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Party With The Stars!

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If you don't yet have plans for Memorial Day weekend, we present you with this: The 15th Annual SoapFest Charity Weekend on Marco Island, FL! More than a dozen daytime actors are scheduled to attend the festival, taking place Saturday, May 24, through Monday, May 26. Stars scheduled to appear include THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS' Christian Jules LeBlanc (Michael), Jeff Branson (ex-Ronan) and John Driscoll (ex-Chance); and GUIDING LIGHT's Tom Pelphrey (Jonathan).

SoapFest events include the intimate A Night Of Stars dinner; Cruizin' Boozin' & Schmoozin' With The Stars on the Marco Island Princess yacht; Celebrity Karaoke Bar Bash and VIP Brunch With The Boys Of Daytime.

Tickets are now on sale for the annual SoapFest weekend, which will raise funds for Camp Able (a program for local special needs children), the Island Theater Company Kids Program and other local organizations. For a complete schedule and description of events, ticket packages, and additional updates, visit www.SoapFest.com.

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The Doctor Is In!

Helen Slater WEB.jpg THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS has a new doctor in the house! According to TV Guide, Helen Slater has been tapped to play OB/GYN Dr. Chiverton for at least five episodes, starting Friday, May 2. Which lovely lady in Genoa City will seek out the baby doctor's services? It may not just be Lauren!

Slater rose to fame thirty years ago when she played the title roles in the cult-hit films Supergirl and The Legend Of Billie Jean. More recently, she was a cast member of the ABC Family drama THE LYING GAME for its two-season run, playing Sutton and Laurel's mother, and starred in last year's Lifetime movie The Good Mother as a woman who was poisoning her own child.

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Gaskill Takes On The Bard!

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From the "Just when I thought I'd heard everything" files has come STRIPPING SHAKESPEARE, a provocative new Web series from the We Make Movies filmmakers collective in Los Angeles. In each episode, famous scenes from The Bard's works are set in a scintillating new context, replete with professional pole dancers and burlesque performers. Who knew Shakespeare could be so sexy? Daytime TV veteran Brian Gaskill (Dylan, GUIDING LIGHT; ex-Ozzie, THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL; Bobby, ALL MY CHIlDREN; Rafe, PORT CHARLES), who is a member of the collective, appears in the episode airing this Sunday, April 13.

"My friend, Nicol Razon, produced it," Gaskill shares. "The series is about her taking her love of Shakespeare and putting it into a format that is maybe gonna raise some eyebrows, but it's also gonna promote conversation and get people to pay attention to what the filmmaker is doing to be creative."

This Sunday's episode is based on The Taming Of The Shrew with Gaskill reciting the lines of Petruchio opposite Razon as Kate. But don't look for the traditional, 16th century costuming and staging. Rather, it plays out in a much more imaginative way. "It's more like artistic music videos of Shakespeare," offers Gaskill, who first began performing the great poet's work back in high school. To experience it for yourself, visit Strippingshakespeare.com or the We Make Movies YouTube channel here.

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Stars Added To THE BAY!

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Two hunks from THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL — one past, one future — have joined the cast of the Emmy-nominated Web soap THE BAY! Ronn Moss (ex-Ridge) is set to play John Blackwell, the former district attorney of Bay City, while Sean Kanan (who returns to B&B as Deacon in June), has joined the Internet serial as press secretary Kenneth Allen. That role previously played by Brody Hutzler (ex-Patrick, DAYS OF OUR LIVES; ex-Cody, THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS).

Why the change with Kanan taking over for Hutzler? "Brody is a good friend of mine and a wonderful talent," Gregori Martin, THE BAY's executive producer/creator, tells Soaps In Depth. "He's busy with some other great projects at the moment, and this gave us an opportunity to go in another direction with the character. Sean and Nicolas [Coster, Jack] have a great dynamic. Sean is bringing a lot of humor to the role."

Moss and Kanan aren't the only newcomers sailing into THE BAY this season! Judi Evans (Adrienne, DAYS) will play Katherine, John's wife, and Patrika Darbo (ex-Nancy, DAYS) has been cast as Mickey, who runs Patrick's Roadhouse.

Watch for an exclusive preview of THE BAY featuring interviews with Martin, Mary Beth Evans (Sara; Kayla, DAYS) and Terri Ivens (Orchid; Simone, ALL MY CHILDREN) in the next two issues of In Depth, on sale Monday, April 21, and Monday, April 28. Chapter 12 of THE BAY streams via the Blip and Roku networks and services beginning Thursday, May 1. For more information, visit www.thebaytheseries.com.

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Bell's Series Nominated For Award

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Congratulations are in order for THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS' Lauralee Bell (Christine) — her web series, MI PROMISE, has been named a Webby Award Honoree for Online Film and Video: Drama Individual Short or Episode! The Webby Awards is an international award organization honoring excellence on the Internet, including Web sites, interactive advertising and on-line film and video.

