Congratulations to the Cast and Crew of Passions!
On July 5, 2000 Passions celebrates its first anniversary. Hard to imagine that a mere 365 days ago, Passions, an upstart, over-the-top soap opera with a myriad of new faces including Susan Lucci's daughter, Liza Huber, a dastardly witch, a living doll, and distasteful references to the Princess Diana tragedy, debuted to cautious reviews and curious, if recalcitrant, viewers. Many NBC soap fans were downright livid. Their longtime favorite, Another World, a 35-year old soap mainstay, was replaced by this new show. Many boycotted Passions out of loyalty to Another World. Those of us at Soapdom had some reservations regarding the stories and their execution the first few weeks. However, the charm and outlandish plot lines that have become Passions signature began to grow on us, and now, everyone here is a big fan of this wacky new soap! LOL What's more, Passions is creeping up in the ratings, and a year later, the show is well entrenched in soapdom. Way to go, guys!.
To commemorate the first anniversary (and for being picked up by the network for a second year), NBC and Passions cordially invited cast members, crew, family and friends to help celebrate on Thursday, June 29, 2000. The event was held on the Residential Street at CBS Radford Studios. The atmosphere was laid back and relaxed on the eve of a five-day long weekend for July 4th.
"We were working so hard," said Lindsay Korman (Theresa). "I've been shooting scenes from four episodes in one day! But they did that to give us five days off," she said with a smile. "Isn't that great?"
Jade Harlow, the new Jessica, is delighted being cast in the role and becoming a part of the Passions team. "I am so happy to be here," she said. "Everyone is wonderful. I love working with my on screen family -- Dana Sparks (Grace), Taylor Anne Mountz (Kay), and James Hyde, (Sam)."
Speaking of the Bennett family, James Hyde (Sam) shared a little secret about his upcoming storyline! "After the prom story winds down, Sam's world is going to turn completely around," Hyde revealed. "And when the info comes out, it will effect a lot of people!" Could he be talking about Ethan's true paternity, or is there even something more?
Well, hold on to your remotes, everyone! We may get the answer to that question sooner than later. According to Lindsay Korman, over the next few weeks "a lot of storylines that have taken the full year to develop will wind up rather quickly," she said. Meantime, seeds for the next phase of stories will be planted.
Brooke Kerr invited her beau, actor Christopher Warren, to partake in the anniversary party festivities. "He's my pookie bear," cooed Kerr, as she and Warren snuggled closer! Meantime, Kerr's on-screen love interest, Donn Swaby, posed for Soapdom's cameras in front of the famed NBC peacock, and told us even he was still waiting to find out who Chad's real parents are! LOL
I joined Jesse Metcalfe (Miguel) and Bruce Michael Hall (Reese) at their table for several minutes. Hall laughed when I mentioned that Reese needs a major make-over! "Once Kay cops a gander at the 'real' Reese, she is going to fall head over heels," I offered. Although Hall didn't reveal any storyline secrets, I couldn't help but get the feeling that he agreed with me one hundred percent! LOL Suddenly, the coquette in question, Taylor Anne Mountz (Kay), zipped over to our table, grabbed Hall by the hand and led him off to the other side of the street! They really do make a cute couple, especially when Reese isn't looking like Reese, but like the real Bruce. At any rate, it seems to me that the two share a great camaraderie off screen, which proves their acting skill. Keep up the great work, guys!
Speaking of Taylor Anne Mountz (Kay), with everyone wondering about her unconfirmed desires to leave the show and return to school, I looked for the perfect opportunity to ask her personally if there was any truth to the rumor. Well guys, sorry to report but Mountz is closed-mouthed on this issue. "I am just not at liberty to talk about it," Mountz said apologetically. However, she did assure me that when the time was right, she'd be happy to let us know all about what's been going on. We'll stay on top of this story, and keep you all posted!
Meanwhile, Travis Schuldt (Ethan) was a little more open and shared a tidbit about his personal life. He was hit with the bug. The Y2K bug, that is! He is the only person I've yet to meet who actually suffered an attack of the dread Y2K phenom. "No kidding," said Schuldt. "My computer was working just fine last December. But when I turned it on in January, it said it was January 4, 1980! I haven't turned it on again since," he said with a laugh.
Schuldt is also embarking on a new venture. He and some of his college cronies are involved in an experimental theater group here in LA, called the Lonestar Ensemble. "We're getting things worked out now," said Schuldt. "And then we'll be going into rehearsals for a play. I love working to a live audience. There is just something about that immediate feedback and the real time give and take." He promised to let Soapdom know of any performances in advance so that LA-area Passions fans can get their tickets!
Dalton James (Hank) is a really great guy! He adores his wife and family, and loves to golf. Those things take up much of his time off screen, so he doesn't have a lot of extra time to go online! I kept trying to convince him to develop a web presence. Hope he pursues it.
Ben Masters is always charming and so very funny. He told me that he visits Soapdom several times a week and even promised to post on our message boards. If you're out there Ben, I can't wait to read some of your tongue-in-cheek comments here at Soapdom.com! We are honored to have ya. :o)
After dinner and tons of mingling, Sheraton Kalouria, Senior VP, NBC Daytime and Lisa S. Hesser, Executive Producer, Passions, gathered the cast around the anniversary cake and congratulated them on their first year of success. Kim Johnston Ulrich, along with a little help from her friends, cut the cake to a wild round of applause.
Congratulations Passions! Happy Anniversary. Thanks for inviting Soapdom to share this momentous occasion with you! Here's to many, many, many more..
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