The Young and the Restless star Jess Walton previews Friday's retro episode
In light of the production shutdown in Hollywood, CBS has tried to keep soap fans engaged by airing old episodes of The Young and the Restless on Fridays. This week's installment is a definitely a worthy blast from the past: it's episode #4707, when the entire population of Genoa City attends a masquerade ball.
First aired in October 1991, the episode features the cast wearing extremely lavish costumes for the city's big charity event. Someone eventually gets shot at the ball — the sudser did, after all, have to keep up with the daytime drama! But the three-day affair was extra special for the cast who relished the rare opportunity to be together. Here, long-time cast member Jess Walton (Jill Foster Abbott) remembers the three-day shoot ... and her achy feet.
"It was an excuse for a huge extravagance. The whole stage was the ballroom. They had these steps where everybody made their entrances. It was the most beautiful set. They had to constantly light and re-light real candles. We had tons of tables filled with wonderful food. All the flowers were real and magnificent. That's back before everyone was concerned about budgets. I loved my Cleopatra costume. I loved those two guys who were naked to the waist and fanned me. I came down the stairs with these two guys. We always used to joke that Jill was so beastly to everybody. Nobody really liked her. In all the party scenes she'd be standing alone. So I actually had two extras to talk to who were fanning me.
"Greg York [the former costume designer who died in 1995) was a genius. Everyone was perfect. Rex Sterling (Quinn K. Redeker) was the Mad Hatter. Katherine (the late Jeanne Cooper) was the Queen of Hearts. Brad Carlton (Don Diamont) was Zorro. Tracy (Beth Maitland) was Mae West. Lauren (Tracey Bregman) was Marie Antoinette. Esther was a French maid. That's not that much of a stretch. Paul (Doug Davidson) was a superhero with a lightning bolt on his chest. They never let him be funny on the show 'cause he was supposed to be a romantic hero. But he came down those steps zig-zagging in the funniest way. It cracked everybody up.
"By the third day we were hiding behind the sets and the stage manager came around and forced us out on the floor. We had to have our high heels on. That's just part of that glam thing. Three days is a long time to be dancing and standing constantly. I remember Sharon Ferrell, who played Nina's mother, gave us all foot massages. We don't always see each other all the time. This was the whole cast and it was magnificent because we had time to sit back and talk while other people were doing their scenes. We all got to be really close to each other and it was a really unifying event. I wish I could turn back time."
The Young and the Restless airs weekdays on CBS.