"I am so proud that MI PROMISE has impressed the selection committee for the Webby Awards," says Bell, who produced and starred in the six-episode series, which details the tragic aftermath of a teen who was texting and driving. "That's icing on the cake for our MI PROMISE team.

"Our entire goal was to reach teens, pre-teens and adults about what can happen when you text and drive at the same time," the actress adds. "If we've helped to make people consider the consequences by providing a dramatic example, then we accomplished what we set out to do!"

Check out MI PROMISE by going to www.mipromise.com.

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Have Tea With The Stars In Calgary!

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Canadian fans will have an opportunity to mingle with Kate Linder (Esther) and other cast members of THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS while donating to a worthy cause on Sunday, April 27. The actress will be hosting "'OpportuniTeas' For Independence," a high tea in Calgary, Alberta, Canada that will benefit the March of Dimes Canada.

"It's exciting because we're going to a different part of Canada," Linder tells Soaps In Depth. "This will be different because while I'm sure some fans who have been to past teas will come to this one we'll also have some new faces, too. It's always nice to meet people who support the show!"

Joining Linder at the get-together will be co-stars Jess Walton (Jill) and Tristan Rogers (Colin). "Elizabeth Hendrickson (Chloe) is coming, too, and I'm very excited about that because this might be one of her last events for a while," says Linder sadly, of her soon-to-be-exiting on-screen daughter.

The tea will run from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m., followed by an autograph session. The afternoon of fun and festivities will include a raffle, live auction and gift bag giveaway. Plus, Y&R make-up artist Patti Denney and hair stylist George Guzman will auction off an on-the-spot makeover for a lucky winner! For tickets and event info click here!

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New Digital Soap Venture Ahead!

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Corday Productions -- the team behind NBC's DAYS OF OUR LIVES -- is teaming up with digital media firm All Screens Media to launch Net Soaps/Net Novelas, a project aimed at creating and distributing original "interactive" soap operas on-line, but with a twist: Fans, actors and advertisers will all be able to participate in the development of the shows.

Net Soaps/Net Novelas plans to launch in the last quarter of 2014 through its own Web sites and distribution partners. While Net Soaps is the English-language version targeted at American audiences, Net Novelas will provide in-language programming for Latin America and Brazil. Web soap pioneer and daytime veteran Crystal Chappell (Dani, THE BOLD & THE BEAUTUIFUL; ex-Carly, DAYS; Olivia, GUIDING LIGHT; Maggie, ONE LIFE TO LIVE) has joined the venture to produce, direct and mentor new talent.

For the full story, visit Variety.com here.

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Cast Your Vote #16

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Once again, it's time to express your opinions for our Readers' Poll. In the comments section for this article, please respond to the question, and feel free to explain your answer, but remember that any comments here may be considered for publication in the magazine. Any extra comments you have that have nothing to do with this week's poll question should be directed to the Message Boards section of our Web site!

THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL: Would you like to see Thorne back in L.A. permanently?

THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS: Which Genoa City man should Kelly pursue?

Please note that the cut-off date for your votes to be counted will be Thursday, March 27. And please, only one vote per person!

To vote on your favorite actor, actress and couple currently appearing on a CBS soap, please mail your choices to:

CBS Readers' Poll
c/o Soaps In Depth
270 Sylvan Ave.
Englewood Cliffs, NJ 07632

Multiple mail-in votes during the same voting period will not be counted, so don't waste our time, your time, or the postage!

VOTES FOR ACTORS, ACTRESSES AND COUPLES CAST IN THE COMMENTS TO THIS ARTICLE WILL NOT BE COUNTED.

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Branson's Baby!

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Congratulations are in order for Jeff Branson (ex-Ronan, THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS; Shayne, GUIDING LIGHT) and longtime love Jaimie Foley on the birth of their first child, son Van James. The infant certainly took his time coming into the world, waiting until well past his due date, but now that he's here, the parents couldn't be happier. You can see a pic of the happy family on Twitter by clicking here!

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Scott Calls Tabloid Out!

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Don't mess with THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS star Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki)! The daytime icon has taken to her Facebook page to slam The Globe for a story printed in its April 7 issue, claiming that, in a phone conversation with another soap opera legend, Susan Lucci (Erica, ALL MY CHILDREN), she said that Y&R isn't a great place to work since executive producer Jill Farren Phelps took over! "Sure, over the year, [Susan and I] have run into each other at events," Scott wrote. "That's it. There was no phone call!"

Scott even jumped to Phelps' defense. "In reality," she wrote, "our set has never been as relaxed and copacetic." For the star's full post, click

">here.
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