All future General Hospital events will have huge footsteps to follow. On June 4, Coastal Entertainment and Uncle Vinnie’s Comedy Club presented a historic event, Genie Francis & Jackie Zeman – Celebrating 39 Years of GH History!!! I have been to plenty of events with the veteran actors and heard them tell stories from the good old days, but this event blew all of those out of the park.
Originally set to be an event with Genie and onscreen son Tyler Christopher, Tyler backed out and Jackie was a last-minute replacement. And a damn good one!!! These longtime leading ladies began with an intimate meet and greet, visiting each table for a one-on-one chat and autographs & photos. For two of the most iconic GH stars, the crowd was quite small, allowing Genie and Jackie more time with each fan.
The amazing meet & greet was followed by an equally entertaining Q&A, where Genie & Jackie traded stories of GH tales of times gone by. Both women were honest, open, and downright compassionate about the series they have called home for 39 years, and the coworkers who have come and gone along the way. The most touching moment was Jackie’s recollections of John Beradino, Emily McLaughlin, Norma Connolly, and Shell Kepler. Genie echoed her sentiments and you could tell that even after all of the years, she really misses Beradino.
At the event’s conclusion, they posed for duo photo ops with the fans, and before leaving them, I turned and thanked them for the wonderful time I had. And a huge thanks to Dino and Linda for putting this event together, and here’s hoping we get more GH veterans on the road in the future!!!
Well I across this major one off the bucket list. After years of wanting to see Kenny Rogers in concert, our schedules finally aligned and I was once again an NJ resident when he came to the Wellmont Theater in Montclair on May 22nd as a part of The Gambler’s Last Deal World Tour. Seeing as it is his final tour, I splurged and bought a VIP Meet & Greet ticket. Go big or go home, you know?
Kenny and his tour manager, Gene Roy, were great. The definition of southern gentlemen, they treated all of us as if we were old friends. A professional photographer took all of the photos (the ones with Kenny, a group shot, and various photos of us sitting in Kenny’s chair on the stage), and posted them promptly online and available for download just hours after the concert’s end.
The concert itself was great. Kenny got tripped up a few times, but between his timeless voice and lyrics, as well as his accompaniest, the stunning Linda Davis, I walked away having had a great time, and singing his tunes the whole ride home.
Many of my regular readers will know that aside from my core General Hospital favorites, I rarely go out of my way to see a star twice. Well Holly Madison, star of Girls Next Door and Holly’s World, is an exception to that rule. With the release of her new book, The Vegas Diaries, Holly appeared at Bookends on May 17.
I think the crowd was comparable to last year’s signing of Down the Rabbit Hole at nearby Books & Greetings. Admittedly not a public speaker, Holly arrived and quickly began signing and posing for photos. On the way over to the store, I stopped by Walgreens and printed up a photo of us at her last signing which she graciously signed for me as well.
As always, I had another great experience at Bookends and look forward to visiting Walter and the team again real soon!!!
A few weeks late and getting caught up on missed posts, but here it is, an evening with the illustrious Buzz Aldrin, second man to walk on the moon (and the first to urinate on it). Buzz appeared at Bookends on May 9th to a crowd of approximately 800 people selling out 1,500 copies of his new book, No Dream Is Too High, as well as numerous other books, and signing every single one of them. Not going to lie, I severely underestimated the draw of the 86-year old NJ native, and waited in line for at least 3 1/2 hours. And when I left, there were still a good 500 people waiting.
Buzz, who has a reputation for being quite grump, was actually very engaging this evening, and while they said no photos, many of his snuck selfies, which he actually looked up for and acknowledged.
My selfie turned out a bit blurry, but it was more than I even expected I would get, so I was cool with it. Overall, a great success and come on, how many people can say they’ve met a freakin’ astronaut?