Arts in Transit brings performers to the commuters.

Arts in Transit aims to bring performance artists to Lakeland commuters.

LAKELAND – In urban areas, there are plenty of different places to host art: museums, coffee shops, elegant restaurants, even on the walls of City Hall.
In Tom Phillips’ vision, there’s one other place, sometimes tapped into within major cities but not as often in smaller ones. And that place, he said, is on public transit.
But he’s convince just the same that art belongs on buses, on bus stations, and in other places where commuters regularly go.
“What we’re doing is Arts in Transit,” said Phillips, the executive director of Polk Transit, the county agency responsible for improving transportation access in the communities across Polk, from Lakeland over to Poinciana.
And what he came up with is a series of events and special activities that merge the arts with public transportation – to bring creativity to those who leave the driving to someone else.
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Hoping to build new “magical memories,” Disney outlines plans for the future.

Some things at Disney, like the Contemporary Resort, have changed much in 40 years. But there are other changes on the way at the theme park giant. (Photo by Michael Freeman).

LAKE BUENA VISTA – If there’s one word that probably worries theme parks more than anything else, it’s stagnation – the notion that their rides and attractions are overly familiar to tourists who are now ready to move on to newer, more exciting spots.
That kind of familiarity probably seems like the ideal goal for a theme park like Walt Disney World, which after all promotes itself as being a place where families build “magical memories” from one generation to the next, said Lexi Green, an interloper for the theme park giant.
“Disney is not just an attractions experience, it’s a memories experience,” Green said, as she reflected back at her own initial visit to the theme park giant near Orlando.
“My very first Disney ride was Dumbo,” she said of the Dumbo the Flying Elephant ride at the Magic Kingdom. Continue reading

From bingo to campy drag, the Parliament House aims to entertain.

Miss Sammy and Michael Wanzie serve as co-hosts for Beach Blanket Bingo at the Parliament House. (Photo by Michael Freeman).

ORLANDO – The subject matter is nothing if not topical – the Jerry Sandusky child molestation trial in Pennsylvania, Florida state bingo laws, reviews of Hollywood movies ….
… and, of course, nipple clamps.
“Look what she won,” Michael Wanzie said, as he pointed to the woman standing near the stage in the bar, holding her newly acquired prize.
“It’s a nipple clamp four-pack,” Wanzie added.
That prompted Wanzie’s co-host, Miss Sammy, to add, “Just what you need.”
Welcome to the Parliament House, the gay resort on Orange Blossom Trail that aims to provide entertainment every night of the week. And on Wednesday, it was Beach Blanket Bingo night. Wanzie and Miss Sammy handed out three bingo cards to each of the patrons who filled up the resort’s bar, taking up all of the available seats and watching the monitors as the two hosts read out the numbers.
“Ladies, we’d like to call your attention to the bingo monitors,” said Wanzie, who also serves as the artistic director for the resort and its Footlight Theater. Continue reading

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