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News for the week of 26-Feb-2007

by Carol Banks Weber

While schmoozing fan regulars, such as GH board poster Cottie, Greg Vaughan (Lucky) speculated on what he knew of ongoing story and spilled a little backstage dish in a February 17th East Coast appearance. Vaughan felt sure Elizabeth’s baby belonged to Jason biologically, but as to the gender, a lot of them suspect it’ll be a girl. Filming the harrowing hostage crisis wasn’t all serious, Vaughan relayed. When it came time for Tony Geary (Luke) to do a few action-adventure stunts, like jumping out of a window, the veteran actor joked for a stuntman, citing his own age as an issue, described Vaughan—who offered to help Geary in and out of said window. Steve Burton (Jason) is usually the one from GH to mock-mimic others in his cast at these personal appearances. But this time, Vaughan did a little Jason, revealing that he and Ignacio Serricchio (ex-Diego) used to perform comedy sketches mock-mimicking Jason and Sonny—complete with the leather jacket and jeans, and the chin rubbing.

Natalia Livingston (Emily) also turned in a personal appearance, in NYC over that same weekend, and she was a veritable treasure trove of scoops. Blessedly, she avoided the frequently-mentioned anecdote about Maurice Benard (Sonny) and Steve Burton (Jason) tricking her with the talking gorilla head. She did mention, with a twinkle in her eye, that whenever Burton the prankster would try to use her as the butt of his jokes, she’d just whip out an unflattering photo of him from back in the day as her last defense. Other items of interest: she was bummed that Benard never made it onto the pre-nom Emmy list, that Stuart Damon (Alan) would soon be cut from the cast, and that we’d seen the last of psycho nanny Colleen. Livingston and Tyler Christopher (Nikolas) savor their NEm reunion, but Christopher’s lobbying TPTB to do the reunion up right, after all they’ve been through as characters. Before, during love scenes with Christopher, Livingston would smear excess lipgloss on him something awful. Now, and especially following fan feedback, she herself makes sure to put on the makeup sparingly, keeping that in mind. In scenes with Spencer, Livingston revealed that the babies can’t stand her, they cry every time she’s trying to hold them. They’re not too thrilled with co-star Christopher either, she added. While out and about at the GH studios—filmed on the same lot as ABC primetime hit Grey’s Anatomy—Livingston had a chance to meet the primetime star Patrick Dempsey whom she harbored a crush on as a teen. She was so overwhelmed with meeting him she couldn’t speak.

Playing out the beats of the hostage crisis and its aftermath leveled the playing field between Jax and Sonny for Carly’s Laura Wright. Had you asked her just prior to the hostage crisis which man fit with her character better, she’d have answered, Jax, in a heartbeat. Not anymore, not after Sonny (and by extension, portrayer Maurice Benard) laid his heart on the line for Carly. “…I finally get the unhealthy addiction Carly feels for Sonny. She doesn’t know how to say no to him.” –Canadian TV Guide, “General Hospital's Wright stuff” by Nelson Branco, February 15, 2007

Some fans were under the mistaken assumption the 34th annual Daytime Emmy nominees would be known by last week. Try March 14. The odds-on favorite to take the “Outstanding Lead Actor” and “Supporting Actress” categories are none other than GH’s own Luke and Laura, Tony Geary and Genie Francis. (I’m secretly pulling for OLTL’s Trevor St. John/Todd over Geary myself.)

The reviews keep coming in, in favor of Tyler Christopher (Nikolas) and his 68 Cent Crew’s 2007 adaptation of the 1979 play, Bent. LA Weekly’s Neal Weaver favorably compared the current version under Crystal K. Craft’s “interesting female perspective” to Martin Sherman’s unflinchingly controversial 1979 original in the February 20th “Weekend Theater Reviews.” Craft lessens the all-gay theme (Max’s live-in goes from lover to platonic, sibling-like pal) and nudity of the first to focus on the poignant love/hate relationship of leads Max (played by Christopher) and Horst in a concentration camp. Reviewer Weaver raises up Christopher’s “rich nuance” of a performance, as well as those of the rest of the cast. Bent continues playing at Theatre 68 on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, CA. Call (323) 960-7827 for more info.

