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Stephanie Hayes, Times Features Editor

Stephanie Hayes

Stephanie Hayes is the features editor for the Tampa Bay Times, directing features coverage and the Times' staff of critics. Previously, she was arts and entertainment editor, and before that, performing arts critic, covering plays, musicals, classical music, dance, comedy and more. She also blogs about fashion for the Times' style blog, Deal Divas. She 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. Take the Cross-Bay Ferry for free to these events in Tampa and St. Petersburg on Sunday


    “Are you driving, or am I?"

    You know the refrain. You and your partner swap it every time you head out on the weekend, to dinner, to a concert, to a parade. Someone has to bear the brunt of the steering wheel work.

    But what if you didn't?

    Our reporters Christopher Spata and Alexa Volland tried the Cross-Bay Ferry, the pilot program currently shuttling folks via water between St. Petersburg and Tampa. Much fuss was fussed when the ferry launched in November, but we wanted to test it away from the news conferences and fanfare. How much does it cost? How do you get around once you hit your destination? What is the time commitment? Is it fun, or a stuffy drag? Is it romantic? (Alexa would say yes — read on.)...

    The Cross-Bay Ferry in port on the Seddon Channel near the Tampa Convention Center. OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times
  2. Report: Amal and George Clooney are expecting twins (w/video)


    We're still awaiting any official word from the actual couple, but Julie Chen seems really sure of the news she announced today on The Talk. Chen said this morning that she could confirm (HOW? TELL US?) that George Clooney, actor, and Amal Clooney, human rights lawyer, are expecting twins. This would make these twins the second set of very famous celeb twins to be announced lately. You remember Beyonce? ...

    Amal and George Clooney in Venice, Italy for their wedding in 2014.
  3. Doughnuts, stuffed goats and more Valentine's Day gift ideas that aren't flowers


    We can all agree flowers are fun to receive on Valentine's Day. They're a feast for the eyes. They freshen up your stale cubicle. Someone has to parade them through the office in front of all your spiteful co-workers. What could be better?

    Well, a few things, maybe.

    This year, we're thinking outside the vase for the big, lovey-dovey day. We've got a giant list of date ideas that will hold up all year, from top-of-the-line fancy to a-few-bucks fun. We're talking everything from indoor skydiving to a multicourse meal with a rose in a bud vase....

    Valentine's Day gift ideas that are not flowers. This plush goat arrives in the mail from You Goat Mail. Photo via You Goat Mail.
  4. Entertainment is expensive! Here's how to get tickets cheaper


    It's a strange day when you're excited to score a "deal," and that "deal" is $78.

    That's what my ticket for Wicked at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts cost. A friend organized a group outing to the show, which opens Feb. 1, and was able to get a group rate at a discount. A discount! $78!

    Entertainment has gotten really expensive, everywhere, all the time, from concerts to live theater. Local professional theater can routinely reach $50 a seat. And I can't even talk about Hamilton. I have tickets to see it in New York City in July, a Christmas gift from my fiance, and we will be in debt forever. I know it will be worth it because I can't leave this green orb without seeing Hamilton, but, geez....

    Amanda Jane Cooper as Glinda and Emily Koch as Elphaba in Wicked. Courtesy of the Straz Center. (Times files)
  5. When you feel like eating an entire jar, this PEANUT BUTTER sweatshirt supports your cause


    Maybe because it's Monday, or maybe because the constant barrage of the news is making me want to lock myself in my house, close all the curtains and eat an entire jar of peanut butter with a spoon, I'm feeling the urge to purchase this PEANUT BUTTER sweatshirt from Rad. It is on sale for $31.90. You may also recognize said sweatshirt from the social media of one Kylie Jenner....

    Yep. What we all need.
  6. Column: 8 times you should actually have your phone taken away


    Oh, the phone. We use it for so much. For connection. For documentation. For catching up with old friends.

    For instance, we were thrilled when Tracy Morgan called us up to chat recently. It has been a long and tumultuous road for the Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock star since a 2014 traffic accident put him into a coma.

    He's doing much better now, as you'll read in Jay Cridlin's interview. But at Friday's Mahaffey Theater show in St. Petersburg, you won't be able to tweet live dispatches detailing Morgan's fresh glow. That's because you'll have to hand over your cellphone to an attendant, who will lock it in pouch designed by a company called Yondr. You'll keep your phone on you in the locked bag all night, but you won't be able to use it during the show....

    Yondr, a lockable pouch used at performances. Fans keep the pouch with them, but it is impossible for them to snap pictures, shoot videos or send text messages during the performance while the pouch is locked. (Yondr via The New York Times)
  7. Whoopi Goldberg is selling $139 ugly holiday sweaters


    Some years ago, I was asked to judge an ugly holiday sweater party at a night club, which is about as scientific as it sounds. Judging a bar full of people tipsy on lemon drops and all trying to be the most hideous one in the room is something most can only dream of. To outfit myself for the occasion, I stopped in a Bealls Outlet and found offending attire for something in the neighborhood of $15. Here we are....

