Marco going Soapy: 10th annual Soapfest on its way

Marco Island, get ready to be soapy.

Some 25 soap stars are coming to Marco Island for the 10th annual Southwest Florida Soapfest, May 17 and 18.

Soap stars from As the World Turns, Guiding Light, All My Children and One Life to Live will take part in many fan-hungry events.

The weekend benefits the Marco Island YMCA Theater Program, the Art League of Marco Island Summer Art Program, and the Eden Florida’s newly-opened educational and outreach services for children with autism.

All My Children’s Walt Willey (Jackson Montgomery) will emcee the kickoff, A Night of Stars, at the San Marco Catholic Church Parish Hall, hosted by Marco Island’s Bill and Karen Young. The evening begins at 6 p.m.

With him will be soapmates Jacob Young (J.R. Chandler) and Billy Miller (Richie Novak).

Joining them from Guiding Light are Paulo Benedetti (ex-Jessie Blue), Robert Bogue (A.C. Mallet), Mandy Bruno (Marina Cooper), Jordan Clarke (Billy Lewis), Bonnie Dennison (Daisy Lemay), John Driscoll (Coop Cooper), Michael O’Leary (Dr. Rick Bauer), Marcy Ryan (Lizzie Spaulding), Caitlin Van Zandt (Ashlee Wolf) and Jeff Branson ( ex-Jonathan Lavery).

From As the World Turns are Tala Ashe (Ameera Ali Aziz), Dylan Bruce (Chris Hughes), Justine Cotsonas (Sofie Duran), Ewa da Cruz (Vienna Hyatt), Van Hansis (Luke Snyder), Mick Hazen (Parker Snyder), Billy Magnussen (Casey Hughes), Daniel Manche (JJ Snyder), Eric William Morris (Matt O’Connor), Marnie Schulenberg (Allison Stewart) and Jake Silberman (Noah).

Joining them from One Life to Live is Trevor St. John (Todd Manning).

Opening night continues with the 4th annual Celebrity Bartenders Bash at Vandy’s and 5 Brothers Pizza and Sports Bar, beginning around 9:30 p.m. Celebs will share pouring drinks and singing karaoke style. Tickets are $40 each, reduced to $25 for those who attend A Night of Stars.

On Sunday, noon to 3 p.m., fans can join their celebs on the Cruisin’, Boozin’ & Schmoozin’ Cruise aboard the Marco Island Princess. An extremely popular event, fans get to mingle with the stars, get autographs, take photos, take part in a raffle and bid on special auction prizes. Tickets are $75 each and include a buffet and entertainment.

Golf with a favorite celeb is also an option, but details have not been completed. Space is limited and only serious golfers are requested.

At various times there will be auctions for original artwork by actors, actual soap studio tours, ticket packages to the TV Emmys and lunch with a favorite star.

Willey closes out the action-packed weekend as he performs his comedy routine at 6 and 8:30 p.m. at the Off the Hook Comedy Club at Capt. Brien’s Seafood & Raw Bar. Willey has performed his “adults only” show at a number of premier venues, including Zainies, The Comedy Store, Caroline’s and Catch A Rising Star. Proceeds from the show will benefit the Soapfest charities and Willey’s children’s charity.

For Willey’s performance at Capt. Brien’s, tickets are $20 each and reservations can be made by calling Capt. Brien’s at 389-6900, or online at

For all Soapfest events, including various ticket packages, call 394-4559 or go to Ticket sales are final and not refundable.

© 2008 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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