Forget PC. The summer GH spinoff on SoapNet will look more like Grey’s Anatomy, with the younger GH characters dealing with hospital and medical issues, promised ABC Daytime president Brian Scott Frons. Frons said GH head writer Bob Guza and executive producer Jill Farren Phelps were pitched the idea of the GH: Night Shift spinoff six months back. And, even though most of the cast will be younger, Frons didn’t rule out special mob appearances.

Touched by a Star, a March 24th gala benefit for the Desi Geestman Foundation (helping children stricken with cancer), will bring together GH, OLTL and Y&R stars…and maybe you among them (it’s $150 to attend). The stars on tap so far: Ted King (Lorenzo), Rick Hearst (Ric), Bradford Anderson (Spinelli), Ignacio Serricchio (ex-Diego), Derk Cheetwood (Max), Adrian Alvarado (Cruz), Cynthia Preston (ex-Faith), OLTL’s Renee Elise Goldsberry (Evangeline), Melissa Archer (Natalie), Ilene Kristen (Roxy), Forbes March (Nash) and former GH star Adrianne Leon (ex-Brook Lynn), now on Y&R as Colleen. There will be a 6 p.m. reception, 7 p.m. dinner where you can hobnob with the soap stars, an auction, program and dancing. The gala will be at Sterling Heights, MI’s Villa Penna on 43935 Hayes Road.

A December 2006, National Geographic feature, “The Heroes The Healing Military Medicine From The Front Lines To The Home Front” by Neil Shea, helped breathe inspirational life into Lorenzo’s current Traumatic Brain Injury story unfolding at GH. An excerpt from Shea’s feature on what it’s like for soldiers dealing with severe injuries while fighting in Iraq is gripping, informative and painful to read:

>> Head injuries are divided into two categories, penetrating and closed. Bullets, shrapnel, rocks—anything that pierces the skull can wipe out brain matter or, by odd turns of physics, do little damage. Closed head injuries result from the force of a blast or a blow in which the skull remains intact but the brain, surrounded by fluid like an egg yolk, gets wrenched or slammed against the skull wall. Such sudden motion can squash brain cells and uproot axons, the rapid-fire, telephone wire-like tubes that connect brain cells. This effectively wrecks neural circuitry. Concussive forces may also rupture blood vessels in or around the brain, producing hematomas, or blood clots, that press on brain matter and, in some cases, kill it. >>

To add to the authenticity of having survived a second brain operation, Lorenzo’s Ted King sought to go bald. He and TPTB arrived at a compromise, a very short buzz cut. King is committed to the authenticity of every scene he’s in as Lorenzo, from his appearance and his recovery, to the very position he’s found in on the hospital bed.

Look for King at his own, premiere fan event July 13 in the midst of GH Fan Club Weekend.

The use of very young children in soap roles matters a great deal to real-life mom to two children, Rebecca Herbst (Elizabeth). Her main concern about the casting is the real-life connection between these babies and toddlers really, and their mommies on the set. It’s not a good idea to continue separating them from their parents for too long, even if only for a short while by soap standards, Herbst said. At some point soon, the children playing Spencer balk, “and then they start to catch on that I represent someone who’s going to take him away from his mom [laughs]. Any child under the age of 2 has that separation anxiety,” she explained. “I’m a mom and I can’t handle that and it’s so unfair to the child, so that’s why we’re constantly getting new babies to play the same roles.” For the next and current Cameron, Herbst suggested Braden Walkes, the son of one of her girlfriends (and a neighbor) whom she’s known since his birth. Walkes was turning 3 upon hire, but could still pull off younger, Herbst said, and had the added benefit of resembling Chad Brannon’s Zander. –Soap Opera Digest, February 27, 2007

When it comes to her coif, Laura Wright (Carly) leaves it to the experts. She also tends toward the natural, the naturally curly, with plenty of help from Infusium 23, as opposed to subjecting her locks to hard blow drying.

One of these days – get off your ass, dude – Steve Burton (Jason) will seek Y&R’s Peter Bergman (Jack) out in gratitude for his soap-life-long support. It’s not always easy putting out outstanding work in this near-daily genre, Burton said, so support from such a high-caliber actor as Bergman means a lot.

Who’s Amelia? Good question. So far, she’s played by actress Annie Wersching, she will show up next week, and will be of some importance to Sam, Carly and Jax.

Jason Gerhardt (Cooper) looks to be around for a lot longer than short-term, since he signed a contract.

TPTB would like Sebastian Roche (Mr. James Craig) very much to remain on the canvas in a more meaningful capacity.

