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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. Tampa Pride returns with LGBT parade and street fest

    Human Interest

    TAMPA — The last time Tampa had its own gay pride festivities, organizers went for broke. Pat Benatar headlined a concert at Raymond James Stadium, and the costs were so high there wasn't even a parade.

    "There was a lot of debt incurred by that team," said Carrie West, president of the new Tampa Pride. "Financially, there were problems that caused them to not be able to go on the next year."...

    St. Petersburg’s annual Pride parade, shown June 28, is the biggest in Florida. Tampa hopes that its parade and festival, Saturday in Ybor City, will grow to be a premier event. 
  2. Always outspoken, Michelle Visage brings 'RuPaul's Drag Race' spectacle to Tampa


    It ain't easy being mean.

    RuPaul's Drag Race judge Michelle Visage dishes her advice to contestants competing on Logo TV to be the next drag superstar with a healthy dose of sarcasm, drawing the ire of fans of queens throughout the blogosphere.

    "They want me to be bitchy — which I'm not," laughed Visage, 46, of Los Angeles. "I'm snarky, for sure. They love me until I say something about the queen they love and then they're ready to kill me." ...

    Michelle Visage brings the snark as a judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race.
  3. For mud runners, getting dirty is no obstacle for fun, grueling challenge


    Leslie Brosig hates running. Still, she sat on the grass lot outside Raymond James Stadium, lacing her shoes, preparing to take off in the seventh wave of what would be her eighth mud race.

    "I'm into the gym and fitness, so I like the obstacles and pushing over them," said Brosig, 36, a nursing student from St. Petersburg. "Except the stairs. Those killed me last time."

    Brosig got into mud races, commonly known as OCRs (obstacle course races), through friends, and stuck with them even when her friends stopped wanting to go. ...

    It’s not all mud and games at the Spartan Race. At last month’s race at Raymond James Stadium, competitors had to sprint across flaming logs to reach the finish line.
  4. From This Day: Patricia Cvejkus and Joshua Candamo


    TAMPA — The big box wrapped in Christmas paper didn't impress Patricia "Trish" Cvejkus as Joshua Candamo kept ribbing her to open the gift he'd bought her.

    "We were celebrating at his mother's house on Christmas Eve, and his 3-year-old niece was opening her gifts and showing each one to me," said Cvejkus, 33, a lawyer who lives in Carrollwood. "There was so much going on I just thought, 'Really? You want me to open this, now?' "...

    Patricia “Trish” Cvejkus, 33, and Joshua Candamo, 37, were married at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Tampa on Jan. 24.
  5. Review: Lil Wayne flies through Tampa's Club Skye for quick late-night performance


    ‚ÄčEvery person in Club Skye Thursday night could wring out their clothes and catch a contact high by the time Lil Wayne decided to start rapping.

    The rapper, in town for his annual trip the Tampa Pro competition at the Skatepark of Tampa, deigned to bless the audience with two songs from his mixtape Sorry 4 The Wait 2, and two feature verses from Nicki Minaj singles.

    Tickets said doors would open at 9 p.m., so the line started forming early outside the Ybor City haunt. When bouncers began taking tickets just before 11 p.m., the waiting game had already gotten into full swing....

    Lil Wayne breezed through Club Skye in Ybor City for a brief late-night performance on March 19, 2015.
  6. Canvas apron artisan Brtch Mfg outfitting Tampa Bay's hippest restaurants


    Charles Britch reaches down to touch a roll of black canvas to demonstrate that it's softer than it looks.

    "I like to use things that are machine-washable, so if I add leather, sometimes I'll make it detachable," said the 24-year-old owner of Brtch Mfg, the supplier of aprons at most of Tampa's hippest eateries.

    He knows the importance of a good apron. Britch works part time at the Bricks of Ybor and his wife spent years at Tampa's Buddy Brew Coffee. ...

    Charles Britch makes a custom barista apron under his label Brtch Mfg at his workshop.
  7. Beer, comedy converge during Tampa Bay Beer Week at New World Brewery in Ybor City


    J.B. Ball slayed after 20 minutes of hard-won laughs by other comedian at Wednesday's Beer Soaked Comedy Show at New World Brewery.

    Sponsored by Bell's Brewery and Anchor Brewing, four comedians took the New World Stage for free in support of Tampa Bay Beer Week.

    The $5 chicken plates -- which included garlic toast, a barbecued thigh and leg and baked beans -- were gone by 9 p.m. The breweries raffled off swag gift baskets to customer swho bought their featured beers that night....

    Comics Law Smith, left, and J.B. Ball hang out after the Beer Soaked Comedy Show at New World Brewery on March 11, 2015.
  8. Tampa Bay brewers sweep the Best of Show awards at Brewer's Ball

    TAMPA — Tyler Singletary hoisted the glass trophy high as shutters snapped and brewers and beer fans applauded in Cotanchobee Fort Brooke Park downtown Sunday afternoon.

    Singletary, lead brewer for Southern Brewing & Wine Making in Seminole Heights, was one of several people who went to the front of the crowd to accept the 2015 Best Florida Beer Championships' Beer Best of Show Award for the brewery's Berliner-style Weiss, Prickly Pear Raised Bungalow....

