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Go 'Into the Woods' ... with soap stars!

The latest Entertainment Weekly cover(s) feature the upcoming movie version of the Stephen Sondheim musical Into the Woods. Disney has invested a lot of money in this production ($90 million), and they are even more invested in it becoming a box office hit.

The question is: Will it be a hit?

The answer is: Yes.

Why? Because it has former soap stars in the cast! Just like every other previous movie-musical hit.

In advance of Into the Woods‘ December 25 release date, here are the top eight highest-grossing live-action movie musicals of all time, along with their soap-opera-heavy roots.


8) Dreamgirls (2006):  Sharon Leal—who played one of the original Dreamgirls, Michelle—spent three years as Dahlia on Guiding Light. This is the same soap that launched the career of Laura Bell Bundy (Marah), who here plays one of the Sweetheart singers, who steal the Dreamgirls’ early material.

7) The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975): Before she was an Oscar winner, or even “Damn it, Janet,” Susan Sarandon appeared on the short-run soap A World Apart. AWP was created by Katherine Phillips, daughter of soap legend Irna Phillips (see: 5 Most Outrageous Fan Campaigns). It told the story of a soap writer and her contentious relationship with her daughter (“write what you know” at its finest). Sarandon played the daughter, Patrice. The actress once recalled, “I was the girl everything happened to. I aged from, like, 17 to 20 in a year. My boyfriend was this terrorist who was dying of mercury poisoning. I also had a nervous breakdown and became a nurse’s aid, all in about a month. And then I got pregnant after unbuttoning one button of my nurse’s uniform.”

6) Hairspray (2007): After getting her start on GL, Laura Bell Bundy originated the role of Amber in the Broadway production of Hairspray. In the movie version, Amber was played by Brittany Snow, who’d once played Bundy’s niece, Susan, on GL. Other GL alums in the cast included Allison Janney, who’d dusted daytime as a wacky maid, and (this is the real shocker) Christopher Walken—who, as a child, would sometimes fill in for his big brother, Glenn, on the show.

5) Enchanted (2007): Susan Sarandon again. Plus, Matt Servitto, who’d spent a year on All My Children as Arty, the poor guy just trying to get his job done … if only fairy-tale characters would stop leaping out of his sewers.

4) Mama Mia (2008): Meryl Streep (who also stars in Into the Woods!) led a cast that included Amanda Seyfried, who made her television debut on As the World Turns before moving to AMC. It also starred Christine Baranski (another actor featured in Into the Woods), who guest-starred on Another World and AMC (where her husband, the late Matthew Cowles, played a prominent role for years as a horsewhip-wielding pimp).

3) Les Misérables (2012): Seyfried returns, sings, and scores another hit.

2) Chicago (2002): Remember Dreamgirls’ Sharon Leal on GL? Her music producer was played by Taye Diggs. His character’s name was Sugar Hill. Which still beat his character name in Chicago: Bandleader.

1) Grease (1978): Grease did not have any soap stars in its primary cast. However, Jeff Conway, who played Kenickie, would go on to costar as Bobby, the aspiring actor on the sitcom Taxi. And what was “Bobby’s Big Break“? That’s right, a role on a soap opera! Plus, Conway also appeared on The Bold and the Beautiful as Mick in the late 1980s.

Now that we’ve got that established, which soap stars are going to vault Into the Woods into the ranks of top-grossing movie musicals?

They are:

Mackenzie Mauzy (Rapunzel), who played pre-teen Lizzie on GL (where she replaced an even tinier Hayden Panettiere) and teen Pheobe on B&B.

Tammy Blanchard (Florinda) who, as GL’s Drew, tried to convince Dahlia’s boyfriend that she was having an affair with the aforementioned Sugar Hill.

Billy Magnussen (Rapunzel’s Prince), ATWT’s Casey, who ran away from serial killers … and made a lot of faces.

What do you think? Will these daytime vets prove the charm on Into the Woods’ opening day in December?

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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