Soaps Make the World Go Round
BY Advocate.com Editors
October 08 2010 6:55 PM ET
Stars from General Hospital and All My Children turned out Thursday night to support their costars as they took to the stage to raise money for the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center with the musical revue The World Goes ’Round.
It's a collection of tunes from Broadway songwriters Kander and Ebb (Chicago, Cabaret), with All My Children’s Bobbie Eakes, Natalie Hall, and Jamie Luner joining General Hospital’s Brandon Barash and Bradford Anderson in the energetic, fun-filled production. There will be additional performances Saturday and Sunday.
The show speeds by fast enough to not need an intermission. And with the exception of a few awkward beats that come with opening nights, the cast was more than up to the challenge of singing Kander and Ebb’s challenging songbook.
Eakes, the most able singer on the stage, takes command of the theater right off the bat with the title song, written for Liza Minnelli. But it’s later on the tour de force “How Lucky Can You Get” from Funny Lady that she really knocks it out of the park. She and Luner have the show’s best number — on "The Grass Is Always Greener,” Eakes dresses down (way down) in a housedress, curlers, and slippers to lament the life of the housewife. Sitting across from her is Luner, a floor-length gown and heels making her statuesque, fanning herself with a feather boa, and longing for a simpler life. It's four minutes of comic genius. Luner doesn’t have a big voice, but she more than makes up for it with a commanding stage presence and acting ability to boot. She gives the evening’s best “acting” performance — a subdued version of Barbra Streisand’s “My Coloring Book.”
Anderson has a kick-ass voice and his sheepish but endearing personality is a natural fit for songs like “Mr. Cellophane” and “Kiss of the Spider Woman.” The ingenue of the bunch, Hall has a dynamite belt but is perhaps given a few too many tunes. She's a perfect match for songs like “Colored Lights,” but she's a bit out of her element on Cabaret's “Maybe This Time.” As for the hunk, Barash has a warm baritone and is an instant charmer from the second he hits the stage. He also gets the night’s biggest applause when he strips down to his undies for “Arthur in the Afternoon.”
All told, it’s a fun evening of song — and for a good cause. The cast of All My Children spent several years raising millions for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Now that the show has moved to the West Coast, this show is the start of what stars hope is a successful relationship between daytime and charity.