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GH & Former OLTL Writer, Scott Sickles Chats On His New Play Lightning From Heaven! Discusses Writing For GH Characters!

If being a script writer for General Hospital these days is not enough, Scott Sickles is also an accomplished playwright whose new work debuts this Valentine’s Day in New York City! 

Lighting From Heaven tells the love story behind the classic film and the celebrated novel Doctor Zhivago, between poet Boris Pasternak, his muse Olga Ivinskaya, and the Soviet government’s attempt to silence their story.   After Pasternak’s death in 1960 Olga, his lover of fourteen years, was arrested by the KGB. Lighting From Heaven chronicles Olga’s subsequent interrogation and trial, while depicting her and Pasternak’s struggle to complete and publish Doctor Zhivago despite determined Soviet efforts to stop them.

Sickles spoke to On-Air On-Soaps not only about creating Lighting From Heaven, but also the challenges he faced when after writing for a few years at One Life to Live, he came aboard the GH writing team train where he had to write in the voice of many popular and beloved characters.  Here is what he had to say about his exciting new play …  and Port Charles!

Scott on what inspired him to write Lighting From Heaven “I started writing this play in 1998.  My dad found Olga Ivinskaya’s obituary in the newspaper and cut it out and handed it to me and said, “I know you like the movies. She just died!”  I read the obituary and there was such a fascinating life in it that I went and found her memoirs.  I did research on her, and over the next year or so, I put the play together.”

Courtesy/ABC

Scott on why soap fans would love to see the play: “It is a big sweeping epic romance.  Soap fans like romance that is one of the main reasons they watch the soaps.  In Lighting from Heaven, it’s a romance of a couple facing insurmountable odds.  It is about an extra-marital relationship as well!

Scott on what are the easiest types of soap characters for him to write for:  “After years of OLTL, it is usually easier for me to find the voice of a woman with a sharp tongue! (Laughs)  I loved those characters, and I love Carly on General Hospital after writing ‘One Life’s’ Dorian.  It’s the people who are more secretly witty and who you don’t expect to be funny in a certain way, like Sonny on GH and on Viki on ‘One Life’ that can be fun and challenging.  With Sonny, you picture him being sort of taciturn and brooding and every now and then, you get to let loose and so it was great finding that voice.”

Courtesy/ABC

Scott on some of the more challenging types of scenes to write for on GH thus far: “The really challenging scenes when I got them were between Jason Morgan and John McBain and for the two men to talk to each other. They don’t speak! (Laughs)  It was actually much easier to do once you got into it. And least those two characters only spoke to each other when they had to. So everything they said was important, and that was just great to try and figure out what those two men would actually say when they were in the same room with each other.  I guess I specialize in the voice of the taciturn men! (Laughs)”

Scott on writing for the character of Damian Spinelli:  “I was terrified at writing Spinelli, at first.  Then I got the hang of it, and then I was told we are making Spinelli sound less like Spinelli, and making him talk like a regular person with an intense vocabulary.  I spoke to GH writer Elizabeth Korte when I came on board at GH, and told her my biggest thing to figure out was … who is funny and how?  And one character that came up was Elizabeth.  You can’t be that beautiful, and suffer so horribly! (Laughs) She is often in those situations where she is heartbroken and then Maxie gets her in face and she sort of grits her teeth.  It’s so much fun to listen to and write for.”

Scott on writing for Maxie Jones as played by Jen Lilley and Kirsten Storms:  “I was happy to write for Maxie, and when we went from Jen Lilley to Kirsten Storms, I was wondering if there would be a sigfnicant change in the voices. I remember Kirsten being different from Jen, but when Kirsten came back, it sort of all clicked.   That was great.”

Lighting From Heaven runs from Valentine’s Day February 14th through March 9th for a limited engagement at the Workshop Theatre Company at 312 W. 36th Street 4th Floor in New York City.  To purchase ticket and show information visit workshoptheatre.org

What do you think about Scott’s comments about writing the characters of GH?  Let us know your thoughts!

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Sheila
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Sheila

Sounds like a wonderful play. I’ve always loved both the book and movie version of Doctor Zhivago.

As for GH, I wish there would be more writing for and about Elizabeth.

vicki
Guest
vicki

Great interview Michael. I love Scott’ s writing for OLTL…he wrote some great stuff for John and Natalie too, my favorite all-time couple. Now he’s doing some great stuff for GH. His play sounds great. Loved Dr.Zhivago so I’ ll have to get tickets for it.

Ann
Guest
Ann

Carly Jacks in the same breath as Dorian Lord? Yeah, I don’t think so.

su0000
Guest
su0000

Dorian was sorta like Carly during her heyday ..
Both young, rich , strong, and attracted to same type men and drama etc ..

Alison
Guest
Alison

Totally agree with you, Ann. Dorian is a far more complex and interesting character than Carly could ever hope to be.