    Whoopi Goldberg with the collection.
  8. Column: Pop culture and politics, a match made on stage


    Come. Sit down on the leather sofa. Close your eyes and I'll get the kettle on. Now, spill.

    How bad is your election fatigue?

    With the big day right around the corner, and with Florida as a major battleground, the Sunshine State's roster is packed with visits and events from candidates, national, state and local. Our politics writers at the Times are working overtime (not just an expression, they really are) to bring news of all the visits, speeches, protests and more leading up to Election Day....

  9. Column: Halloween plus MegaCon equals the perfect time to get 'Stranger'


    I was chatting with some folks recently — adults, I should specify. I asked if they dressed up for Halloween. Not really, they said, and asked the same.

    Kind of, yeah. There was my taco costume last year. And my Bill S. Preston, Esq., costume for Tampa Bay Comic Con. And I thought about my Lady Gaga and my Olympic rings (group costume) and my child beauty pageant contestant, and … well, yes, was the answer. Definitely, yes....

    Eleanor Zayas, 1, models her costume as Eleven from the Netflix show Stranger Things.
  10. Here's what everyone, including Michelle Obama, wore to the White House state dinner


    It's that time in the day on a Wednesday when you probably need to fantasize about a life other than yours. For instance, I just ate a microwave meal at my desk, I'm wearing a secondhand H&M jacket and my hair is too tight.

    Come with me, children, to Tuesday's White House state dinner for Prime Minister of Italy Matteo Renzi and his wife Agnese Landini. pictured above with President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. Indeed, this is the kind of event you attend in your head when you're staring off into the middle distance during the marketing meeting....

    The Obamas and their guests of honor Tuesday night.
  11. Column: Trumpkins, celeb divorce and other ideas for your pumpkin this year


    Carving a pumpkin in Florida is a tricky thing. If you do it too early, the gourds dissolve into a disgusting puddle on your front porch steps, eaten by bugs and inhabited by frogs. If you do it too late, you're rushing the process, pitting it against finding time to finalize your Voldemort wand made from polymer clay.

    This weekend is about the right window for Florida pumpkin success. When selecting your orange destiny, pumpkin experts say to look for one without any obvious rotting dimples. Food site the Kitchn suggests that those of us in warm climates put our pumpkins in the fridge every night to "rehydrate." That's one idea, but what would I do with all those Chinese leftovers?...

  12. CoverGirl hires a CoverBoy, 17-year-old internet star James Charles


    When I saw this photo, the first thing I thought was, "Ugh, those cheekbones. Jealous." It took a minute to comprehend that the newest face of CoverGirl was not a girl at all, but 17-year-old James Charles.

    The self-made beauty king has just landed a new job as a face for the CoverGirl brand, and deservedly so based on his portfolio. Please take a minute to get lost forever down the rabbit hole of his Instagram. And then, get no work done for the rest of the day with his YouTube account. Finally, read a Q&A with Charles in Cosmo, then pack up and go home for the day, hopefully still having a job. ...

    17-year-old YouTube guru James Charles, now a face for CoverGirl.
  13. Column: Can't see Amy Schumer? See another comic before they hit big


    Amy Schumer is in town this weekend.

    Maybe you heard of her? Between Inside Amy Schumer, Train Wreck, those Budweiser commercials with Seth Rogen and that elephantine three-headed beast called social media, you have. If you don't know Schumer, you've clearly been sequestered on a utopian compound somewhere, or trapped in a M. Night Shyamalan plot.

    In her book, The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo, Schumer recalls a visit to Tampa, how she hooked up with a guy and had a great time. But, she called Tampa "horrendous."...

    Amy Schumer in 2014 in Las Vegas. Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images for Variety
  14. MAC's Selena makeup line is out today, better start Dreaming of You


    Here's what a true friend does.

    A true friend goes to MAC the morning the line of makeup paying tribute to slain singer Selena comes out, gets three shades for herself, and picks up an extra "Dreaming of You" for you. That's what my pal Brittany did for me this morning, and I'm forever changed (see her handing it to me through the window of her car, ever so cooly.)...

    A worker from the Production Resource Group unrolls a large photo of the late singer Selena Quintanilla for the unveiling of the MAC Selena makeup collection, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016, at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas. Known simply as Selena, the Mexican-American queen of Tejano music was shot to death in March 1995 by a former employee.
  15. Slideshow: Tampa Bay Fashion Week melds national brands and local designers on one runway


    Another Tampa Bay Fashion Week is a wrap.

    The Deal Divas took in Friday night's show at International Plaza in Tampa, one of two runway shows organizers put on this year. The second was Saturday afternoon at IP (see the Tampa Bay Fashion Week Facebook page for some shots from that show)....

    Floridita Swimwear