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Eileen Davidson and Beth Maitland celebrate four decades of Y&R surrounded by their cast mates

Howard Wise/JPI Studios

By Michelle Darrisaw

As much as we enjoy the dramatic storylines unfolding among the Abbotts on The Young and the Restless, it’s been equally rewarding watching the bond develop between the show’s core siblings: Ashley and Traci Abbott.

This year marks the 40th anniversary since Y&R fans were introduced to the pair (played by Eileen Davidson and Beth Maitland). In honor of CBS’s special tribute episode devoted to the Abbott sisters—airing June 17th—Davidson and Maitland reflect on some of their most memorable Y&R moments, their lasting legacy, and the show that changed their lives.

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Beth Maitland

\u200bMaitland sitting in a red chair wearing a black outfit and smiling at Davidson and Peter Bergman

Beth Maitland in theY&R 40th anniversary special celebrating the Abbott sisters

Sonja Flemming/CBS

“As Peter Bergman (Jack Abbott) so sweetly told me, to achieve 40 years of service in ANY business is a big accomplishment. To do it in entertainment is unheard of, and to do it as a woman, is even more special. I am so honored to have been Traci for every moment of these 40 years.”

Eileen Davidson

Bergman on set wearing a suit and putting his arms around Maitland in a purple jacket and Davidson in a red dress

Maitland and Davidson with Peter Bergman

Howard Wise/JPI Studios

“I never would have guessed walking through the doors of the Artists Entrance [at CBS] in 1982 would have such a tremendous effect on my life. I’ve been able to work with such incredible actors. I will always be grateful to the fans for their loyalty and love for The Young and the Restless and the Abbotts!”

Love for Y&R Fans

Davidson and Maitland with Bergman and Don Diamont with balloons and promotional posters for their show in the background

Davidson and Maitland with Bergman and Don Diamont

Howard Wise/JPI Studios

“Truly, I can’t imagine what my life would look like without being an Abbott,” says Maitland. ”Traci has been through some things. The viewers who have lived those stories with her are part of her successes and DNA. Our fans are what keep our world spinning in its orbit, and I am so grateful to everyone who tunes in.”

Three of Hearts

A black and white photo of Eric Braeden in a black suit with arms folded while Melody Thomas Scott and Davidson stand behind him wearing beaded gowns

Nikki, Victor, and Ashley

CBS

“Classic triangle with Mel [Melody Thomas Scott] and Eric [Braeden]! So fun to be a part of it,” says Davidson. ”Not sure why I look like Sweetums [the Muppet] in this shot, however!”

Life Saver

Michael Damian in a tuxedo with an \u201980s mullett and his arm around Maitland who is wearing a black dress with sheer sleeves

Danny Romalotti (Michael Damian) and Traci

CBS

“Danny (Michael Damian) saved Traci in so many ways in the early years of my time at Y&R. He and ‘Cricket’ (Lauralee Bell) literally saved her from suicide and taught her to have self-confidence by letting her sing in those historic rock concerts,” says Maitland. “Michael Damian is one of the funniest, silliest, and most adorable co-stars I could have wished for.”

Family Ties

Bergman in a tux with his arms around a formally dressed Maitland and Davidson

Maitland, Bergman, and Davidson

CBS

“People use the word ‘iconic’ to describe the Abbotts. I don’t know about that, but I do know I hit the lottery with these two,” Maitland says. “Eileen is sassy and wickedly funny, obviously gorgeous, and a lovely actress with range. Peter wrangles us all; he’s an actor’s actor. He organizes running lines and group meet-ups and keeps tabs on our lives. He is the most thoughtful and committed friend, and there aren’t words to describe how very blessed I feel to work with these two.”

Table Talk

The Abbotts and Abby Newman smile at the camera while sitting at a breakfast table laden with food on set

Abby Newman (Melissa Ordway) breaks bread with Traci, Jack, and Ashley Abbott

CBS

“The iconic Abbott breakfasts! So much fun, conflict, and FANTASTIC food, too,” according to Davidson.

Maternal Instincts

\u200bDina Abbott in a black and white suit next to Maitland in an elaborately appliqued gray dress

Dina and Traci Abbott

CBS

“The shy, insecure, and fragile girl that was young Traci was perhaps created by Dina’s selfish abandonment of her children,” Maitland theorizes. “Years of feeling left behind and unloved were hashed out with the lovely Marla Adams in the role. My nickname for Marla is ‘Mutti’ [German for mother], and we are still close. Dina’s illness and loss have had powerful and long-lasting effects on all the Abbotts, especially with Traci, who is now a matriarchal figure in the family herself.”

