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Soap Spectacular a meet, greet for fans of CBS daytime dramas

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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

They have come into your homes for so many years that you almost feel like you know them.

"They" are actors from four CBS daytime soap operas who are part of an event Sunday at Petersen Events Center called Soapstar Spectacular. The four shows include "The Young and the Restless," "The Bold and the Beautiful," "As the World Turns," which is going off the air in September, and "Guiding Light," which was cancelled last year.

The stars are Christian LeBlanc ("Michael"), Michelle Stafford ("Phyllis"), Daniel Goddard ("Cane") and Doug Davidson ("Paul") from "The Young and the Restless"; Brandon Beemer ("Owen"), Don Diamont ("Bill") and Heather Tom ("Katie") from "The Bold and the Beautiful"; Van Hansis ("Luke") from "As the World Turns"; and Kim Zimmer ("Reva"), Robert Newman ("Josh") and Justin Deas ("Buzz") from the former "Guiding Light."

This one-day event allows soap opera fans the chance to interact with their favorite stars from CBS daytime television.

"I love meeting the fans," says Zimmer, who is writing a book about the show that was taken off the air after 72 years. "I take in everything fans tell me because they remember story lines that I sometimes have forgotten. I am impressed with their knowledge of the show and the characters. Some think Robert (Josh) and I are married in real life. I don't get to see him as much anymore. But there were times I saw him more than my husband."

Soapstar Spectacular will include a question-and-answer session with the actors, who will share memorable stories that occurred on and off the set. Actors will re-enact scenes from shows and invite audience members to join them.

Zimmer invites fans to ask "juicy" questions.

"And I promise I will answer them," she says with a laugh. "That is what makes these kinds of events fun. When we interact with the fans it is as much a great time for us as it is for them."

Those who purchase a VIP ticket will be treated to a pre-show autograph signing and photo session as well as receive a color keepsake program with a headshot of all the actors and reserved seating. A portion of the proceeds benefits the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Pittsburgh Affiliate. Soapstar Spectacular is produced by Celebrity Events Group. Pittsburgh was chosen because it is a strong market for the CBS soaps.

Connecting with viewers is one reason Stafford from "The Young and the Restless" is coming.

"When you talk with them you see how much they enjoy the show and how it really affects their everyday lives," she says. "I love Pittsburgh. I spent some time there when I dated a guy from there."

Another star with a local connection is Justin Deas from "Guiding Light," who was born in Connellsville.

"Pittsburgh has it all ... great arts, music and sports," he says. "One thing you can't do in Pittsburgh is diet, because they serve salads with french fries and sandwiches with slaw and french fries. Even some of the healthy food might not be so healthy."

Deas says he is intrigued by fans who will share something they went through that your character went through on the show. Some fans have watched the show so long they have seen characters grow up on the show.

"Events such as this are a way for the actors and actresses to say 'thank you' to the fans and to stay connected to the fans," says Carnegie Mellon University graduate Van Hansis, from "As the World Turns." "Fans at this kind of an event are curious about the inner workings of a soap opera."

Additional Information:

Soapstar Spectacular

When: 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. Sunday; 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for the VIP event

Admission: $35; $145 for VIP

Where: Petersen Events Center, Oakland

Details: website

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