JEFFERY
Guest
JEFFERY

Scott Sickles is a modern-day Joseph L. Mankiewicz. Even Bette Davis would guest star on GH if she were still alive today.

heidi
Guest
heidi

Fun interview Michael! I like understanding how challenging it may be to write for different characters and to get the character and actor’s voice appropriate for them and for them historically. The character of Damien Spinelli has to have been a challenge for people to write but they seem to be doing a great job transitioning him with age and experience. I love what has been happening with Carly. Enjoyed hearing the challenge of John and Jason… SB has always gotten flack for his robot like character and portrayel of Jason but it has to have been challenging to write… Read more »

Jim
Guest
Jim

I feel Elizabeth has become the new Jessie Brewer. Jessie was an important character on GH from the beggining and shoved behind the desk in favor of the newbies. Except for a brief romance with Dan Rooney very little else was done with Jessie and i felt that was a waste for the vet who should have been treated better. Now Elizabeth dont get a thing to do. I think she should fall for A.J. just as Carly starts to fall for him too. At least that would be a start in getting liz back into the picture. Scott did… Read more »

Lisa
Guest
Lisa

Maxie’s story line in the prison was so annoying. I’d never wish a character off because I’d never wish anyone out of work as that is evil and nasty but every day she wasn’t on I thanked god and when she was I had to put it on mute as I had guests over who don’t watch the show complain about what an annoying whiner she was. Elizabeth needs to stop grinding her teeth, it’s just stupid, no one wants to see others get constantly bullied. I could write a book of all the comebacks I could dish out to… Read more »

Lisa
Guest
Lisa

this guy is from mars I can’t believe he’d actually say Elizabeth was funny because she was miserable and taunted by a shrill, annoying blond. Misery isn’t funny, people are empathetic and sympathetic, no one finds it funny when a character cries for months about her dead child, followed by being bullied by Maxie. It makes people sad then change it to Ellen.

Jim
Guest
Jim

I think its time for them to change Maxis pad. Two rivals living in the same apartment with the man they love? Threes Not Company here, its a crowd. As neighbors ok but not roomies. Keeping them together like that this long is starting to stink, so i feel its time they change Maxis pad.

Alison
Guest
Alison

What saddens me is that Mr. Sickles now has to pen Todd’s insta-love for Carly after writing so wonderfully for Todd and Blair. Luckily, I have a DVR and can fast forward through it.

General Hospital

GH’s Brook Kerr and Tabyana Ali Talk On: Trina’s Trial, Spencer and Rory, And Their On-Screen Mother/Daughter Relationship

Currently, General Hospital fans are awaiting the verdict in Trina’s trial and just what lengths her mother will go to in order to secure her freedom! With the story playing out on-air, Michael Farman chatted in a new virtual interview with the two women central to the story; Brook Kerr (Portia) and Tabyana Ali (Trina).

As viewers know, Trina was set-up by Esme Prince (Avery Pohl), to make it appear that she taped her best friends, Cameron (William Lipton) and Josslyn (Eden McCoy) having sex, and then posted the video from her phone, so it went viral.

Photo: ABC

During the conversation for You Tube’s Michael Fairman Channel, Tabyana and Brook weigh-in on what’s gone down at the trial including; how Spencer Cassadine came forward with an alibi for Trina, plus how Portia may put her medical career at risk if she brings Esme’s partner in crime, Oz, out of his coma to get the evidence they need to point the finger on Esme.

 

In addition, Tabyana and Brook share their thoughts on the men in Trina’s life: Spencer Cassadine (Nicholas Alexander Chavez) and Rory Cabrera (Michael Blake Kruse), and how the #Sprina has a life of its own on social media.

Courtesy/ABC

Brook also shares dishes on Portia’s romantic relationship with Curtis (Donnell Turner), plus the recent noteworthy scenes between Portia and Stella (Vernee Watson), where GH shed light on a mother’s concern; that racial injustice could factor in to the jury’s decision in Trina’s case.

Photo: ABC

Tabyana also discusses working alongside GH co-stars, Maura West (Ava) and Carolyn Hennesy (Diane), and what it was like taking over the role of Trina from popular fan favorite, Sydney Mikayla.

Photo: ABC

Check out the full chat with Brook and Tabyana below.

Do you want Trina to end up with Spencer or Rory? Will the jury exonerate Trina? What was your favorite part of the conversation with Brook and Tabyana? Let us know in the comment section.

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General Hospital

Kin Shriner Celebrates 45-Year Milestone as General Hospital’s Scott Baldwin

What would General Hospital be without Kin Shriner, who has always played Scott Baldwin to the hilt with unique style and acting chops? Today on August 2nd, Kin marks his 45th anniversary with the ABC daytime drama series, and the series just would never be the same without his four decades plus of performances, making him an enduring fan favorite.

