Nashville, TN -The Divas of Daytime hosted The First Annual Divas of Daytime TV Breakfast with Fans/Diva Concert on Saturday, June 13, from 8:00-11:00 AM at BB King’s in Nashville.
Kassie DePaiva (Blair, One Life to Live), Kathy Brier (Marcie, One Life to Live), and Bobbie Eakes (Krystal, All My Children) who portray three of the most complicated women in the soap world, brought their incredible voices with them to Music City, USA.
DePaiva was born Katherine Virginia Wesley in Morganfield, Kentucky, in 1961, and sang as a soloist at age 18 at the Grand Ole Opry. She made her daytime debut in 1986, originating the role of Chelsea Reardon on Guiding Light.
DePaiva has portrayed Blair Cramer on One Life to Life since 1993, and received a Daytime Emmy nomination in the category of Lead Actress in 2005. She is married to fellow actor James DePaiva (formerly Max Holden on OLTL) and they have a twelve-year old son named James Quentin.
Born in the same year as DePaiva, Eakes hails from Warner Robbins, Georgia. The first time she sang solo for a real audience was in a junior high school talent show where she sang, “Country Girl.” She followed in her sister’s footsteps when she won the title of Miss Georgia and competed as a top ten finalist in the Miss America Pageant.
Eakes is known for her roles as Macy Alexander on The Bold and the Beautiful, and as Krystal Carey on All My Children, a role that earned her a Leading Actress Daytime Emmy nomination in 2006. She is married to novelist and actor David Steen (whose latest TV project was Sordid Lives which premiered on the LOGO channel in July of 2008).
Brier is the “young un” of the group. Born in Staten Island in New York in 1975, her role of Marcie Walsh McBain on One Life to Live marked her first major television appearance in 2002, and two years later she received an Emmy nomination in the Supporting Actress category.
Brier began acting in the theatre, with regional credits that include Fanny Brice in Funny Girl, Libby Tucker in I Oughta Be in Pictures, and Mayor Maggie in Bat Boy The Musical at Union Square Theatre, just to name a few. From 2003-2004, she played the starring role of Tracy Turnblad in the Broadway production of Hairspray.
Tonya Wiesen, President of the Kassie DePaiva Fan Club, organized the event, and on Saturday morning, the club was filled with anxious and excited daytime fans. Eileen Hargis, a native of LaGrange, Georgia, knew both DePaiva and Eakes personally. “After attending soap events for about fifteen years, I got to know Kassie,” Eileen said. Living in the city of Nashville now, Eileen also remarked, “I met Bobbie in 1990 when she appeared on The Bold and the Beautiful.”
The Divas thanked all of the fans for coming and invited everyone to feast on a Continental breakfast. After mingling with their supporters, the trio fielded questions from the crowd.
DePaiva drew giggles from the fans when she made fun of Brier’s “short” microphone, saying that it only would reach breast-high on her. Then, with hand raised, she inquired if anyone needed an adult beverage because the bar was indeed open.
DePaiva then told everyone that Lionel Ritchie would be arriving in Llanview in a few weeks to be performing at the local club called Capricorn. She also said that Blair was heartbroken over John, but she just loves being the “tart” on the show and will enjoy causing trouble between Tea and Todd.
Eakes disclosed that AMC would be having a “cougar” storyline involving a romance between Erica Kane and Ryan Lavery. She then relayed an incident that happened earlier in the morning at her hotel. Eakes had wondered why Room Service was so late coming to her room until the exasperated female told her that she had just come from Cameron Mathison’s room where he had answered the door in nothing but a towel! Eakes said that the girl probably needed to immerse herself with a few buckets of ice!
Mathison was in town to host the ABC Block Party that included other daytime soap stars, which was held in conjunction with the CMA Music Festival that weekend.
Brier was asked about her exit from OLTL and she said her last airdate would be June 17. The shocking news to fire both Brier and Chris Stack (Michael McBain) followed the exits of several other OLTL actors, most recently Kamar de los Reyes and Beth Ann Bonner. Both DePaiva and Eakes commented on Brier’s incredible acting skills and suggested that perhaps a fan write-in campaign may be in order to reinstate the actress.
The girls were asked questions about the tapings of the two shows. DePaiva replied that OLTL tapes about six weeks in advance and Eakes said that AMC tapes about three weeks in advance.
The talented trio also commented on how they tape parts of different shows all in a day’s time and that they had to keep up with the “hairstyles” in scenes from the same show, trying to ensure that their “hair would look the same.” Eakes laughed and said, “You might notice in one episode a scene where Vincent Irizarry’s hair is longer than it is later on in that same show.”
Beginning the concert, the Divas woke up even the most bleary-eyed fan (at 9:00 AM) with the rocker “Here for the Party,” and tears were shed during DePaiva’s rendition of “Sweet Angel.” Brier led the girls into the Commodores hit song, “Brick House,” and DePaiva claimed she was the “bitch” of the group when they launched into Elton John’s classic “The Bitch is Back.”
Also on the playlist were Arentha Franklin’s “Chain of Fools,” and Dusty Springfield’s “Son of a Preacher Man.” DePaiva dedicated “When Will I Be Loved” to her character, Blair Cramer, whom she called a “loser,” as she fashioned her hand in an “L” shape on her forehead.
For anyone needing a little inspiration in their lives, the Divas sang the beautiful Lee Ann Womack tune, “I Hope You Dance.” The Doobie Brothers’ tune, “Listen to the Music,” filled the bill as the encore when the hour-long concert ended and a standing ovation was given to the three ladies.
After the concert, fans lined up for an autograph session that was held in an adjoining room. The Divas also performed in the afternoon during the ABC Block Party.
Article by Melissa Parker
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