged marriage). Neither of us loves the ability to flirt. Your problem, I believe, is a other, but I had to marry her and prove quite common one. All of us have had that I was “straight” moment when we’ve or risk losing my heard that someone family, my job and was attracted to possibly my life. She us and we had no If you want to hold on wants to come to idea. Typically, it to your life here, which the U.S. too, but I comes from a place know that I want to of humility (if not clearly you do, you’re be with Mark. What insecurity). That’s going to have to be should I do? a good thing, and —Middle East I’m with you on the creative and diligent. Meets West pawing drunks. That’s not cute for anyone. But here’s an idea: instead of waiting to see Dear Bollywood, who is attracted to you, why not make your By no means is the Truth an expert in immigration law, but let’s give it a shot. feelings known to those you’re attracted to? You know, maybe you should wear the big boy I understand that cultural differences are pants sometime. That way at least if you get nothing to be judgmental about and an rejected, you won’t be left with questions. I arranged marriage is a centuries-old custom think that by opening up the flirting dialogue for many cultures. to a bi-directional one, you’ll increase However, if you don’t love one another, it’s time to undo that union. If she wants to your flirting fluency, and you will begin to recognize in others the flirting you’re doing. come to the U.S. and you wouldn’t mind that, Certainly more conversations will be revealed it would be okay to use the “arranged” nature to you. | l | of your marriage to her advantage. After the

Jan. 21 - Feb. 3, 2010 |



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watermark | sports

Jan. 21 - Feb. 3, 2010 |

Record turnout for Orlando Meltdown

Tebow to appear in Focus on the Family ad

staff report

Gainesville | Tim Tebow has never made his Christianity a secret. The University of Florida quarterback consistently wears references to Bible verses on his eye black and frequently discusses his belief in Jesus Christ. Now, the Heisman winner is addressing a national audience in an ad planned to air during the Super Bowl Feb. 7. The ad is funded by the Focus on the Family group, which has consistently battled equality rights for LGBTs around the country, and reportedly

Orlando | With 72 registered teams, the 11th Annual Orlando Meltdown softball tournament was the largest in history. Teams from around the country descended on Orlando for the annual tournament during the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend. With high temperatures in the 60s and 70s, the Orlando Meltdown offered traveling teams a taste of Florida weather for the first time in several years. Orlando teams took the first place position in all three open divisions and two Tampa teams placed in the top three. In the B-division, the Orlando Force took first, followed by the Fort Lauderdale Alibi Sundevils in second and the Atlanta Avengers in third. The Orlando RPMs won the C-division after beating second-place Orlando Gay Pages Shock. Third place went to the Tampa Riptide. In the D-division, the Precious Little Miracles of Orlando took first, and the Tampa Crocs placed second. The Orlando Blue Devils finished third in the division. Several women’s teams competed in the Women’s Recreation division this year. The

staff report


contains an anti-abortion message. Tebow has never publicly discussed his stance on homosexuality and has gained legions of gay male fans thanks to his handsome looks and a shirtless photo spread for GQ photo spread last fall. Tebow appears in the ad with his mother, Pam, The pregnant Pam Tebow contracted amoebic dysentery while on a Philippines mission and was in a coma. After recovering, doctors said the damage to her body was too great and suggested the abortion. Tebow was born healthy on Aug. 14, 1987. | l |

Falcons fullback denies same-sex affair Softball players look at team rankings after Round Robin play in the Orlando Meltdown tournament over MLK Jr. Weekend. | Photo by Rick Claggett

Go! Girls of New York took first, followed by the Storm of Fort Lauderdale. Orlando’s Ain’t Miss Behavin’ took third. In the women’s competitive division, the Fort Lauderdale Alibi Blaze took home the first place trophy, followed by the Orlando Rockstars in second and the Orlando Screaming Eagles of Orlando. For more information on the tournament, visit | l |

staff report Atlanta | Falcons fullback Ovie Mughelli says he is not gay. Attorneys for the 29year-old athlete have sent cease-and-desist letters to several web sites which published allegations of a man claiming to have had a sexual relationship with Mughelli. One letter sent to says, “Your blog is replete with defamatory statements as it relates to Mr. Mughelli. If you do not cease and desist immediately, we will have no alternative but to seek an immediate permanent injunction and sue you

for damages for defamation and false light.” The allegations first surfaced on the Atlanta-based blog Miss on Jan. 5 when it published a detailed account of a reported sexual relationship between an unnamed Falcons player and another man. Three days later the site released Mughelli’s name. Francois Sloan, a hair stylist from Jersey City, N.J., is reportedly the man making the claims about the relationship, which he says began while the NFL prospect was in school at Wake Forest University. | l |

watermark | gossip

| Jan. 21 - Feb. 3, 2010



“If I wanted to tell people what I do with my vagina, I’d have made a sex video a long time ago.” —Michelle Rodriguez responds to those ever-present lesbian rumors.

