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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

WATCH: The Cast of ‘Studio City’ Talk On the Latest Five Episodes & The Making of the Critically-Acclaimed Digital Drama

It’s one of the most talked about digital dramas out there, with a look and feel all its own, containing smart, witty, and dramatic plots and dialogue, and stellar performances abound.

In Amazon Prime’s Studio City, the story about life on a soap in front of the camera juxtaposed with the often harsh reality of life behind the scenes, will have any fan of the genre getting a kick out of some of the very familiar soap tropes contained within balanced with the five-hankie moments throughout  And now, Studio City has dropped their latest five episodes picking the story back up from where it left off.

Michael Fairman chatted with the cast of Studio City in his latest interview for The Michael Fairman Channel on You Tube. Those taking part in this virtual conversation included: Sean Kanan (Sam), Sarah Joy Brown (Laurie), Tristan Rogers (Doc), Carolyn Hennesy (Gloria), Scott Turner Schofield (Max), Anna Maria Horsford (Jolene), and Justin Torkildesn (Jacob).  Ronn Moss, who also appears in the series playing a version of himself, was filming a movie during the scheduling of this chat, but his presence is felt when some hilarious moments featuring him and Sean Kanan were discussed.

Soap fans know these actors very well.  Kanan, Brown, Hennesy and Rogers have all, or are presently appearing, on General Hospital.  B&B fans recognize Torkilden, Horsford, Moss, and Schofield along with Kanan from their work on the CBS Daytime drama.

Getting a show up and running and then taped during the Covid-19 pandemic is no easy task as Kanan shared in the group interview.  As well, Anna Maria Horsford and Sarah Joy Brown share how they came to their parts and the rapid-fire pace in which their scenes were shot.  Tristan Rogers, who won a Daytime Emmy last year for his performance as Doc, gives another heartbreaking turn, and reveals his thoughts on the work he did, plus shares his remembrances of his late friend and GH co-star, John Reilly.

Scott Turner Schofield talks about how Sean and his wife Michele Kanan, two of the creators of the show, have given him and the transgender community a space with Max’s storyline in Studio City.  GH favorite, Carolyn Hennesy shares how she crafted her role of Gloria, the executive producer, after Jill Farren Phelps, and Daytime Emmy winner Justin Torkildsen shares how he wound up with a part in the digital drama and the scenes he shares with Hennesy.

You can check out the full Studio City cast interview below.  Then let us know, have you checked out the series? What have been your favorite moments and performances in it? Let us know in the comment section.

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General Hospital

GH’s Lisa LoCicero Delivers The ‘Power Performance of the Week’

This week on General Hospital the truth came out on all fronts; as Olivia (Lisa LoCicero) put two and two together and realized Ned (Wally Kurth) cheated on her with Alexis (Nancy Lee Grahn).  Meanwhile, Alexis figured out Tracy (Jane Elliot) framed her to make it look like she passed out drunk behind the wheel.

Throughout, there were great performances from Wally Kurth, Jane Elliot and Nancy Lee Grahn, but it was soap vet, Lisa LoCicero, who for us was given the material and stole the show with her heartbreaking performances as a woman scorned.

LoCicero plays Olivia Falconeri from Bensonhurst, so believably, that viewers understand her every woman, who married into the well-to-do Quatermaines, and who has a much higher moral and ethical standard then the Q’s.

In key scenes at the Quartermaine mansion, Olivia confronts Ned about the night he never came home, and she wants the truth.  She also rightly accuses Tracy on being part of the cover-up.  A caught Ned confesses.  He tells Olivia he was in a terrible place, and jumped to the wrong conclusion about her and Robert (Tristan Rogers), and began drinking, which Sam (Kelly Monaco) overhears and can’t believe he was drinking with an alcoholic. Olivia says that Ned is incapable of being trustworthy after spending his entire life amongst a house full of liars and cheats.  Meanwhile, Alexis shows up in the middle of all this to confront Tracy on her machinations setting the stage for a showdown between Olivia and Alexis.

When Alexis and Olivia talk in private, the former legal eagle apologizes to her friend for sleeping with her husband; saying they both knew it was wrong right after it happened, but Olivia quickly points out that they didn’t seem to stop themselves or think it was wrong, while he was unbuttoning his pants or she was taking off her blouse!

Olivia stands her ground through her devastation and is appalled that Alexis calls her a “friend” and how she is only showing remorse because she has been caught!

Courtesy/ABC

When Ned tries to talk to Olivia and professes how much he loves her and how sorry he is for having sex in a drunken stupor with Alexis, Olivia is gut-punched.  Ned continually says he thought Olivia and Robert hooked-up thanks to Brook Lynn deleting messages meant for Ned.  The fact that he would assume the worst of her, only made things worse for Ned, and then to go as far as having revenge sex with Alexis, made Olivia feel her husband had sunk to new lows.

It is then Olivia has a moment of reckoning; wondering what is her role in the Quartermaine family anyway, and how she doesn’t really fit in.  Ned promises to wait for her and begs her not to give up on them.  When he leaves, Liv breaks down … her marriage in pieces and betrayed by all those she thought she could trust.

Each of the aforementioned moments were played to perfection by LoCicero, leaving the audience wondering just what will Olivia do next and how will she bounce back from this betrayal.  That is why Michael Fairman TV names Lisa our pick for The Power Performance of the Week.  And, if it’s one thing we know about Olivia, she is a scrappy fighter, a survivor, and in the capable hands of this actress, we will be rooting for her all along the way.

So, what did you think of the performance of Lisa LoCicero?  Do you hope Olivia and Ned work things out and they stay together, or do you want to see if she and Robert Scorpio might have a new romance? Comment below.

 

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General Hospital

Lexi Ainsworth Teases Her Return to General Hospital

With her father Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard) presumed dead (although viewers know he is very much alive with amnesia), it looks like Kristina is on her way back to Port Charles – which would be a welcome return to the role for Daytime Emmy winner Lexi Ainsworth.

Rumors began circulating on Inauguration day Wednesday, when Ainsworth shared a pic on her Instagram Story of her watching the ceremonies from a dressing room at Prospect Studios in Los Angeles, where GH is taped.

Later, after reports had surfaced on social media that Ainsworth might be returning to her signature role, the actress shared some of those on her Instagram Story as well, which was seen as her way of confirming she is back on the show.

Lexi has been recurring on General Hospital for the last several years, so there is no telling how long she will be on-screen this time.

While there has been no official confirmation from GH, chances are that if there is a funeral ahead for Sonny, Kristina of course would be there to mourn her father. Stay tuned.

So, excited that Lexi will be back on-air on GH? Comment below.

 

 

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B&B’s Matthew Atkinson chats with Michael Fairman about the wild ride of the Thomas/Hope Mamnequin storyline currently on The Bold and the Beautiful.Leave A Comment

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Lisa LoCicero as Olivia

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Airdates: 1-21/22-2021

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