Soap Stars Add Glamour To `Twelfth Night' Gala

June 25, 1995
by Myra Yellin Goldfarb
The Morning Call

A theatrical gala without stars? Gadzooks! That would be like Romeo without Juliet, or Macbeth without his lady.

So, of course, last Friday evening's gala opening for "Twelfth Night," the first presentation of the 1993 Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival at Allentown College in Center Valley, had its own minor constellations.

Five stars were promised from TV soapland -- James Kiberd of ABC's "All My Children," who will play Macbeth later this season; his wife, actress Susan Keith of ABC's "Loving;" Michael Tylo from CBS's "The Young and the Restless;" his wife Hunter Tylo from CBS's "The Bold and the Beautiful," and Kimberlin Brown from "The Young and the Restless."

Unfortunately, Kiberd and Keith were no-shows, because of last-minute rehearsal schedules, but the other three added their own brand of California star-kissed glamour.

This is the second year that Tylo and his wife have flown in from Los Angeles for the festival's opening. Tylo, who has known the Rev. Gerard Schubert, the festival's producing director, for 32 years, credits Schubert for saving him from becoming a "hoodlum" and inspiring him to become an actor.

"Father (Schubert) was my teacher in Detroit. He saved me from the streets," Tylo recalled. "The first day of school I walked into class wearing a white T-shirt, black chinos and my hair in a greased-back pompadour. He took me in hand," said Tylo, who Friday night in his tuxedo, fancy silk socks and loafers looked more like a GQ cover than a James Dean impersonator.

Standing next to him was his wife of eight years, Hunter Tylo, dressed in a gold-trimmed strapless gown. "This was the most theatrical dress that I own. I thought that we should look like stars," she said, adding that at home in California the two hate to dress up.

Nearby was slim and statuesque Brown, who plays Sheila Forrester in both "The Bold and the Beautiful" and "The Young and the Restless." Brown, looking provocative in a strapless, long black sheath slit up the side, tried to convince her husband, Ron Pelzer, to pose with them for the obligatory round of press photos.

"I hate all these photo sessions and things," confessed the blond, tanned Pelzer, who is more at home on the tennis court, golf course or boat marina. Pelzer recently sold his chain of Prince Tennis Camps to Adidas and now runs a San Diego-based boat rental and charter business in partnership with the Tylos.

But Shakespeare wasn't the only draw for the two couples. All are avid golfers, particularly Brown, who plays regularly on the PGA celebrity golf circuit. Also on the bill was a promised round of golf the next day at Lehigh Country Club. "That's what I came for," confessed Pelzer.

Shakespeare Festival board chairman Roger Mullin gave the L.A. contingent a run for its money sartorially. As master of the opening ceremonies, Mullin looked dapper in his yellow paisley dinner jacket. "I was going to wear my lime-green one again. It made such a stir last year, but I decided on a change of pace," said Mullin, a self-confessed frustrated "ham" who roasted Schubert with a string of jokes that were not only clean, but very funny.

At the end of the performance gala chairwoman Sharon Glassman, who is usually found directing things at Civic Little Theatre, took center stage and instructed the 320 patrons on how to get their food and drink.

Later, underneath a starry Center Valley sky, the L.A. stars sipped champagne, nibbled on chocolate, dipped strawberries and mingled with the crowd.

"Hunter and I intend to come back every year as long as Father Schubert needs us," said Tylo, a Shakespeare Festival board member since it was founded by Schubert at Allentown College last year.

And as for Hunter Tylo? She astounded a group of party-goers with her confession that she not only loves snakes, but has two of her own -- a 2-foot and a 3-foot boa constrictor -- and plans to go to medical school.

"I have always wanted to become a doctor or a veterinarian. For the last few years I have been taking courses part-time. What I really want to do is to give up acting and go to medical school full time."