W TV's Gay Explosion Billy Masters

elcome to a brand new year. 2010 is only two weeks old but there’s already gossip. File this under the “That Didn’t Take Long” department—reps have confirmed that Rosie O’Donnell has a new girlfriend. The funny gal has been spotted in Miami frolicking with one Tracy Kachtick-Anders, who is an artist from Texas with six kids. It’s like the all-lesbian version of Cheaper by the Dozen (maybe they could throw Bonnie Hunt some work). Allegedly, the twosome met two months ago and have gotten close enough for O’Donnell to introduce her to family and friends. I read that Renee Zellweger spent Christmas meeting the family of her “boyfriend,” Bradley Cooper (the quotes around “boyfriend” were not in the other reports, but they seem appropriate). We even hear the couple is looking to buy a home. Sigh, when will that Zellweger learn? But Bradley is playing gay—at least on screen. In the upcoming Valentine’s Day (which comes out, you guessed it, on Valentine’s Day), he’s paired with sexy Eric Dane. Well, now I’ve got your attention! Dane plays a closeted football player who is dating Cooper. Of course, no one at the studio is talking about this subplot. And from the

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ads, it kind of looks like Bradley’s character is dating Julia Roberts, who actually is the best friend. We’re told that the screen time for the gay duo is pretty minor, but it’s still enough to make me want to check it out. We got an end-of-year gift from ABC— the first same-sex love scene on daytime. Scott Evans and Brett Claywell (collectively known as “Kish”) consummated their relationship on One Life to Live in a sex scene that included candles, long-lingering glances, and unbearably slow removal of clothing. In short, all the passion usually exhibited in a love scene with Jeanne Cooper! When a post-coital Claywell deliriously asked, “Is it always going to be like this?” I audibly responded, “God, I hope not!” That’s not to say it wasn’t sexy. It was—in that “Playboy After Dark” kind of way. But it certainly wasn’t what I’d expect from two hot guys with pent-up “enthusiasm.” Still, it’s a step in the right direction. Now, onto New Year’s Eve. Over on CNN, Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin managed to make the show even gayer by adding Vegas correspondent Lance Bass. He really was the most feminine person on the telecast—and that included Sushi the drag queen being lowered in a giant shoe in Key West. (And how fabulous was it to see Randy Roberts as Cher?) Kathy tried her best to embarrass Andy, but he never took the bait. Instead, he just stood there, giggling like a giddy girl while winched into his Gloria Vanderbilt jeans. Another New Year for the record books. I always call Bravo our de facto gay network, but CNN is really giving it a run for its money. Prior to the New Year, porn star Collin O’Neil turned up doing the weather! The sexy stud filed an iReport for CNN on Dec. 17 under his given name, Shawn Loftis. He was in capri pants and a white tank top while reporting about heavy rain and, at one point, waded through a puddle. Oh, it was riveting footage. Catch it on Our first “Ask Billy” question of the New Year is about someone I haven’t thought of in eons. Travis in Baltimore writes: “I hear that the kid from ‘Billy Elliot’ is now some hot buff guy and making a period piece with Channing Tatum. Can you confirm and maybe show us what he looks like all grown up?” Believe it or not, Jamie Bell is all grown up and quite buff. Although he’s been working steadily,

One Life to Live’s Scott Evans and Brett Claywell wrapped up 2009 by performing in daytime television’s first-ever gay sex scene.

most people probably think of him as that 14 years old boy in tights and a tutu. Now at the ripe old age of 23, he’s in Scotland filming Eagle of the Ninth. He plays a slave to Roman soldier Channing Tatum—which apparently means it’s a comedy! Some pics have surfaced from the production and it does appear that Buff Bell is a good nickname for Jamie. He’s shirtless, muscular, and a little dirty—just how I love my men. If they throw in one of those bathing scenes from Spartacus, I’ll be there! Pics can be found on When Channing Tatum has been cast in a period piece, it’s definitely time to end yet another column. Until next time, remember, one man’s filth is another man’s bible. | l |

Channing Tatum will play a Roman Soldier with a “boy slave” in Eagle of the Ninth due later this year.

Jan. 21 - Feb. 3, 2010 |

t u o k Ab

l a T Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

Watermark's 2009 2010 Sex sex survey Watermarkâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Survey online now. isisonline now! Log onto: Tell us what you think about sex! Look for the results in our Annual Sex Issue hitting the sheets February 19th.

February 18






r e h t a e The w ool, but c e b y a e r m a s w o h s e s the


NOW – JAN. 29 A musical based on the Gospel according to St. Matthew

Ballet Folklórico de Mexíco

So You Think You Want To Be in Love?



A modern and innovative new Godspell with the uplifting and heartfelt music you love including the international hit “Day By Day.”

Arias & Encores

Celebrating 15 years of Opera Tampa


Greg Behrendt and Amiira RuotolaBehrendt




Moscow Festival Ballet’s

Swan Lake

MARCH 10-28


MARCH 23-28

Tickets, dining, info: 813.229.STAR (7827) • STRAZCENTER.ORG • Outside Tampa Bay: 800.955.1045 • Group Services: 813.222.1018 Events, days, dates, times, performers and prices are subject to change without notice.

Watermark issue 17.02 Winter Arts  

Featuring celebrity interviews, news, local politics, and more!

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