Best Frenemies

Tracey Bregman with an arm around \u200bMaitland while both wear pink and look into the camera

Miatland with Tracey Bregman

CBS

“Lauren (Tracey Bregman) was Traci’s archnemesis and best friend. She arrived in Genoa City about six months after Traci came home from boarding school. She was the classic mean girl—sly, beautiful, jealous, talented, plotting—and poor Traci fell for it for years. We laughed together, sang together, and fought over men … literally,” Maitland recalls. “Tracey Bregman is one of my life’s greatest gifts. She is my lifelong friend and partner in crime, so talented and the bravest actress I know. One of the brightest treasures to come out of my time at Y&R.”

Love Triangle

Brian played by Eric Garrison stands between Davidson in a blue shirt and Dina played by Marla Adams in a red suit

Ashley, Brian Matthews (Eric Garrison), and Dina

CBS

“Of course, Ashley fell in love with her mother’s ex lover. LOL! Another fun storyline,” says Davidson.

True Romance

Brad and Traci in wedding clothes

The wedding of Brad Carlton (Don Diamont) and Traci Abbott

CBS

“Brad Carlton (Don Diamont) is the love of Traci’s life,” Maitland says. “He was the one who got away, the one she will always regret losing, and the one she dreams about at night. Don Diamont made that magic with me, and it’s a longtime dream to somehow work with him again … that would be epic!”

Memory Maker

Davidson in jeans and blue button down shirt with her arm around Jerry Douglas and balloons in the background

Jerry Douglas and Davidson

CBS

“Awww! Seeing Jerry [Douglas, who portrayed John Abbott], which turned out to be for the last time, was such an amazing gift,” says Davidson. ”He was so kind and loving when Beth and I first started. I love Jerry!”

Father Figure

Jerry Douglas with an arm around Maitland as both smile at the camera

Jerry Douglas and Maitland

CBS

“Jerry Douglas was the first actor I worked with at Y&R in my screen test and my first scenes on the show 40 years ago,” Maitland recalls. “He was a father, an advisor, and an example for all the Abbott children on and off-screen. He loved to tell stories. He was a strong and beloved father figure as John [Abbott], probably because he was a single dad in his own life and raised two families. He is missed terribly.”

Watch The Young and the Restless weekdays on CBS and streaming on Paramount+.

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Radio City Music Hall: the place to be for the Tony Awards

Photo: Stephanie Berger

By Melissa Rose Bernardo

Despite the pandemic, the 2021–2022 season felt like the busiest ever on Broadway, with more than three dozen Tony-eligible productions bringing up their curtains. There were 15 of them in April alone! This Sunday, June 12th, Broadway gets a chance to celebrate with the 75th Annual Tony Awards at New York City’s Radio City Music Hall.

The festivities kick off live at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT on Paramount+ with hosts Darren Criss, currently featured in American Buffalo, and Julianne Hough, who’s making her Broadway debut in the all-female ensemble of Selina Fillinger’s farce POTUS: Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass Are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive. Then the party continues on CBS at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT with host Ariana DeBose, the newly minted West Side Story Oscar winner. DeBose was also a 2018 Tony nominee for her turn as Disco Donna in Summer.

To help you get into the spirit, we’ve compiled 10 tidbits about this year’s buzziest shows and competitive categories. Let’s raise a glass to the 2021–2022 season. A special shoutout to the swings and understudies who kept the marquees on as shows everywhere dealt with COVID-19–related absences. You’re all winners in our book!

Watch the 75th Annual Tony Awards 7–8 p.m. ET/4–5 p.m. PT exclusively on Paramount+, and 8–11 p.m. ET/5–8 p.m. PT on CBS, and streaming live and on demand on Paramount+.

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1. Best Musical: Bob Dylan vs. Michael Jackson vs. Michael R. Jackson

Todd Almond wears a white suit and clutches a microphone with one hand while he holds the other aloft singing. Girl From the North Country Broadway cast members hold up their arms singing in the background

Todd Almond (at the microphone) and the cast of Girl From the North Country, set to the songs of Bob Dylan

Photo: Matthew Murphy

Only on Broadway could you have two Rock & Roll Hall of Famers duking it out for the Best Musical title:
• Girl From the North Country, the Great Depression–era musical written by Conor McPherson with a score of 20 existing Bob Dylan tunes
MJ, the musical focusing on the life and music of the legendary King of Pop

And then there’s Michael R. Jackson, the multi-nominated lyricist, librettist, and composer of the Pulitzer Prize–winning A Strange Loop, the self-described “big, Black, and queer-ass Great American Musical.”

