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Stephanie Hayes, Times Arts and Entertainment Editor

Stephanie Hayes

Stephanie Hayes is the arts and entertainment editor for the Tampa Bay Times, directing features coverage and the Times' staff of critics. Previously, she was performing arts critic, covering plays, musicals, classical music, dance, comedy and more. She also blogs about fashion for the Times' style blog, Deal DivasShe started writing for the Times in 2003, covering everything from suburban politics to zoning to snack foods to Britney Spears. She wrote the Times' feature obituary column, Epilogue, and went on to work as a general assignment reporter, entertainment reporter and higher education reporter. She grew up near Cleveland and graduated from St. Petersburg College and the University of South Florida.

Phone: (727) 893-8716


Twitter: @StephHayes

Blog: Deal Divas

  1. I was wearing chokers when you were a gleam in your mother's eye, maybe even your mother's mother's eye, depending on how young your mother was


    Most people can recall a parental figure saying something along the lines of, "Bell bottoms are back in style? I should have never gotten rid of anything! I'd be cool again!" When you are young, this kind of remark is annoying at best, something that elders say while discussing how many miles they walked to school and which directions the hills went, and how many warm potatoes they carried in their pockets because back then you were grateful for what you had. ...

    Taylor Swift at the BMI Pop Awards in May, probably pointing to all the old ladies who said, "Back in my day, when we wore chokers..."
  2. Column: Drake is the musical equivalent of salad and breadsticks

    Music & Concerts

    When it comes to Category: Spirited Debates, the arts and entertainment side of the newsroom has it in spades. While talk of politics and crime typically circulate around the building, pop music/culture critic Jay Cridlin and I recently had this Spirited Debate:


    Jay has become kind of fed up with the Canadian megastar's people-pleasing sound, which he explores in this week's cover story. "From the permafrost far below, your friendly Canadian rap god appears to be idling atop his Olympus," the story goes, "pleasing all kinds of people but going nowhere in the process." Drake, he posited, can only live in the middle for so long....

    Scenes from Drake Night at The Bends, a Drake-themed dance party. Photo by Ileana Morales Valentine.
  3. Column: On deeply loving the Dixie Chicks for almost 20 years

    Music & Concerts

    The shortness was the thing.

    Natalie Maines' shortness, to be specific. As a short, blond teenager who was annoyed with everyone, I was intrigued by the short, blond woman who looked annoyed with everyone.

    She was the lead singer of a new country band called the Dixie Chicks. On the album cover, she walked with her tall, lithe bandmates, wearing all black, a devilish smirk on her face....

    The Dixie Chicks perform their opening song as the curtain rises above at the St. Pete Times Forum in 2003.  Times Photo by Carrie Pratt
  4. Column: School's back in, but the fun doesn't have to stop


    My primary memories from those long, lazy days of summer vacation involve waking up around noon and watching back-to-back episodes of The Price Is Right, Supermarket Sweep and Charles in Charge.

    However, occasionally the family would bust out and go somewhere thrilling, like a theme park. Add up everyone's "occasionally" and you have a Mouse House full of elbow-to-elbow fanatics, wearing out the finals days of freedom from academics....

    With kids back in school, Disney guests can look forward to more manageable crowds.
  5. That time 'Today' show hosts awkwardly rubbed down an Olympian live on air



    Remember that time on Monday when Olympic athlete Pita Taufatofua appeared on the Today show?

    Remember that time hosts Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager scrambled to lustily rub him down with coconut oil, but an uncomfortable Natalie Morales chose to simply oil herself?...

    Pita Nikolas Taufatofua carries the Tongan flag as delegation marches in the Parade of Nations, during the opening ceremony of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Aug. 5, 2016.
  6. What it's like to swim through 1.2 million balls at the Beach Tampa (w/video)


    TAMPA — Swimming in the balls at the Beach Tampa is a core strength workout, a relaxation massage and an opportunity to not take yourself seriously.

    The interactive art project opened for a three-week installation Friday at Amalie Arena. Reporters and select guests were invited to a preview two hours before it opened to the public.

    The pit of 1.2 million white balls designed to look like water is the brainchild of New York design firm Snarkitecture. The balls, which Snarkitecture partners say are antimicrobial to fight germs, gradually slide off a "sandy" platform, beckoning you to get in. The whole thing is surrounded by mirrors, which makes everything appear endless....

    Christian Cleary, 7 (R) and his sister Carina Cleary, 5 jump into the massive ball pit at Amalie Arena. The Beach Tampa opens today until Aug. 25. 1.2 million anti-microbial balls have been set free inside the Amalie Arena. The free interactive exhibit is paid for by the Vinik Family Foundation. [Friday, August 5, 2016] [Photo Luis Santana | Times]
  7. Column: Cosplayers deserve diversity, too


    So, you don't want to dress like Harley Quinn?

    Crazy, I know. San Diego Comic Con, the big daddy that kicked off the nation's convention season in July, was a good indicator that DC's sexy, deranged jester will be the costume du jour at this weekend's Tampa Bay Comic Con. And why not? With Margot Robbie's turn as Harley in Suicide Squad, out Friday, the character is hot. She has a sense of humor, and a lot of style....

    Another take on Harley Quinn at San Diego's Comic-Con International.  (Getty Images)
  8. My Outfit Monday: Who am I and what do I stand for?


    As I've said before, I have a real tops deficiency.

    I try to buy dressy tops and I never buy dressy tops. For whatever reason, I always end up with dozens of dresses and jackets, and like, four long sleeved thermal tops I bought to wear to South Korea in winter once. It's a real problem.

