Cheap energy! International intrigue, collusion of the cops, Washington lawyers virtually under house arrest, rush-hour traffic obstructed! Not to mention a secret scenario for kidnaping.
Call it Soap-gate.
Call it Soap-scam.
But whatever you call it, its name is "One Life to Live."
The energy source is part of the plot--you know, under the estate called Llanfair--and so is the international intrigue and the kidnaping.
The police collusion and the trapped lawyers happened yesterday morning as ABC's "One Life" went on location here in Washington.
"Oh," said Jo Ann Emmerich, ABC's daytime vice president for the East Coast, "we like to get them off the sets, out into the air . . . We're anxious to get out to more single remotes, day trips and the like."
"One Life's" venture into Washington is a three-day "remote," ending today with a chase through town in a tour bus. It's a new "adventure" featuring Bo (Robert Woods) Ralston (who used to be Bo Buchanan--you remember, he thought he was Asa's son but he isn't) and Mimi (Kristen Meadows) King (who used to be Asa's mistress and almost married Larry except that Larry has some sort of brain implant and is being manipulated by . . . but that's another storyline).
People connected with soaps are traditionally closemouthed about their forthcoming plots.
Their natural enemy at any given time is whoever is president of the United States because only he can preempt a soap. And does with some regularity. ("Reagan isn't as bad as Carter was," is the way Emmerich puts it.)
Emmerich, a Catholic University alum, "one of Father Hartke's kids," she says, was swathed in a full-length mink coat yesterday morning in front of an East Capitol Street town house where some Bad Guys were holding Bo and Mimi. The "One Life" company wasn't saying exactly how Bo and Mimi got to Washington or why they are being kidnaped, except that it has something to do with the "burning rock," that new energy source.
But the ones who really got held yesterday morning were some of the five lawyers and law students who, in fact, share the house. They'd given permission, of course, for the taping, which started around dawn, but then it got to be about 8:30 or so and the taping was still going on and--well, you got it, they were trapped. ("Listen, your honor, you'll never believe this, but there was this soap opera . . .") "What is this show, anyway?" asked one of them as he slipped out between takes.
One of the Bad Guys turns out to be former Q-107 deejay Dude Walker.
Another is Montgomery Blair and University of Maryland graduate David Davis.
Chief Bad Guy is veteran Broadway and TV actor John Cunningham. Cunningham's character is named Kurt Eberhardt and Cunningham is playing him like a left-over Nazi, complete with German accent. Cunningham was mildly irked that because his hotel didn't get Channel 26 he missed Monday night's episode of "Brideshead Revisited." "But my wife is taping it," he assured himself.
It was getting to be time for people to go to work on the Hill and the ABC trucks, limousines, as well as assorted police cars were beginning to do awful things to traffic--four-wheeled and two-legged. A few three-piece suits with briefcases walked right through with typical Hill-type insouciance. Some pedestrians did recognize Mimi and even more recognized Bo. By about 8:40, a small crowd of gawkers had formed, shivering in the morning chill, but fastened to the spot.
Bo and Mimi may be "sort of" a thing on the program.
Bob Woods and Kristen Meadows are a real thing in real life. (This is a scoop, folks. Eat your heart out, Lynda Hirsch.)
"It certainly makes it convenient," said Meadows, with a grin. Meadows, who is 25, is from Milwaukee. She spent nine years studying theater arts in New York, but it took a move to California (as a model) to get her onto a New York soap. She came onto "One Life" as a cheerleader about two years ago after a California audition, and, for a time, did both the soap and a Broadway show--"Fearless Frank." Yesterday she was dressed for spring, because that's when this episode is supposed to be taking place (and when it is scheduled to air), but underneath she was wearing flowered thermals.
Robert Woods, in his Bo Ralston ten-gallon hat and cowboy boots, looked more than a little anomalous as he munched on a pumpernickel bagel, but he was surrounded by autograph seekers anytime he wasn't on camera. "Where's Asa?" demanded a fan.
The script is kept in a folder, carefully hidden from prying eyes. But yesterday's activities hint strongly that Mimi will break away from her captors and lead them on a merry chase around assorted Washington tourist sites, monuments, memorials and museums.
Sure enough, yesterday morning, as Capitol Police held traffic at bay, Mimi delivered a body blow to her Bad Guy and tore across East Capitol Street and kept going, her dancer's long legs and three-inch heels a-flying. Onlookers cheered.
"Okay, you can come back," shouted producer-director Joe Stuart.
"We have to do it again. One of the policemen was watching . . . on camera . . ."
Will Mimi get rescued?
Who will do the rescuing? Bo? Larry? Asa?
Stay . . . tuned . . .