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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. You're wearing what? The weirdest looks from last year's Sunset Music Festival


    This weekend's Sunset Music Festival celebrates EDM music, an artform that notoriously brings out the brightest, weirdest (and sometimes scariest) looks anywhere, ever. Flip through samples of styles our photographer Luis Santana spotted at last year's events.

    [Related: After last year's Sunset Music Festival storms, safety is a top concern]

    Preparing for a festival can be a team sport, too. These three ladies picked a seizure-inducing print to cover their naughty bits and then decided to let their thighs breathe. Furry boots have been a hallmark of EDM festival culture since back when they were called raves. We think the number of beaded bracelets denotes rank like generals' stars. Lisa Pena, Karen Quintana and Ana Dias must be the festival equivalent of sergeants.
  2. 'Journey to Space' blasts off Friday at MOSI's IMAX dome


    Watching a rocket take off in IMAX, as well as footage from moon landings and Mars rover landings, makes for an impressive panorama in Journey to Space, a new documentary opening Friday at Tampa's Museum of Science and Industry. It runs for the next year at MOSI.

    The film is short on running time at 45 minutes, and long on information.

    We're guided by none other than Star Trek's Capt. Jean Luc Picard, actor Patrick Stewart, who starts with man's desire to explore and how far that instinct has carried the species. ...

    Hey, it might not look so cool on newsprint but a rocket blasting off looks mighty impressive in IMAX in Journey to Space, a 45-minute documentary opening Friday at MOSI.
  3. 'The Bachelorette' recap: Season 11, Episode 2 — Kaitlyn's glory


    In the soul-sucking third hour of The Bachelorette's two night premiere, the producers got down to it immediately so we wouldn't flee from our couches.

    Chris Harrison and the spectre of doom met Britt Nilsson in the garden to break the news. "A majority of the men chose one woman," he teased before giving her the boot and ending this whole crazy experiment.

    Britt was who we thought she was. She cried prettily and talked of love as she was run off the premises by a crew that probably just wanted to sleep at that point. ...

    Kaitlyn and Brady share a passionless embrace.
  4. SpongeBob's Treat Truck to deliver freebies in Tampa on Thursday


    SpongeBob SquarePants will be a long way from his pineapple under the sea this week, and will be handing out freebies in Tampa on Thursday as a part of a joint promotion for World Oceans Day and a DVD release. Free cold treats and reusable tote bags are on the menu at SpongeBob's Treat Truck on Thursday 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Lowry Park Zoo, 1101 W Sligh Ave., and 1 to 4 p.m. at the Florida Aquarium, 701 Channelside Drive. Mr. Krab's best employee and Invincibubble — his superhero alter-ego from The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water — will be taking photos with fans. While the movie comes out on DVD June 2, the promotional tour also highlights World Oceans Day on June 8, a UN-recognized day of ocean celebration and action. World Oceans Day organizers are encouraging people to give up disposable plastic bags for one year because of the danger they pose to marine life, and SpongeBob will be handing out tote bags to support the effort. — Robbyn Mitchell, Times staff writer...

    SpongeBob SquarePants  superhero alter-ego Invincibubble poses for a selfie with a fan on Tuesday at Zoo Miami.
  5. The Illusionists bring shocking tricks to the Straz stage


    Two images come to mind when you say "magic show": Clowns pulling quarters out of Grandma's ear or David Copperfield making the Statue of Liberty vanish.

    The Illusionists, coming to the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts from Tuesday through May 31, want to show the world there's a ton of magic in between those extremes.

    Seven veteran entertainers from around the world are touring together, each bringing his own specialty to the mix. Show producers gave them each a name encapsulating their magic style: the Anti-Conjuror, the Inventor, the Futurist, the Escapologist, the Manipulator, the Trickster and the Warrior....

    Jeff Hobson, The Trickster, is one of the seven magicians coming to the Sraz Center with The Illusionist Tour from May 26-31. 

Photos Courtesy of Joan Marcus.

