[My friend, LuAnne Cobb, spent a weekend, going to the AMC & OLTL studios in New York City (Nov. 20) as well as attending a fan event in Staten Island (Nov. 21). Here’s her recap and photos.]

By LuAnne

My friend Linda, who I met at Super Soap Weekend a few years ago, picked me up at Newark Airport. We immediately hopped on a train into NYC and then took a cab over to the All My Children studios in hopes of seeing a few soap stars.

We saw Melissa Claire Egan (Annie) and David Canary (Adam) from a distance. After David went in, one of my favorite veterans came out with a beautiful bouquet of roses – it was Julia Barr, who played Brooke English for many years. Julia told us she was there to film scenes for the AMC 40th Anniversary Special. She graciously stopped for a quick picture, and then went on her way.

Next we saw both Chrishell Stause (Amanda) and Ricky Paull Goldin (Jake). They stopped briefly to talk to us and signed some pictures. Chrishell was absolutely beautiful, and Ricky was looking pretty good too!

Linda and I then decided to walk over to the One Life To Live studios. We stayed for awhile, and finally were rewarded when down the street came Brian Kerwin, who plays Charlie. Brian stayed to talk and take pictures for about 10 minutes. He was so pleasant, and seemed genuinely happy to talk to us. It was a good day in NYC!

The next day, Linda drove us to the Uncle Vinnie’s Comedy Club in Staten Island for an AMC Fan Event.

Four of the nicest and most attractive men from AMC then walked on stage: Vincent Irizarry (Dr. David), Michael E. Knight (Tad) , Darnell Williams (Jesse) and Ricky Paull Goldin (Jake) were welcomed with thunderous applause, screams and whistles. It was awesome to see them 10 feet away!

The first part of the event was a question and answer session. The fans asked about many things, including the upcoming move to Los Angeles.

Vincent said that he would be commuting, at least for the rest of the school year so that his children can stay in their current schools. Michael and Ricky said they were moving to L.A. and Darnell said he was going, but he’s lived in NYC all his life and it would be hard to leave the city.

We found out that Jill Larson (Opal), who is a recurring player, was also moving. The fans were in agreement that the cast should come back to NYC for fan events. The guys answered questions for over an hour, then took a short break before meeting with the VIP fans.

All four of the actors took seats at long tables, and we were able to speak to each of them for a few minutes and get our pictures taken with them. Michael took the most time with the fans, even though he was sick. But they all seemed happy to be there and gave the fans what we came for – a great time!

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By Kimi

Yesterday’s anniversary show wasn’t anywhere near what I was expecting, and that turned out to not be such a bad thing.

Interviewing the show’s characters in documentary style was a great way to not only fill in blanks on old and new characters and story lines, but also gave the show a modern feel.  It probably also enabled them to show more flashes of clips throughout the show.

There were many moments that made me tear up, like Greg’s (Laurence Lau) admission that it’s hard to return to Pine Valley due to memories of first love Jenny (Kim Delaney), and some that cracked me up, like when Nina (Taylor Miller) declared her father Palmer Cortlandt (James Mitchell) was the reason she came to Pine Valley, and ultimately the reason she left with husband Cliff (Peter Bergman).  Anybody familiar with their love story had to LOL at that one. 

“Brooke who” coming from Erica was classic!  Watching Hayley (Kelly Ripa) comfort Adam (David Canary) over Stuart’s death was long overdue.

LOVED watching reflections on the lives of Mona and Myrtle by Erica (Susan Lucci), and her thoughts on daughters Bianca (Eden Riegel) and Kendall (Alicia Minshew). 

But Erica should have also mentioned her ONLY son Josh (Colin Egglesfield) during the “Loss” segment. 

I found the focus on baby Gabrielle strange considering how she was conceived.  I doubt Kendall would appreciate her sister predicting Gabby will be the strongest Kane woman of them all.

LOVED the quickie wedding flashbacks, ALL of them, along with all the Hubbard flashbacks.

Glad we got to see Hayley onscreen with her brother and chatting with Amanda (Chrishell Stause) during her interview.  Wanted more flashbacks of the Dillon clan though.

