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Robbyn Mitchell, Times Staff Writer

Robbyn Mitchell

Robbyn Mitchell covers pop culture, entertainment, night life, local events and arts for tbt* and the Times. She is a native of Washington, D.C., and a 2007 graduate of Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University in Tallahassee.

Phone: (813) 226-3373


Twitter: @RMitchellTimes

  1. Here's how to plan an awesome theme party for Labor Day (or any day)


    Unless you're a local union president or a career labor organizer, chances are you'll be spending this Labor Day with drink in hand.

    That's one way to roll back into the tedium of fall. The other, which we recommend highly, is to become a legend among men by throwing an epic summer-ending theme party.

    Tampa Bay is notorious for them. We swashbuckle in January, paint the town green in March and spew rainbows in June. Labor Day is unclaimed territory for the theme party enthusiast to be celebrated with whatever creative hullabaloo one can gin up....

    Artist Louie Chin drew characters from several themed party options we're helping you plan. See if you can spot them all (some are easier than others): Beethoven the St. Bernard, Godzilla, Beth (Wet Hot American Summer), Katie (Wet Hot American Summer), Clark Griswold (National Lampoon Christmas Vacation), Neil (Wet Hot American Summer), Del Griffith (Planes, Trains, and Automobiles), Rickie (My So-Called Life), Claire Standish (The Breakfast Club), Regina George (Mean Girls), Gene/Jonas (Wet Hot American Summer), Victor (Wet Hot American Summer), Lindsay Weir (Freaks and Geeks), Cameron Frye (Ferris Bueller's Day Off), Janis Ian (Mean Girls), John Bender (The Breakfast Club), Captain Malcolm "Mal" Reynolds (Firefly), Duckie (Pretty in Pink), the Crow, the Joker and Beyonc?.
  2. Bachelor in Paradise, Season 2, Week 5 - Entrances and exits


    Joe answered the door, saw the flaming bag and really stepped on it this week. 

    If a woman who kissed you, hugged you, and cuddled with you for two days could be pursuaded to leave you during a single conversation, she played you. Sorry about it, man. 

    Dan had been saying he was interested in Sam but was too cowardly to act until he absolutely needed a rose. Sam, sensing a chance to save her image, gave Dan her rose, making Joe the only guy eliminated this week. Chris Bukowski, two time cast member of The Bachelorette, and also of Bachelor Pad, made his second appearance on Bachelor in Paradise only to drink for an entire day, drunkenly ask out Tenley, be rejected and bow out of the contest....

  3. Tampa Bay Fashion Week takes big risk hoping for big reward


    TAMPA — Nancy Vaughn sat down at a local leadership luncheon and got a question from Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn that she's still trying to answer.

    "He asked me, 'What is the economic impact of fashion in Tampa?' " said Vaughn, a coordinator of Tampa Bay Fashion Week, an annual week of events aimed at showcasing the work of local fashion designers.

    "I don't know if we're making an impact," she acknowledged....

    Tampa Bay Fashion Week can’t be compared with its predeces?sors in New York, Los Angeles and Miami. Those shows typically draw fashion designers and visitors from around the world.
  4. Bachelor in Paradise, Season 2, Week 4 - Ben H. will be back in January!


    So, Bachelor in Paradise was really interesting this week. But who cares?

    Ben Higgins is The Bachelor! (Breaks into victory dance. Pops cork on an $8 bottle of champagne.)

    They tried to trick us. No one was fooled. Ben H. has been anointed since the moment he galloped on horseback over the lush green fields of Ireland and strutted into the castle of our hearts. 

    He was so sweet, smart and open to expressing his fears that you couldn't help but root for the guy to find love. I mean, his last beak up made him wonder if he was unlovable. Who hasn't been there?...

    Take a long look, America. You'll be able to spend two hours a week with that mug in January.
  5. Bachelor in Paradise, Season 2, Week 3 - Widows and orphans and crazy people


    Poor widow/mother Juelia.