    So, it was kind of a rock bottom move when I happened upon three tops I sort of-kind of liked at Dillard's recently. They weren't the best prices. In fact, I thought they were on a bigger sale than they were, until I got to the register and realized I read the sign wrong. And furthermore, one had -- gasp -- cap sleeves....

    No better place than the Indian lunch buffet to explore arm related fabric cut issues.
  9. Can we all agree it's time to bring back parasols?


    I had an overwhelming feeling wash over me on the way into work the other afternoon.

    "I might not make it."

    It was so oppressively hot that I felt as if I might, just, you know, stop moving. Not die, exactly, but just sit down and cease to go forward. What was anyone supposed to do with this heat, I mean, honestly, other than invest in a portable cooling robot?...

    The folks at this 1981 luncheon and fashion show at the Pinellas County Unit of the American Cancer Society knew what was up.
  10. Penny Vinik dreams up an Amalie Arena full of 'Beach' balls

    Human Interest

    It was a summer day in Washington, D.C., and Penny Vinik had time to kill before meeting her son.

    For most, the answer would be coffee and smartphone. But Penny headed to the National Building Museum, to an interactive exhibit called the Beach.

    The line was two hours long. She didn't have two hours, but felt an urgent pull to see it. She bought a membership and got in faster.

    Inside, she saw a sea of plastic balls, scaffolding, beach chairs, umbrellas, all white as cumulus clouds on a clear, 70-degree day. Against the starkness, she saw grandmothers, teenagers, babies. Colors seemed to explode....

    People enjoy the Beach at the National Building Museum last August. The interactive architectural installation made an “ocean” of about 1 million recyclable translucent plastic balls.
  11. Column: If Pitbull ever disappears, some backup Florida icons


    Maybe we'll never have Sweet Home Alabama or The Devil Went Down to Georgia. We can definitely let go of the dream of staking claim to a standard like New York, New York.

    But when it comes to associating songs with our state, Florida is no slouch. This weekend brings Pitbull, a.k.a. Mr. 305, a.k.a. Mr. Worldwide, in concert at Amalie Arena. As pop music/culture critic Jay Cridlin explores in this issue, Visit Florida (and in part you, taxpayers) is paying Pitbull to act as a tourism ambassador. Who can blame them? Mr. Bull has at least one song that proclaims, "Sexy beaches! Hotels!"...

    With his army of Parrotheads, Jimmy Buffett is an obvious one.
  12. Here's what Ivanka Trump wore at the Republican National Convention Thursday


    Wondering what Ivanka Trump wore on stage at the closing night of the Republican National Convention to introduce her father, Donald Trump? She (or her people) made it very easy to find out.

    On Twitter Friday, @IvankaTrump posted a link to her look, a pale pink sheath, a color choice that was likely no coincidence given that every pundit and commentator believes she may help soften her father's image....

    Ivanka Trump waves to the crowd as she walks on stage to deliver a speech during the evening session on the fourth day of the Republican National Convention on July 21, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.
  13. 43rd Annual St. Petersburg Sunrise Sale kicks off Thursday


    Last year, the Deal Divas did this really weird thing in which we got out of bed in the middle of the night, put on FRESH pajamas and then headed to the Sunrise Sale in and around downtown St. Petersburg. It was ridiculous, made no sense and was tons of fun. Michelle stood in line for eternity to get BOGO olive oil, and Lisa feel deeply in love with a lamp (they're still going strong). Please relive all of the exploits from last year RIGHT HERE. And RIGHT HERE ALSO...

    Decked out in her pajamas and slippers, Cora Kostka reads over the sales in while having breakfast on Beach Drive during the 42nd Annual Sunrise Sale in downtown St. Petersburg in 2015. This was Kostka's second year to participate in the morning event. "I love this," Kostka said. "That's why I'm back." Shops opened at 6:43am with over 55 businesses participating Shoppers were encouraged to wear their PJs for extra savings.
  14. Column: Some ideas for getting away in Tampa Bay


    With Florida feeling like a permanent steam bath, everyone is getting out of town for a summer escape.

    Our features staff needs vacation, too. Events editor Sharon Kennedy Wynne just got back from an Italian dream trip. Food editor Michelle Stark went to New York City to see Hamilton on Broadway before Lin-Manuel Miranda left the cast, which you can read all about in Latitudes on Sunday. Entertainment news editor Caitlin E. O'Conner, a familiar face in this column space, traveled to Niagara Falls and the Finger Lakes, where her boyfriend proposed. Congratulate the happy couple!...

    Cool off at the Dal? Museum.
  15. Love is Dead: Diane Kruger/Joshua Jackson, Lady Gaga/Taylor Kinney edition


    I was driving into work listening to Slate's Dear Prudence podcast, one of my faves on steady rotation, and host Mallory Ortberg said something that really stuck with me. She said, in essence, if Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn ever break up, we will all pretty much rise up from our earthly vessels, because that means the kind of adult, mature love that allows two people to live unmarried yet happily is officially Not A Thing. I'm putting words in her mouth. She said, "If they ever split up, I think everyone's gonna lose it." It's true. They've been together since 1983, which is exactly how long I've been alive. It is also how long you have to be with someone to willingly accept the absurd facial hair he grew to be in a Quentin Tarantino movie. I picture her rolling her eyes and issuing a playful embargo on smooches until after the premiere. Oh, Goldie! Oh Kurt!...

    Love is dead for Taylor Kinney and Lady Gaga.