Ryan’s (Cameron Mathison) interview was a nice subtle segue way into Greenlee’s (Rebecca Budig) imminent return.  And it was great to finally hear straight from a Santos how much Julia (Sydney Penny) meant to them – but Edmond (John Callahan) doesn’t even rate an honorable mention by soul mate Maria?  Huh? 

Understandably, David (Vincent Irizarry) mentioned losing Babe, but not brother Leo (Josh Duhamel)?  No flashbacks either?  If nothing else why not at least try to capitalize on Duhamel’s current popularity.  Duh!

LOVED Brooke (Julia Barr) and Opal’s (Jill Larson) recollection of daughters Laura and Jenny, but how could Brooke not lovingly recollect Aunt Phoebe (Ruth Warrick) as well? 

Jacob Young is such an awesome actor, he made me feel JR’s pain all over again – but no mention of mom Dixie?  And Joe (Ray MacDonnell) and Ruth (Lee Meriwether) could’ve mentioned Grandma Kate, Philip and Tara.

My gripes?  Not enough homage paid to older story lines that got the show to the forty year mark.  I know Charles Pratt wrote these episodes and either he lacked knowledge of AMC history or intentionally highlighted his story lines and characters.  Or both.

Also, I thought Kendall and Zach (Thorsten Kaye) had already left town?

It was strange not seeing some originals like Alexa Havins (in my opinion, Babe’s most memorable story lines occurred during her run) and particularly, Marcy Walker’s Liza.  She played such a huge part in AMC history, its a shame that fans didn’t get to relive any of that via flashbacks or dialogue.

But it was the vets, some of whom aren’t even on the canvas, that really made me long for those two full episodes even more.  Nevertheless, this was a unique way to present forty years of All My Children history, and although there were holes, I enjoyed it.  Did you?

By Kimi

Just watched the first half of All My Children’s 40th Anniversary special, and must admit I was a bit disappointed.

It was great to see Hayley (Kelly Ripa) and Mateo (Mark Consuelos) on my screen again.  Ripa effortlessly stepped back into her character’s old pumps with ease, and it was hard to tell Hayley’s been gone for seven years! 

I wished somebody would’ve called JR though, and maybe given an honorable mention to their sister, Skye.  Its been so long since any of Amanda’s extended family was mentioned, I completely forgot she’s Hayley’s cousin! (love how she called Amanda’s kid “baby Pork chop” too – only an old school fan would catch that reference).  Hopefully we’ll get to see Ripa interact with them today. 

The scene where Hayley grilled Erica was weird but fun to watch, as she went all TMZ on Erica who surprisingly declined NOT to brag about her relationship with Ryan (Cameron Mathison). It was weird because I remember them being cool throughout Hayley’s time in Pine Valley and that scene seemed slightly antagonistic.

Not surprised that Hayley boarded the “I Hate Annie” bandwagon, but loved Adam’s analogy that people like Annie are what make Pine Valley the best town. His words rang true for every character in that room at some point during their time on the show.

Did anybody else get the impression we’ll be seeing either Max and/or Enzo in the near future? 

I felt bad for Consuelos, though.  His lines were nonexistent as he just kind of stood around like an extra while Ripa worked the room. For me the best were Hayley’s scenes catching with up her father, Adam (David Canary).  I miss them together.

But overall I felt cheated by Monday’s show.

Do the writers need to be reminded you only turn 40 once?  They should have saved the Greenlee/David/Hubbards/Madison and Ryan/Erica (after they left the Chandlers) stuff for Wednesday. 

I expected to see two full episodes of flashback type scenes as shown on the commercials and promos, and get a chance to reminisce about the storylines that carried this show through 40 years. Now they’ve got a whole lot to squeeze into an hour today, and hopefully they do the show’s history justice.

Also returning to share some memories are Julia Barr (Brooke English), Eva LaRue (Maria Santos Grey), Laurence Lau (Greg Nelson), Taylor Miller (Nina Cortlandt), James Mitchell (Palmer Cortlandt), Leven Rambin (Lily Montgomery) and Eden Riegel (Bianca Montgomery). I’m particularly interested to find out where that old coot Palmer’s been all this time.

Are you looking forward to today’s show?  What was your favorite All My Children moment or storyline?