Illusionists, The: ? Witness the Impossible
Marquis Theatre

Seven illusionists enact mind-bending acts of magic and illusion; many have never been seen before. This critically acclaimed production is a mix of outrageous, jaw-dropping acts of grand illusion, levitation, mind-reading, disappearance and a full-view water escape. 

Cast List:
The Manipulator, Yu Ho-Jin
The Anti-Conjuror, Dan Sperry
The Trickster, Jeff Hobson
The Escapologist, Andrew Basso
The Inventor, Kevin James
The Warrior, Aaron Crow
The Futurist, Adam Trent

  6. 'The Bachelorette' recap: Season 11, Episode 1 — A hot mess parade


    "It's all fun and games until Chris Harrison shows up."

    Those sage words from Kaitlyn Bristowe perfectly sum up the two-hour travesty that ABC called The Bachelorette season premiere.

    Each time the host of TV's guiltiest pleasure showed up Monday night, he was bringing bad tidings.

    First, Harrison had an interminable lead-in to warn the audience about the "controversial" premise ABC had been pumping for weeks -- there would be two Bachelorettes until the 25 suitors voted and whittled it down to one....

    This one better stick around. The other won't be down for moonshine.
  7. Review: Ciara's Jackie Tour works Tampa's Ritz Ybor crowd into a sweat


    Sixteen days after releasing her new album Jackie, Ciara brought her tour to the Ritz Ybor Saturday night and serenaded her diehards.

    A little more than two weeks seems like a tight turnaround if you consider the music business by its old model: release singles, release records, perform at award shows, and then tour. But artists have been proving for the past five years that the old rules do not apply, so Ciara opted to do things differently this time too....

    Ciara performed at the Ritz Ybor in Tampa on May 16, 2015.
  8. 'Amazing Race' contestant from St. Petersburg comes up short

    The Feed

    ST. PETERSBURG — On a dozen flat-screen TVs on the Ferg's Sports Bar patio, an entire crowd wondered how it all would shake out Friday night.

    Sure, the Tampa Bay Rays were on the road against the Minnesota Twins, but at the bar, just walking distance from Tropicana Field, eyes were glued to CBS' The Amazing Race 26.

    They wanted to see whether St. Petersburg nurse Hayley Keel and Blair Townsend, a doctor from North Florida, came out winners in the final hour with $1 million....

    From left, Amazing Race contestants Kurt Belcher (in hat), Hayley Keel, Libby Simpson (whose face is covered), C.J. Harris and Bergen Olson catch a viewing party Friday in St. Petersburg.
  9. St. Pete 'Amazing Race' finalist to host finale watch party at Ferg's Friday


    A St. Petersburg resident is in the final four as CBS's The Amazing Race heads to the finish line Friday. A watch party at Ferg's Sports Bar will have finalist Hayley Keel on hand along with past contestants. Keel, 28, a pediatric emergency nurse at All Children's Hospital, was one of 10 contestants who met their partners on the first day of the race around the world for $1 million. They are among the four remaining teams that will race from Peru to Dallas for Friday's finale. She and her partner, Blair Townsend, a Navy doctor from Amelia Island, will be hosting the watch party. Other eliminated couples from around the country will be joining them: Bergen Olson and Kurt Jordan Belcher; C.J. Harris and Lebya Simpson; and Tampa's own Jeffrey Weldon, who also was paired up on a "blind date" for the race and was eliminated in the sixth episode. Also, expect appearances from past Amazing Race couples, said Eddie Peters, Ferg's event coordinator. The party starts at 7:30 p.m., and the finale will be shown at 8 p.m. on the Ferg's patio, 1320 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. — Robbyn Mitchell, Times staff writer...

    Hayley Keel, 28, of St. Petersburg, is a contestant on The Amazing Race. CBS.
  10. Downtown Disney to get new Indiana Jones themed restaurant this fall


    Han Solo isn't the only Harrison Ford character getting love from the House of Mouse. Downtown Disney has announced it will open an Indiana Jones-themed bar this fall.