    The Best Florida Beer Brewer’s Ball featured 90 beers. More than 437 kegs were entered by 67 breweries from around the state.
  9. Review: T.I., Meek Mill, Flo Rida pack 15,000 Wild Splash fans into Clearwater's Coachman Park


    Packing 15,000 people people safely into Clearwater’s Coachman Park isn’t any easy task, but Wild 94.1 has 15 years of experience.

    The sellout crowd at Wild Splash 2015 came decked out in their Spring Break best, ready to jam to an impressive hip hop lineup and let loose the debauchery they’ve been holding inside all semester. As the drinks flowed, so did the steady stream of people needing medical attention for dangerous intoxication....

    Flo Rida performed at Wild 94.1's Wild Splash 2015 at Coachman Park in Clearwater on March 7, 2015.
  10. Review: At Spring Jam, Keith Sweat, Ginuwine, more stir the passions of '90s R&B lovers at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa


    Spring Jam went off with only one hitch Friday night. A circuit breaker at the USF Sun Dome tripped just as Dru Hill was about to take the stage, causing the speakers to go silent and the crowd to get restless. After someone got things turned back on, the parade of well-heeled R&B stars continued to titillate and entertain a near-packed house.

    The night’s headliner, Keith Sweat, transported the crowd to his Sweat Hotel via a stage set that included a bar stocked with Hennessy, a leather couch and coffee table filled with roses and a comfy living room chair in front of his full live band. With that stage set, the 53-year-old New York native and radio host made himself comfortable with the fine people of the Tampa Bay area. He ran through the hits, Right and a Wrong Way, Something Just Ain’t Right, Don’t Stop Your Love and Get Up On It....

    R&B singer Ginuwine performs during the Spring Jam concert at the Sun Dome in Tampa on Friday, March 6, 2015.
  11. From This Day: Brandon Golden and Christina Chin


    CLEARWATER — It was only their third date, but Brandon Golden wanted to make it special. He whipped out his rarely used cookware and invited Christina Chin to his home for a romantic Valentine's night 2012 meal of chicken fettuccine.

    "It was terrible," said Christina, 25, a product marketing manager for Greenway Health. "I really tried to eat it, but it was so bad."

    Brandon admits he's an awful cook. "I overcooked the noodles and dried out the chicken," said the 29-year-old, who works in sales for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. ...

    Christina Chin, 25, and Brandon Golden, 29, of Clearwater were married in Sugarland, Texas, on Jan. 25.
  12. Designer Elizabeth Carson Racker wants to bring New York style to Tampa


    The main room isn't particularly large. From the front door, clients can see a wall-sized chalkboard calendar behind a desk facing three red chairs; this serves as the client consultation area. To the right are clothing racks and a fitting room neatly upholstered to mirror Rodeo Drive boutiques.

    It's all brightly decorated and inviting. Throw pillows and immaculately styled mannequins give all who enter a sense of place — even if a strip office park on N Florida Avenue between Fletcher and Bearss avenues is the last place one would look for a couture fashion house. ...

    Elizabeth Carson Racker is a local designer and star who is making her way up the fashion ranks toward her goal of taking New York and the world by storm. She most recently closed the 2014 Tampa Bay Fashion Week show. Photos courtesy of Elizabeth Carson Racker
  13. Three from Tampa Bay on 'Survivor,' 'Amazing Race' Wednesday night

    The Feed

    Finding someone to root for on CBS's most popular reality competitions won't be hard for Floridians come Wednesday night.

    Two castmates on the newest season of The Amazing Race and one from Survivor all call Tampa Bay home. Each auditioned separately, and none knew each other prior to filming — a remarkable coincidence, even for a market that has produced as many reality TV stars as Tampa....

    Jeffrey Weldon
  14. For Tampa designer, what's old is in, new and vibrant


    Marisol Perez hustles through the coffee shop parking lot, hiding under a Marsala-colored umbrella lined with peach-hued fabric roses.

    As she closes it, the meticulously placed buds become a fresh spring bouquet with a curved, brown wooden handle protruding from the center.

    "I made this myself," she notes as she shakes the rain off. "I'm very into the Victorian style."

    Perez, 40, of Town 'N Country, had to leave the dresses she created for her fashion line, Solimar Collection, in her car. There's no telling what sort of damage the deluge would have done to a flamenco dress made entirely of newspapers or a skirt and top crafted from duct tape and tiny squares of Vogue, Cosmopolitan and Allure magazines. ...

    Luis Santana  |   Times (2/7/2015 Tampa, FL)    Fashion designer  Marisol Perez poses for a photo at Cypress Point Park in Tampa. [Photo Luis Santana | Times]
  15. Ringmaster of love Jerry Springer to lead Valentine's Day Knight Parade through Ybor City


    Nothing says love like a gut full of beer and a neck full of beads.

    That's why organizers of the Krewe of the Knights of Sant'Yago Knight Parade want couples to come out to the Valentine's Day event and renew their wedding vows while they're at it. Of course, since it's Ybor City and the end of Gasparilla parade season, the king of love on daytime TV, Jerry Springer, will lead the afternoon ceremony. ...

    Jerry Springer will be at the parade.