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. Twice the tricks, twice the treats

    If you've waited until this weekend to get your Halloween costume together, you're already way behind this year.

    Dozens of Halloween events are scheduled for the weekend before Halloween, including two of Tampa's heaviest hitters, Ybor City's Guavaween and Helloween at Jackson's Bistro in Tampa.

    Though All Hallow's Eve falls on a Friday this year, promoters and party planners are making use of the weekend before to draw out the party through the end of the month. ...

    Move over Great Pumpkin, it’s time for Mama Guava.
  2. Suddenly everywhere, Mike Tyson brings his reinvented career to Tampa's Hard Rock


    Local fans waiting patiently for Monday's premiere of Adult Swim's new comedy-toon Mike Tyson Mysteries don't have to wait that long to get a dose of the man himself.

    The former heavyweight boxing champ will bring his one-man show Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth to the Hard Rock Cafe at Tampa's Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino on Saturday night.

    Even Tyson admits he's made an incredible transition from athlete/face-mangler to actor and cartoon star. We talked to him about the new cartoon, the ever-elusive Norm MacDonald and how young athletes can learn from his story....

    Getty Images
  3. From Legoland to Tampa's Brickworld, master builders give life to Legos

    In a brightly colored room, four pairs of white earbuds crank out tunes as four pairs of hands silently assemble the stuff of children's dreams.

    It isn't Santa's workshop. The Legoland Florida Master Model Builder Shop doesn't make things for kids to play with — or destroy, as they are wont to do. Rather, the four master model builders create sculptures — art, really — out of the tiny toy bricks that are available to anyone old enough not to eat them. They create possibilities for the imaginative, a job they take very seriously. ...

    One of the dozens of LEGO spiders built as part of Halloween decorations at the Winter Haven park.
  4. Review: Funk Fest Tampa brings a sharp Jill Scott (but no Bobby Brown) to Raymond James Stadium


    “Those off you that have true love, I hope you make that good love tonight,” Jill Scott laughed as she wound up her 90-minute set at Funk Fest Tampa just outside Raymond James Stadium Saturday night.

    “Think of me once – maybe twice,” the Philadelphia soul singer encouraged the crowd of more than 10,000 as she prepared to sing her big hit, He Loves Me (Lyzel in E Flat)....

    Fantasia performs at Funk Fest Tampa 2014 at Raymond James Stadium on Oct. 18, 2014.
  5. For Tampa's Funk Fest, at RayJay on Saturday, is fifth time a charm?

    Music & Concerts

    April passed, then May and June, and there was still no word about Variety Entertainment's Funk Fest Tampa Bay. It was unclear if the R&B and soul concert series, now in its 20th year nationally, would return for its fifth year in this market.

    "We got such an outpouring from people in the community," said Leo Bennett, a promoter and the CEO of Variety Entertainment. "They were asking us about when the show would be and it made us happy that we had such support."...

    Philadelphia soul singer Jill Scott will headline Funk Fest in Tampa on Saturday. Unlike previous years, Funk Fest will be a one-day event.
  6. Ty Dolla $ign pours it on for core faithful


    It didn’t matter to Ty Dolla $ign that St. Pete’s State Theatre was less than half full by the time he took to the stage at 11 p.m. Wednesday.

    The Los Angeles native was determined to reward the faithful with a gigantic dose of Wednesday turn up. In a 45-minute set that was one part surprising and two parts “of course,” Ty Dolla $ign played to the cheap seats -- bouncing around the stage, licking out his tongue and exuding the West Coast cool artists from the other side of the Mississippi River have in spades....

    Ty Dolla $ign seemed determined to reward the faithful at St. Pete's  State Theatre Wednesday.
  7. Oh, Oktoberfest: You had us at beer


    Wendy Carey was almost an hour late, but she was determined to make it to all 20 bars in the annual Ybor Oktoberfest Pub Crawl.

    "It's really just the kickoff for us," she explained as she power walked toward Tequila's restaurant and adjusted her drindl dress. She and a friend had attended the crawl last year, as well as the Tarpon Springs Oktoberfest. "We decided to dress up this year because it's a chance to wear costumes not on Halloween and be out and have a good time," said the teacher, 45, of Tampa. ...

    Ashley Wilson, Cydnie Pohl, and Tanya Wright, the top three finalists of the Dirndl Dress contest, during the 2014 Ybor City Oktoberfest Pub Crawl.
Luis Santana/tbt*
  8. From This Day: The aisle, not the plank, for Gasparilla krewe couple


    ST. PETE BEACH — Misty Myers turned to face the crowd of nearly 200 at the Alden Beach Resorts on the arm of her new husband, Franklin "F.M." Hendry, and found an archway of raised sabers lining the aisle.