The other nominees include:
• Paradise Square, a Les Miz-meets-Ragtime mashup set in a slum in Lower Manhattan in 1863
• the plucky girl-powered Tudor romp SIX: The Musical
• the stage-to-screen Billy Crystal vehicle Mr. Saturday Night

2. The Season’s Most-Nominated Show Has No Stars … in the Cast.

Jaquel Spivey wears a flannel shirt and jeans and wags a finger at the audience as he sings backed up by four cast members of A Strange Loop

Jaquel Spivey as Usher (center) surrounded by his Thoughts—Jason Veasey, James Jackson Jr., L Morgan Lee, and Antwayn Hopper—in A Strange Loop

Photo: Marc J. Franklin

The cast members are far from household names, but you might recognize a few of the names above the title of the 11-time Tony-nominated A Strange Loop.

Just a few of the show’s famous producers:
• RuPaul Charles
• Alan Cumming
• Ilana Glazer
• Mindy Kaling
• Billy Porter
• Jennifer Hudson

Hudson will become an EGOT winner if Loop wins Best Musical. That’s how John Legend got the T in his EGOT; he was a producer of the 2017 Tony-winning revival of August Wilson’s Jitney.

3. Keep an Eye on Camille A. Brown.

The cast of for colored girls  dancing with projections of their faces on large screens

The cast of for colored girls …: Stacey Sargeant, Amara Granderson, Okwui Okpokwasili, Tendayi Kuumba, Kenita R. Miller, D. Woods, and Alexandria Wailes

Photo: Marc J. Franklin

With her revival of Ntozake Shange’s groundbreaking 1975 choreopoem for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf, Camille A. Brown became the first Black woman to direct and choreograph a Broadway production in 67 years. (The last was Katherine Dunham.) And she received Tony nominations for both her direction and her choreography. Although for colored girls… closed June 5th, it received seven noms.

Brown is the first person ever nominated for both directing and choreographing a play.

No Black woman has ever won a Tony for directing. This year, two are nominated—Brown and Lileana Blain-Cruz, forThe Skin of Our Teeth.

4. Mary-Louise Parker and David Morse: Déjà Vu All Over Again.

Mary Louise Parker smiles coyly at David Morse as the two sit at a table in How I Learned to Drive

David Morse and Mary-Louise Parker in Paula Vogel’s provocative How I Learned to Drive

Photo: Jeremy Daniel

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Mary-Louise Parker and David Morse starring in Paula Vogel’s wrenching drama How I Learned to Drive. Both originated their respective roles in the 1997 off-Broadway premiere. Parker played teenager Li’l Bit and Morse played her extremely attentive Uncle Peck.

Drive went on to win the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Play and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Both actors received Obie, Drama Desk, and Lucille Lortel Awards for their performances.

Now, 25 years later, How I Learned to Drive is making its Broadway debut, again directed by Mark Brokaw, with Parker and Morse. Since the play was never on Broadway, both actors are indeed eligible and were nominated for Tony Awards.

5. Lynn Nottage: Two Shows, Two Nominations

A poster for Clydes shows Uzo Aduba with long and pointed red fingernails holding a kitchen knife next to a red and black poster for MJ The Musical

Promotional posters for Clydes and MJ The Musical

Lynn Nottage, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner for her plays Ruined and Sweat, earned not one but two writing nominations for two very different works this season.

One nom was for her play Clyde’s, a fast-paced, ferocious kitchen comedy set in a sandwich shop staffed by ex-cons. Actors Uzo Aduba, Ron Cephas Jones, and Kara Young all earned featured actor nods for their roles.

The other was for the book of the Michael Jackson biomusical MJ, which is nominated for 10 Tonys.

6. There Are Seven Nominees for Leading Actor in a Play.

Adam Godley Simon Russell Beale and Adrian Lester dressed in long black jackets with matching black vests standing on a table in The Lehman Brothers

Adam Godley, Simon Russell Beale, and Adrian Lester played every role in the three-and-a-half-hour Sam Mendes–directed drama The Lehman Brothers.

Photo: Julieta Cervantes

Yes, seven nominees! They include:
• David Morse for How I Learned to Drive
• Sam Rockwell for American Buffalo
• Ruben Santiago-Hudson for Lackawanna Blues
• David Threlfall for Hangmen
• Simon Russell Beale for The Lehman Trilogy
• Adam Godley for The Lehman Trilogy
• Adrian Lester for The Lehman Trilogy

Remind us why the Tonys don’t have an ensemble category. The Lehman guys shouldn’t have to compete against each other!

