They’ve each had many careers in Port Charles, but now General Hospital characters Ava Jerome and Franco can add “performers” to their resumes courtesy of their performances at the Nurses’ Ball last month.
Attendees of the recent General Hospital Convention in Burbank heard directly from Maura West (Ava) and Roger Howarth (Franco) about how they felt about singing on the show.
Howarth and Kathleen Gati (Dr. Obrecht) performed Guilty, the duet made famous by Barbra Streisand and Barry Gibb, while West sang a sultry version of Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You.
“I was just jealous I didn’t get to lay on the piano [like Maura did],” Howarth said. The actor added that the singing world isn’t one in which he has decades of experience, but his admiration for his partner Gati is unlimited.
“I love her so much that I think I can get away with saying this — she’s so nervous that it’s relaxing. I have nothing but respect and admiration for her. She’s amazing.”
As for having two semi-reformed baddies singing a song titled Guilty, Howarth says, “I thought it was very clever.”
What did West think when she learned that executive producer Frank Valentini decided to have her sing again this year?
“I thought, Frank [Valentini, executive producer], ‘Are you nuts?’ [But] the more I do it, the more exposed I feel. Then, I liked it. I went through different versions of the song on iTunes and the one [chosen] I felt was more ‘Ava-like.'”
The actress reached out to her own talented children to get their input. She thanked Howarth and Rebecca Herbst (Liz) for their support during her performance. West says she sang her song multiple times — once, when the camera was on her; another when the camera was capturing the reactions of ball attendees.
“They cut to people who are thinking that [Ava’s performance] is gross as I’m up there trying to do it,” says West, hastening to add that she knows it’s not about her and that her co-stars are just playing their parts.
“In the middle of the song, Maura stopped being Ava and says, as Maura, ‘I am so nervous,'” Howarth shared. “It was so beautifully transparent and naked and vulnerable.”
General Hospital airs weekdays on ABC. Check local listings for air times.