It’s Gay Pride in Oakdale! Or at least it was on May 27 when Cyndi Lauper stopped by to tape an episode of CBS’ As the World Turns (which will air July 3). Lauper takes the tiny stage at Yo’s for a benefit concert where she stands beneath a ”Oakdale U. Pride loves Cyndi Lauper” sign — and in between two posters advertising her new dance album, Bring Ya to the Brink (out now), and her second annual True Colors tour (kicking off May 31). The singer performs two songs: her new single, ”Into the Nightlife,” and her classic diversity anthem, ”True Colors.” The former finds her dancing with Luke (Van Hansis), Noah (Jake Silbermann), and a few grateful extras; the latter, she dedicates to Luke, whom she gets to know when he interviews her for the college paper.
Lauper’s visit to Oakdale makes sense for a couple of reasons. For one, it supports an issue that’s long been important to her — equality. Lauper was raised to believe that you ”stick up for your own,” she says, and her older sister, Ellen, is lesbian. Lauper has also followed the Luke-Noah storyline enough to have an opinion on whether the couple — which shared the first gay kiss in daytime last August but has yet to spend the night together — is moving too slowly.
”I think they’re young, these guys, and they’re sweet,” she tells EW.com. ”They’re taking their time and struggling with the heart issues, which is even more endearing than just being like the straight couples, half-naked and having sex all over the place. The best way to people is through the heart, and that’s why I think it’s kind of interesting the way they’ve done it. It’s about love.”
The pop icon’s audience at Yo’s is not unlike the one that inspired her new album. ”I did The Threepenny Opera [on Broadway with Alan Cumming in 2006], and I went out dancing a lot with him and other friends. I was thinking then how I was gonna go back to my world, and I would miss them, and we wouldn’t dance together anymore. Then I was thinking, ‘Unless you made some music that they played in these places, and then we’d still be dancing together.’ That’s where the idea [for a dance album] came to me.”
NEXT: All My Children‘s Cameron Mathison on his Emmy hosting gig. MATHISON, SHEPHERD HOSTING EMMYS
Even if there are no upsets at next month?s Daytime Emmy Awards, there could still be some fireworks on stage when Cameron Mathison (All My Children) and Sherri Shepherd (The View) will co-host the ceremony show on June 20. ”I am absolutely thrilled to be co-hosting The Emmys, and hopefully I won’t faint standing next to Cameron Mathison,” Shepherd says. Mathison is no stranger to emceeing, having hosted SOAPnet?s reality show I Wanna Be a Soap Star. He?s also been known to strut his stuff on Dancing with the Stars and plans to be quick on his feet with Shepherd as well. ”We get along great and always have a blast together,” Mathison says.
”NIGHT SHIFT” RENEWED
Coming off strong ratings for its debut run, General Hospital: Night Shift will start a second season on SOAPnet in July. The GH spinoff, which premiered last fall, was the net?s highest rated scripted drama. The folks behind both shows promise that this time around the daytime and nighttime story lines will match up, so we won?t have another ”what happens on Night Shift, stays on Night shift” situation, as one publicist put it. Some stars may be pulling double duty on the two shows, but GH?s head writer Bob Guza Jr. and exec producer Jill Farren Phelps won’t be this time. Lisa De Cazotte (Passions) will exec produce and Sri Rao (MTV?s What Goes On) will be head writer.
WRITER HOGAN SHEFFER HEADS TO Y&R
EW has confirmed that Hogan Sheffer will start as co-headwriter of The Young and The Restless starting in June, according to a show insider. Soap Opera Network broke the news last week that the four-time Daytime Emmy winning-writer will join Maria Arena Bell in penning the soap, which recently received 17 Emmy noms. Dena Higley replaced Sheffer as head writer of Days of Our Lives earlier this year.
CHARLES PRATT JR. NAMED NEW HEAD WRITER FOR AMC
Former General Hospital and Melrose Place writer Charles Pratt Jr. has been named the new head writer and consulting producer for All My Children, replacing James Harmon Brown and Barbara Esensten. He will start on June 23. Pratt wrote for General Hospital in the ’80s before leaving to write on Santa Barbara. He returned to GH in 2002 and stayed on as head writer until 2006. His other TV credits include Desperate Housewives, Ugly Betty, Titans, Manchester Prep, Sunset Beach, Pacific Palisades, Models, Inc., Life Goes On, and Gabriel’s Fire. He also has two primetime pilots in the works.