Gossip for the week of 26-Feb-2007

by Carol Banks Weber

Annie Wersching’s Amelia could be Sam’s or Carly’s long-lost sister, and/or a foil to Carly and Jax. Or just another young newbie for the SoapNet summer spinoff. (See more below.)

Bradford Anderson’s a hit as Spinelli. He’s been given a chance to work on GH on contract only…word is he may take a pass.

Best line of the day post-hostage. Spinelli being dragged out of the Metro Court without Lulu: “This mission is soooo not accomplished!” Bradford Anderson, please sign a contract! When that kid sobs, it’s like my little brother.

At Greg Vaughan’s (Lucky) East Coast appearance (was it in PA like with Natalia Livingston/Emily?), attending fan Cottie passed on to LiveOne that the actor made claims that the new GH summer spinoff, Night Shift, will feature a bunch of newbies (Mr. Craig—a Brenda relation, Logan—from Noah and Patrick’s family tree), with special appearances by the actual younger GH cast.

Ted King (Lorenzo) also held court in a personal appearance the other weekend, talking story and character. Thirdhand, he vouched for Lorenzo not faking the amnesia and for the amnesia to be but a part of a huge recovery process, Lorenzo leaves Skye in charge of his business, the CIA angle may be explored further, but this one’s not a sure thing.

Here what may or may not happen in the next month or two, based on Soap Dish informants: Maxie and Nikolas give Lucky a heads-up on Elizabeth’s infidelity with Jason, causing her pregnancy—moments before the I dos; Lucky pulls the plug on his wedding with Elizabeth when she fairly chokes on her vows; Jason evades Sam instead of being forced to break her heart about his and Elizabeth’s baby coming; Lucky breaks Sam’s heart about the Liason baby for Jason; Alan’s death will be more about how it affects Jason and Carly than the rest of the surviving Quartermaines; stay tuned for more angst as Carly dabbles between Jax and Sonny; Jax uncovers Ric’s illegal, immoral machinations, and sings like a canary to help Alexis’s custody; Alexis will lose custody of Molly to Ric; Ric dangles shared custody provided Alexis take him back; Alexis will find love again, but not this spring and not with Ric; Robin and Patrick go on a two-month vacation from the TV screen; Kelly Monaco (Sam) didn’t make Alan’s memorial service because she was off at the Superbowl; and a “Mrs. Monahan comes to town because she feels Sam's alter ego Angela Monroe owes her.”

Maurice Benard (Sonny) missed his name on the “Outstanding Lead Actor” Emmy pre-nom list, and the omission hurt. His past year consisted mostly of acting out a dream storyline, bringing his real-life manic-depression to the foreground. He isn’t hurt so much about an Emmy but about the story not receiving its due. A lot of his fellow actors feel Benard’s pain.

As only Savoring Soaps Blogger Marlena De Lacroix can, she summed up GH’s February Sweeps hostage story with this: “Of course, there are disgruntled GH viewers like me who will complain about various aspects of story, but watched the whole darn thing anyway.” In her February 23rd entry, “The GH Hostage Crisis is Over!,” De Lacroix went over the good and the bad of a Sweeps saga that nevertheless kept 99.9 percent of us captivated. Just as she felt gooey inside over the love stories and the lovey-dovey reunions of Scrubs, Emily’s doting on Alan, Spinelli turning it up for Lulu, but turned off by Luke channeling the anti-pig sentiment of the 60s, the continued glorification of Jason and Sonny as heroes, and the lackluster revelation of Elizabeth’s baby drama to Jason in the elevator (“Steve Burton played the Big Scene with all the emotion of a burnt breadstick ), and featuring walking centerfold Sam as a hero (gag me with a vibrator)… ditto from the rest of us hostage fans.

My favorite post-traumatic scene had to be when Spinelli, Dillon and Milo converged at General Hospital to argue over Lulu in front of Tracy and Luke. The look on their faces as Spinelli threw around his unique, slacker euphemisms (“almost incestuous one,” “Father of the Blonde One”) was priceless.

General Hospital News & Gossip, Copyright © 2014 Carol Banks Weber. Published by SoapZone.com / Jeff Jungblut. No part of this page may be reproduced or transmitted in any form, by any means (electronic, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the publisher. Opinions expressed on this page are those of the author and may not be representative of SoapZone.com or its advertisers. Don't steal scoops.