gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
What did you just finish reading?
Kathleen Gilles Seidel, Again (1994), which I wanted to read after seeing [personal profile] oracne's write-up. It's a romance novel dealing with the cast and crew of a daytime soap opera (and what's more, it's a soap opera set in the Regency era). I wasn't 100% on board with how the actual romance (between the soap's head writer and one of the actors) played out, but I enjoyed the book thoroughly. I read the bulk of it while traveling to and from Madison, and it was the world's most perfect airplane book (at least for soap fan me).

What are you currently reading?
ed. Sigrid Ellis and Michael D. Thomas, Queers Dig Time Lords. I'm pretty sure I went directly from the Wiscon panel discussion on the book to the dealers' room to buy a copy.

Lesley Wheeler, The Receptionist and Other Tales...and I bought this because Lesley Wheeler moderated the Wiscon panel on speculative poetry. The title poem is a speculative narrative poem in terza rima set in academia.

What will you read next?
I want to start Sofia Samatar's A Stranger in Olondria very soon!
gwynnega: (Default)
Kimberly McCullough, who is getting ready to leave General Hospital to pursue directing and writing (after working on the show since she was a child), has been posting a wonderful series of interviews with her GH cast mates and crew. Her interview with Jane Elliot made me cry.

gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
I keep forgetting to post about the wonderful 1974 version of King Lear I watched last weekend. With James Earl Jones as Lear, it's as terrific as one would expect, and Raul Julia gives a bravura and very sexy performance as Edmund. One reason I'd wanted to rent the DVD was because the show is packed full of actors I know primarily from soap operas, which shows how many classic soap actors came from the theater (back in the day when many soaps were shot in NYC). In the 1974 production, Douglass Watson (Another World) plays Kent, Tom Aldredge (Ryan's Hope, The Sopranos) is a marvelous Fool (though John Hurt is still my favorite Fool), and Rosalind Cash (who spent the final years of her life on General Hospital) and Ellen Holly (famous for her ground-breaking "passing" storyline on One Life To Live) are wonderful as Goneril and Regan.

One character in Lear I've never thought much about is Oswald (aside from the bit where he dies at the end of "I Am the Walrus"!), but Frederick Coffin's Oswald is hilarious and steals pretty much every scene he's in. I looked up the actor, and it turns out he too had a bit part on Ryan's Hope (as a police artist) in 1980. Naturally.

On a related note, today I learned that Brent Spiner had a bit role on Ryan's Hope in 1981--he plays a doctor who treats Kim for pneumonia. I just saw the ep, but I didn't notice it was him, drat it!
gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
I spent a lovely afternoon at the LA Times Festival of Books. I'd been feeling exhausted this morning (partly due to being out late last night at Carolyn's gig at Taix), but walking around UCLA (my alma mater) looking at zillions of books in the beautiful spring weather perked me up.

The festival was as crowded as ever. I didn't see many authors read--I caught the end of Pam Grier's talk, and the first half of Victoria Rowell's, at which point I went over to the poetry tent to see Annie Finch read, only to find she wasn't there and some other woman was reading Finch's work rather uninspiredly.

I managed to buy only two books: Books: a Memoir by Larry McMurtry (at the Vroman's booth) and the latest edition of A Cafe in Space: The Anais Nin Literary Journal (at the Nin booth--the first time there's been a Nin booth at the festival). At the LA Opera booth I got a free CD of Jack/Siobhan's theme music La Traviata!
gwynnega: (Mary Ryan)
Soap icon Beverlee McKinsey passed away a week ago. Best known for her work on Another World and Guiding Light, she'd had her start (like many soap actors used to) in the theater, starring with Ute Hagen in the original London production of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (among other productions). Playwright Harding Lemay brought McKinsey onto Another World when he was head writer for the show. Many have called her the greatest soap actor ever.

Here are a couple of clips from Another World, circa 1978, also featuring Douglas Watson, Victoria Wyndham, and Richard Backus (who would shortly thereafter wind up at Ryan's Hope as Barry Ryan).
gwynnega: (Default)
According to Daytime Confidential, soap star Roscoe Born is joining the cast of Days of Our Lives at the end of May. Yay! I was hoping he would wind up back on One Life to Live (even though his OLTL character Mitch Laurence is currently dead), especially now that the scab-penned eps are finally over and the show has returned to full strength with Ron Carlivati's writing--but I'm always happy to see Born on my screen.

Speaking of OLTL and Roscoe Born, here's a cracktastic clip from 2002 featuring Born as the villainous Mitch, plus the marvelous Erika Slezak as Viki, and a bit of Born's Ryan's Hope castmate Ilene Kristen as Roxy. This storyline ("Surprise, Viki--I'm the father of ONE of your twin daughters!") is insane, but Born and Slezak sell it with all they've got. And so, here's Mitch, Viki, and the Iced Tea of Evil:

gwynnega: (Jack/Siobhan hug)
Because of the dearth of Ryan's Hope currently airing on Soapnet (not to mention Another World being yanked off altogether) this afternoon I watched a couple of episodes of Search for Tomorrow from 1984 on the P&G Classic Soaps website. They also have a bunch of Another World, Edge of Night, Texas, and other shows. The eps are in immaculate condition and look great full-screen on my computer. The two eps of Search for Tomorrow I watched featured Ryan's Hope veterans: Michael Corbett (Michael Pavel), the little girl who played Jack's daughter Ryan, and the Man in the Green Hat (playing a cop!). (Also a very young Matthew Ashford, later of Days & GH.) Plus I know Louise Shaffer and Malachai McCourt are on the show as well.

Now if only ABC would get a clue and do a similar site for the shows they own (Ryan's Hope, classic eps of GH, AMC, OLTL, etc.). And if only Soapnet would get a clue and start airing RH five days a week again...

BPAL review: Eat Me )
gwynnega: (Siobhan smile)
A terrific interview with soap writer/playwright/memoirist Harding Lemay from 1997.

My favorite quote from it: "ABC asked me to watch THE CITY [a now-defunct soap]. I found it to be disastrous. It was all about the same kinds of people. Sixteen characters who are all alike. They didn't have a generational thing. Take 'Hamlet.' If you cut out the generational thing, you don't have a play. You have Hamlet and his buddies."
gwynnega: (Siobhan smile)
Another quote from Harding Lemay's fantastic memoir Eight Years in Another World: "Back in New York, 'Another World' had been solidly number one in the soap opera ratings for over a month. . .The story of Iris's bugging Eliot's hotel suite had been aired at the same time news broadcasts revealed that the President had secretly taped conversations in the Oval Office. That, of course, was a coincidence; I had invented the bugging incident months before. The plot reverberations set off by the disclosure of Iris's tapes continued along with the mounting furor created by the President's. The Wall Street Journal ran a column in which the two stories were compared in detail and concluded that the invented one was more complicated and far better acted than the actual one."

And a quote that makes me really wish Lemay's episodes were available to watch now: "I longed to explore the attachments between more mature men and women. . . romances between younger characters gave way to the saltier, more skeptical courtship of a couple well past the first blush of youth."
gwynnega: (Jack Fenelli)
I'm excited about this site on principle, even though they're not showing any vintage soaps I want to watch:

Procter & Gamble Classic Soaps

They're streaming/downloading consecutive episodes of Another World, The Edge of Night, and Texas, and it's free. Yay, old soaps!

(Now if ABC would just get on the ball and make a similar site for their old soaps, and start with Ryan's Hope and some old GH eps...)

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