Seven is a lot of nominees in an acting category. Five, sometimes six, is the norm. But it has happened before, back in 1958. The contenders were:
• Ralph Bellamy for Sunrise at Campobello. Bellamy ultimately won the Tony.
• Richard Burton for Time Remembered
• Hugh Griffith for Look Homeward, Angel
• Laurence Olivier for The Entertainer
• Anthony Perkins for Look Homeward, Angel
• Peter Ustinov for Romanoff and Juliet
• Emlyn Williams for A Boy Growing Up

Just a little Tony trivia for your next theatrical cocktail party.

7. SIX Boasts Eight Nominations, but Not One for Any of Its Six Actors.

The stars of SIX on a stage lit with purple lights holding microphones and singing

Bow down! Abby Mueller, Samantha Pauly, Adrianna Hicks, Andrea Macasaet, Brittney Mack, and Anna Uzele in SIX

Photo: Joan Marcus

If you’ve seen SIX, the supremely witty musical salute to the wives of Henry VIII, you might be shocked to learn that none of the actresses who play the badass queens were nominated.

The Tony Administration committee determined they were all lead, as opposed to featured, actresses. With all six competing for slots in the category, it’s actually not surprising they all got snubbed. Yet another reason the Tonys need an ensemble category.

8. This Year’s Most Competitive Category? Choreography

Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster in front of the cast of The Music Man leaping and dancing on stage

Hugh Jackman, Sutton Foster, and the dance-happy denizens of River City in The Music Man

Photo: Joan Marcus

Has there ever been a better season for choreography on Broadway? Nominees include:
• Camille A. Brown’s picturesque modern dance–powered for colored girls…
• Carrie-Anne Ingrouille’s bouncy, hip-popping, arm-punching steps in SIX
• Warren Carlyle’s rousing marching band and tap routines for The Music Man (Carlyle and star Hugh Jackman worked on that tap for two years during the pandemic.)
• Bill T. Jones’ Irish step–meets–African Juba work in Paradise Square
• Christopher Wheeldon’s uncanny re-creation of Michael Jackson’s iconic moves in MJ

The only way to decide who gets the Tony? Dance off!

9. This Year’s Second-Most-Competitive Category? Set Design of a Play

The cast of The Skin of Our Teeth in front of a boardwalk set with a roller coaster that hides a slide behind cheerful neon signs illuminating mock storefronts

The Atlantic City set in The Skin of Our Teeth. (Yes, that’s a working slide. Whee!)

Photo: Julieta Cervantes

Musicals traditionally have much more elaborate sets. Think moving mansions, crashing chandeliers. But this season, the plays were the thing.
• Beowulf Boritt created a dynamic rotating multi-room White House for POTUS: Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass Are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive.
• Michael Carnahan and Nicholas Hussong’s lived-in break room in Skeleton Crew looked ripped straight out of an aughts-era Detroit auto plant.
• Anna Fleischle’s Hangmen set moves seamlessly from a dank prison cell to a smoke-filled pub, with a few dangling ropes thrown in for good measure.
• Es Devlin used a massive rotating glass cube and an almost entirely black-and-white palette to tell the epic 164-year story of The Lehman Trilogy.
• Scott Pask’s American Buffalo junk shop is a hoarder’s delight, packed with trash and treasure in every nook and cranny.
• Finally, Adam Rigg’s The Skin of Our Teeth designs are as massive as the play itself, which spans thousands of years and includes a dinosaur, a woolly mammoth, and a trip to the Atlantic City boardwalk.

10. Mr. Saturday Night Received More Tony Nominations Than Oscar Nominations.

Billy Crystal mugging and David Paymer sitting on a sofa nearby looking unamused in Mr Saturday Night

Together again: Billy Crystal and David Paymer in Mr. Saturday Night

Photo: Matthew Murphy

The 1992 movie received just one Oscar nom, for David Paymer’s supporting character Stan, the beleaguered brother of Billy Crystal’s standup comic Buddy Young Jr.

The Broadway musical, however, received five Tony noms:
• book (Billy Crystal, Lowell Ganz, and Babaloo Mandel, who wrote the original screenplay)
• original score (music by Jason Robert Brown, lyrics by Amanda Green)
• leading actor (Crystal)
• featured actress (Shoshanna Bean, who plays Buddy’s daughter)
• best musical

The one it didn’t get? Featured actor for Paymer, who’s reprising his movie role on stage. To paraphrase one of Buddy Young’s famous lines, don’t get us started!

Watch the 75th annual Tony Awards 7–8 p.m. ET/4–5 p.m. PT exclusively on Paramount+, and 8–11 p.m. ET/5–8 p.m. PT on CBS, and streaming live and on demand on Paramount+.

SUBSCRIBE NOW: Enjoy 4 Digital Plus 2 Print/Digital Issues Of Watch Per Year — For Free!

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