    "The Rough Riders Krewe did it for us as a gift," said Misty, 47, an executive assistant from Tampa. "They had on their dress uniforms and they raised their sabers. It was really beautiful."...

    Misty Myers and F.M. Hendry met at a Shriners party after she joined the Krewe of Alegria to become more involved in the community.
  9. Exotic flavors shake up Tampa Bay margarita menus

    Bars & Spirits

    Tequila, the drink of champions, can be presented in many forms to get you to your desired state of inebriation. There's the shot — clean and to the point — or a variety of mixed concoctions to tamp down the acidity, but increase the quantity that crosses the lips.

    The most celebrated tequila cocktail is the simple margarita, a nighttime ninja that uses smooth, refreshing flavors to confuse a drinker into thinking more than two will do. Flavored margaritas are growing more inventive in the craft cocktail industry. Flavors previously relegated to middle-shelf vodka are making their way into the sweet margarita canon, and it is good. ...

    The Apple Pie margarita at Tequilas in Ybor City tastes like a McDonald’s apple pie, but don’t be fooled: It’s mostly tequila.
  10. Local designers will debut full collections at Tampa Bay Fashion Week


    Alexandra Lin

    44, Bradenton,

    Lin, who came to Florida with her husband and children after being a home-school teacher for USA Gymnastics, got into fashion after witnessing the joy she brought her daughter from making her junior prom dress.

    "My son plays tennis and so his friends are from around the world and they all said Mrs. Lin, you should do this," she recalls. ...

  11. In Tampa Bay's tattoo mecca, Ybor City, skin is always in


    Bloodline Tattoo

    Esben Lincoln Rey, 35, said it's been years since Tampa had a major, national tattoo convention and he worked with organizer Villain Arts to change that. "The other convention relocated to Bradenton but kept the Tampa name," Rey said. "We think there is market for it here." Rey, who has been tattooing for 17 years, opened Bloodline one year ago, in the location of the first tattoo shop in Ybor City. His partner is Aaron "Is" Michalowski, who will be tattooing at the convention and currently is featured on Season 5 of Spike TV's Ink Masters. Four artists take appointments and walk-ins and primarily focus on custom pieces. "It's awkward enough wearing the same shirt as someone else. Imagine being at the beach and someone has the same tattoo, which you can't take off," Rey said. 1411 E Seventh Ave. (813) 242-4666,

    Cliff Shepard of Old 7th Avenue Tattoo prepares his machine before starting on a client.
  12. The Bricks celebrating four years in Ybor City with huge street party, concert

    Bars & Spirits

    Big changes can happen over four years. Babies become Kindergartners. High schoolers become collegians. Collegians become taxpayers.

    For the Bricks and SPoT Ybor, businesses owned by the Skatepark of Tampa's Brian Schaefer, the past four years have been marked with growth but blessed with relatively little change.

    "I wouldn't say that there are any major differences from when we opened the doors in July 2010 until now," said the 43-year-old Tampan. "We've just become more a part of the community."...

    Johnny Ciani is operating partner at Bricks Ybor.
  13. Review: Drake defeats Lil Wayne, but both rappers shine at Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre


    “There’s a big difference between a hit and a classic,” Lil Wayne quipped just before DJ 4our 5ive dropped Go DJ, from his now-seminal album Tha Carter.

    The veteran rapper stepped back and let the crowd do the work Thursday night at Tampa’s MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheater, proving his point without spitting a single bar from the track....

    Drake performed at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre on Sept. 4, 2014.
  14. Local tattoo artist Aaron 'Is' Michalowski competing on Spike TV's 'Ink Masters'

    Aaron "Is" Michalowski does not aspire to tattoo world domination. He joined the Season 5 cast of Spike TV's reality competition Ink Master to advertise his skill and challenge himself — but even he admits his star has been on the rise since filming wrapped more than a month ago.

    "I am crazy busy right now, ever since the cast announcements were made, because old clients have been calling trying to get in before the show airs and things really get tight," said Michalowski, 37, of Holiday. ...

    Publicity photo
  15. St. Petersburg's Anime Fix a magnet for manga fans


    It had only been one week since Erika Strahle had made the journey from MacDill Air Force Base to Tampa Bay's only all-anime store, but she had to come back.

    "I'm so glad you held it for us," said Strahle, 22, who moved to Tampa from Seattle two months ago with her husband, David, an airman. "We just have to have it."

    Booby Koonce, owner of Anime Fix in St. Petersburg, pulled a box off the wall behind the counter and opened it to reveal a finely crafted music box with a 10 inch figure of The Baron, a cat-headed character wearing a white suite from the 1995 Studio Ghibli film Whisper of the Heart, written by Hayao Miziyaki. ...

    A wide selection of new and hard to find items for sale at Anime Fix in St. Petersburg. Owner Bobby Koonce talks about a vintage G.I. Joe toy. Photos by Luis Santana/tbt*