    Apparently, it’s everyone else’s responsibility to read the signs for her to make sure her life doesn’t take a wrong turn.

    She cried more tears this week than Ashley “The Weeping Virgin” I. and that’s really saying something.

    If it sounds like I’m unbothered by the Joe/Samantha/Juelia debacle, it’s because everyone should be.
    Samantha arrived this week and immediately asked Joe out on a date to do a photo shoot for People magazine. The quickness of their physical closeness was a dead giveaway that they knew one another previously, and later as Tanner and Jared try to get Joe to fess up about it, we find out just how involved they were before Paradise....

    Samantha and Joe gaze lovingly as ABC foots the bill for their first date.
  6. As adults flock to coloring parties, the art is not just for kids anymore

    Visual Arts

    TAMPA — Raucous laughter rattled the artfully decorated tables filled with pastel colored pencils, cookies and the occasional wine glass as the small group convened on a Monday night.

    Like the book clubs and sewing circles of the past, these lawyers and sales people and government workers found community in a shared interest: coloring books for adults.

    "You think afterward that your time would have been better spent doing something else," said Caitlyn Kramer, 26, a Tampa cake decorator by day, coloring a picture of a fox at the Enchanted Spot. "But you're completely focused and relaxed while you're doing it." ...

    Kate Kyres, owner and creator of Silly Dilly's in Tampa colors in her copy of Enchanted Forest by Johanna Basford at an adult coloring social on Monday, Aug. 10 at her store. Adult coloring books have become a sensation, topping the New York Times bestsellers list since Spring. "This is a wonderful social. I do a lot of workshops for kids and this is just a nice gathering so adults can relax," Kyres said. "When you're coloring you don't realize your heart rate slows. ... You feel comfortable. You're not gonna get this in the checkout line at Target or Amazon."
  7. Fetish Con kink-fest relocates from Tampa to St. Petersburg


    Latex and leather will be in fashion in St. Petersburg this weekend as Fetish Con celebrates its 15th year in a new location — the Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront.

    More than 6,000 people from around the world attended the kink trade show last year at the Hilton Tampa Downtown. Adult film directors, fetish models, bondage gear vendors and foot enthusiasts would pop out in between workshops on the business of fetish play, grab bites from local restaurants and pop into local tourist attractions....

    Jim and Patsy Evans eat lunch in the renovated restaurant during Fetish con at the Hilton in Downtown Tampa on Saturday, August 17, 2013. The event features parties, vendors, workshops, lectures and demonstration about different fetishes.
  8. Bachelor in Paradise, Season 2, Week 2 - Joe Dirt


    It was never apparent when he was chasing Kaitlyn, but Joe’s kind of a dirt bag, no?

    This week can be summed up easily. Joe shows up. He picks the low hanging fruit of sweet, naive Juelia. She takes the bait. He gets to stay. 

    But the details is where it becomes so much more sinister, and deliciously so. Never has a bad guy seemed so focused that you couldn’t help but respect his hustle. ...

    Juelia falls under Joe's spell just before the rose ceremony. She's in for a world of hurt.
  9. Kermit The Frog and Miss Piggy call it quits, still promote new ABC show


    It might have gotten lost in the slew of other break up news this week, but eagle eyed fans caught Kermit The Frog's quiet announcement via Facebook Tuesday.

    "After careful thought, thoughtful consideration and considerable squabbling, Miss Piggy made the difficult decision to terminate our romantic relationship," the star of ABC's upcoming show, The Muppets, posted on his page just after lunch time....

    Writer/ Executive Producer Bill Prady, Kermit The Frog, Writer/Executive Producer Bob Kushnell and Miss Piggy all try not to look awkward at the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour.
  10. Bachelor in Paradise, Season 2, Episodes 1-2: Sister, Sister


    Ahhhh, Mexico. 

    America’s neighbor to the south where the weather is warm, the drinks are cold and the blood of our cast of rejects from The Bachelor, The Bachelorette and Bachelor Pad runs incredibly hot. 