Shriner debuted on GH back on this date in 1977.  Scott’s love story with Laura (Genie Francis) would begin to set a new trajectory for GH. Later, when Laura married Luke (Tony Geary) in 1981, and Scott made a shocking appearance at the reception and caught the bouquet, the character turned to the dark side which started a new era of story for Scott/Laura/Luke and more.

Photo: ABC

Scott is the stepson of attorney, Lee Baldwin (the late Peter Hansen) and Dr. Gail Adamson (the late Susan Brown); although through the years they tangled over differences, the family loved and cared for one another.

Photo: ABC

In more recent years, Scott’s legal eagle courtroom antics are always a must-see for viewers, as well as any time Shriner gets to show Scott’s emotional side, such as the time he learned his son Franco (Roger Howarth) had died.

Photo: ABC

Kin’s scenes with his current on-screen love interest, Kathleen Gati (Liesl) are always a delight for GH fans, as well.

In addition to his General Hospital run, Shriner appeared as Scott in the GH spinoff; Port Charles from 1997-2000 and again in 2001.

Photo: ABC

Share your congratulations to Kin on his 45th anniversary in the comment section, and then let us know what has been your favorite Scott Baldwin scene through the years. 

But first, in case you missed it, check out our interview last year with Kin on the Michael Fairman Channel below.

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General Hospital

General Hospital’s Maura West Delivers The ‘Power Performance of the Week’

On last Thursday and Friday’s episode of General Hospital, the ABC soap opera finally moved the story forward with the reveal to Ava (Maura West) that Nikolas (Marcus Coloma) and Esme (Avery Pohl) slept together, and within it, fans got to witness the beginning of the fallout and the reaction as played by three-time Daytime Emmy-winner and enduring fan favorite, Maura West.

As one might expect, the material in the hands of the mighty West, and the acting choices she makes are always intriguing and masterful.

In story, things start to unravel for Ava, when outside Trina’s (Tabyana Ali) courtroom trial, Esme and Ava have a confrontation.  It is there that Esme snarks at Ava, that she has the ability to destroy her world.  When Ava dares her to try, Nikolas shows up on the scene begging Esme to stop.  However, a manipulative Esme says, “Too late, I’m ending this right here, right now.” After lighting the fire, Esme walks off telling Nikolas to have a nice chit chat with his wife.

Next, Ava and Nikolas go to a private office, and Nikolas tells her that he made a huge mistake. A now suspicious Ava, asks, “What kind of mistake?” Nikolas then goes on to explain how he slept with Esme, just once, when he thought his relationship with Ava had tanked and had suffered irreparable damage.

Courtesy/ABC

What comes after was where West shined, as a sarcastic Ava quipped, “Poor you, seduced by a high school graduate.”  Ava, then launches into that she thought she married a man, but instead she married a spineless weakling, and now she is going to burn him to the ground.

Later at Wyndemere, as Esme is frantically packing her suitcase and taking with her the all-important envelope linking her to Ryan (Jon Lindstrom), Ava appears and a confrontation begins with Ava calling out Esme as a, “conniving little whore”. Esme flaps back that Ava slept with both Morgan and Sonny (Maurice Benard)! Having put two and two together, Ava says she know that Esme is responsible for the revenge sex tape of Cameron (Willian Lipton) and Joss (Eden McCoyand setting fire to her car.

Courtesy/ABC

Ava has wised up from all of Esme’s nasty statements and has come to realize that everything Esme has done including sleeping with Nikolas, feels like a targeted, planned attack on her, and she knows there is more to this story than Esme has ever let on.  When Ava spots the envelope in Esme’s suitcase, she goes to get it, but Esme grabs it from her. Then, with a steely warning, Ava tells Esme that she will be going to the courthouse now to exonerate Trina, and if she doesn’t, Ava will make sure Esme disappears and no one will ever be able to find her alive.

Now, while some viewers may be waiting for a knock-down drag-out catfight, we don’t know what will happen on Monday or Tuesday’s episode, but sometimes it’s more delicious just letting the words and its intentions drive the action, and West delivered the goods in spades in scenes with Marcus Coloma and Avery Pohl.

For all the reasons stated above, Michael Fairman TV names Maura West’s work as The Power Performance of the Week.

What did you think of Maura’s performance in the scenes where Ava finds out Nikolas slept with Esme and Ava’s confrontation later with Esme? What do you hope happens next?  Share your thoughts and theories via the comment section.  But firstm check out some moments from West’s performance below.

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GH’s Nicholas Alexander Chavez (Spencer) talks with Michael Fairman immediately following his Daytime Emmy win for Outstanding Younger Performer in Drama Series. Leave A Comment
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Power Performance

Maura West as Ava

General Hospital

Airdate: 7-28/29-2022

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