    Called Jock Lindsey's Hangar Bar, it's named after Indy's longtime pilot and occasional tormentor (remember Reggie, Jock's pet boa constrictor?). The bar will be built to look like an airplane hangar and sit between Paradiso 37 and the newly opened Boathouse restaurant on the dining and shopping zone independent of the theme parks. ...

    Paramount Pictures
  11. Ciara talks motherhood, 'Jackie,' traveling to Florida and more


    In 2015, it just might be the summer of Ciara.

    The R&B singer dropped her Jackie album, joined the cast of NBC’s variety show I Can Do That, and embarked on a nationwide tour that hits the Ritz Ybor this Saturday. She’s got a lot on her plate, what with a 1-year-old son, Future, and a being escorted to the White House Correspondents’ Dinner by Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson....

  12. 70 minutes of Internet cat videos? It's happening at ARTPool Gallery



    You know that thing you do at your desk for hours every day when you should be working? ARTpool Gallery and the SPCA Tampa Bay are offering a less career-ending environment to indulge in the holy grail of loafing: Internet cat videos. There were 10,000 people at the first Internet Cat Video Festival in Minneapolis three years ago, and the show has been touring ever since. Seattle cat vid aficionado Will Braden, the festival's first Golden Kitty Award winner, created this year's 70-minute super cut of the Web's funniest and most creative cat videos. The screening starts at 9 p.m. Saturday at ARTPool, 2030 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. A $10 ticket gets you in and an animal-themed art and fashion show. Doors open at 8 p.m. Learn more at

  13. Disney on Ice's 'Frozen' costume designer brings kingdom to adoring fans


    Eighteen months after the world's children learned the icy tale of Arendelle, kids in the Tampa Bay area have the chance to seen Queen Elsa and Princess Anna in action. • Setting Frozen to ice skates was so obvious, Feld Entertainment started planning Disney on Ice presents Frozen before the movie even premiered, said Gregory Poplyk, an Emmy-nominated costume designer who helped bring the show to life. • "They brought me in to a screening in June (2013) and it was just such an amazing film," Poplyk said. "And it was so natural to make it an ice show." • It became the highest grossing animated movie ever, according to Forbes magazine, doubling down the pressure on Poplyk to do it justice. • "I've been designing costumes for almost 30 years from Broadway to the circus, but I'd never done an ice show before." • Now in its ninth month touring the country, Poplyk can share a bit of the magic that makes Frozen on ice the hot ticket for parents. Pro tip: You want your snowman to be a really good skater because falling down is a lot easier than getting up....

    From the outside, Queen Elsa is poised, regal and reserved, but in reality, she lives in fear as she wrestles with a powerful secret.
  14. Ciara talks new music, juggling projects and being 'a family woman'

    Music & Concerts

    In 2015, it just might be the summer of Ciara. The R&B singer dropped her Jackie album, joined the cast of NBC variety show I Can Do That and embarked on a nationwide tour that hits the Ritz Ybor this Saturday.

    She's got a lot on her plate what with all of that, 1-year-old son Future and being escorted to the White House Correspondents' Dinner by Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson. How does she do it all? If you let her album tell it, she's a One Woman Army. In between sound checks, Ciara talked to the Times about the show, mommyhood and her new music....

    Epic Records
  15. Friday is Bike to Work Day and there's an app for that


    Here's your excuse for blowing the dust off that bike in the garage this week: Friday is National Bike to Work Day. Safe bike routes have been mapped, tested and app-loaded into the My City Bikes app for Clearwater, St. Petersburg and Tampa (available in iTunes and Google Play stores) to help newbies not end up as chalk outlines. For information, visit The app also has local entry-level rides, tips for bike maintenance and beginner-friendly bike shop experts. The bike store Chainwheel Drive, with locations in Palm Harbor and Clearwater, suggests coordinating with friends or colleagues who live or work near you to bike to work together to keep each other accountable and provide the added benefit of safety and visibility in numbers. — Robbyn Mitchell, Times staff writer...

    Bicyclists ride on the sidewalk of Bayshore Boulevard in south Tampa.