    First of all, someone should call shenanigans on the “This season on Bachelor in Paradise trailer...” that ran at the beginning of the first and second episodes this week. Ashley Iaconetti is whiny, but she’s not an idiot. The voice over made it seem as if she’d lost her virginity on the show and also thought she might be pregnant. There’s no way, ABC. Even your cast admitted that the filming took just three weeks. Even if she hooked up on the first night, which she didn’t, it’s just mathematically improbable for her to know that soon. We were purposefully misled led by the Kaitlyn Bristowe sex teasers in Season 11 of The Bachelorette and we will be fooled no more. Sure, we’ll watch, but we know it’s not what you say it is. So there. ...

    Lauren I, Jade, and Ashley I. keep their game faces on before the first rose ceremony.
  11. How's your geek knowledge? Test yourself for Tampa Bay Comic Con 2015


    If you're ready to go, check out our guide on how to navigate Tampa Bay Comic Con 2015.

    You can also see who the headliners are for the weekend-long event.


    [ CAMERON COTTRILL | Times ]
  12. Tampa Bay Comic Con lands three grande dames of geek


    What's better than one queen? Tampa Bay Comic Con is hedging bets on three.

    Organizers got lucky this year by landing Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia in Star Wars), Lea Thompson (Lorraine Baines in Back to the Future) and Linda Hamilton (Sarah Connor in The Terminator) as the top-billed celebrity guests for the three-day convention celebrating comics and all things geeky that kicks off Friday....

    Linda “Sarah Connor” Hamilton also will be in attendance.
  13. Tampa Bay Comic Con guest Lea Thompson talks her nerdiest roles


    Lea Thompson thinks her 54 years of life have earned her the right to be frank. The actor has starred in so many classic films (Red Dawn, All the Right Moves, Some Kind of Wonderful, Howard the Duck, The Little Rascals) that even the unpopular ones are a part of pop-culture history. � But Comic Con fans will surely remember her most iconic role, Lorraine Baines in the Back to the Future franchise. Her appearance Saturday at the 2015 Tampa Bay Comic Con will be her first visit to Tampa — even though she had family members who worked for the Tampa Ballet. � "I just never got down there when they were there," she said. � When she's not de-skunking her dog and reminiscing about that time she almost got the part of Shelby in Steel Magnolias, she's starring in ABC Family's Switched at Birth. � She'll be sharing her story at a TBCC panel at 4 p.m. Saturday. Thompson called to talk about her storied career, her feelings on "nerd chic" and the real injustice of the Oscars....

    Lea Thompson, 54, appreciates comic con fans, who are “really into celebrating having a good time.”
  14. The Bachelorette, Season 11, Episode 12: Oops, I Did It Again


    In the end, it all came down to pictures. 

    Nick went small. He bought a silver frame, you know, the kind that holds two pictures facing one another. On the left, he put a production photo of his first one-on-one date with Kaitlyn and on the right he wrote a poem like the kind you get in a high school prom invitation. 

    Shawn B. gave Kaitlyn a jar full of selfies they’d taken at every stage in their ridiculous journey, each one a bit crinkled from being pushed down through the circular opening of their “memory jar.”...

    Kaitlyn Bristowe and Shawn Booth celebrate their engagement by tap dancing on Nick's heart.
  15. Recap: The Bachelorette, Season 11, Episode 11: On to the next one


    And now for the good news. We’re two weeks out from Bachelor in Paradise’s second season premiere!

    During the borefest Men Tell All episode of The Bachelorette Monday night, Chris Harrison revealed the full season two trailer and some of the cast. 

    We’d all known for weeks that #TeamBritt captain, Jonathan, had been cast in the most watchable incarnation of The Bachelor franchise since Bachelor Pad. Now, we’ve got an idea of who else will be hooking up with the castoffs this season. ...

    Jared, who will be the pushover on Bachelor in Paradise, in his natural state during Men Tell All.