Applause, Applause

Outstanding performers for the week of July 6

Luke and Laura's dance in Wyndham's department store in 1980 became one of General Hospitals most memorable and electric scenes not just bcause of the glamorous setting or the sheer romance of it all (they had gotten locked in after closing and turned the store into their private palace), but because Genie Francis and Anthony Geary looked so lovely as they glided through the aisles. They danced as one, with ease and grace.

The same can be said of the July 7 scenes in which Luke and Laura finally dealt with the fact that he raped her nearly 20 years ago. Francis and Geary danced as one, with ease and grace.

Eighteen years ago, Geary led. This time, Francis took control, as Laura explained, beat by beat, how she felt that night at the Campus Disco - and every night since. Much of the time Geary simply sat back and absorbed and reacted. It was Francis' moment, though Geary was so powerful in his silence, it was also his.
Both actors seemed calm and restrained despite the undercurrent of tension and conflict. The contrast at times was bone-chilling. Only once did Laura lose it: "How could you say you loved and call me your angel, then rape me!" she screamed. Francis had fire in her eyes, while Geary had anguish in his. It soon became clear that Luke had suffered more over the years from what had happened than Laura. She had come to terms with the rape; he never did. As she said, "I think for you the worst punishment of all was not being punished."

Finally, Luke saw the love and forgiveness in Laura's eyes, something he had seen every day before and during their marriage, but this time it was different. Now he could accept it because he finally felt as if he deserved her. Geary and Francis had tears in their eyes, first from the hurt and then from the joy. The performance level was astonishing, because both were so in touch with the material and each other.

At the end of the episode, Luke asked, "What now?" "Let's go home," Laura said, smiling. Geary took Francis' hand, pulled her close to him and held her as tight as that night in Wyndham's.

Mark McGarry

Special thanks to Lou for scanning and sending me this! :)