Soap Opera Digest: Tell me about your new project and how it all came to be.
Frank Dicopoulos: A couple of years ago, I was at a neighbor of ours that usually brings in bands like The Eagles, Bad Company, The Who into their backyard. I was at this concert and a neighbor of ours is a manager and she said, “Hey, listen, do you know Franke Previte?” and I’m like, “No, I don’t know Franke Previte,” and she goes, “Well, you should meet him. You guys would have a lot in common.” So she brings him over and introduces us. He wrote the song “(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life” in the movie Dirty Dancing, and he won an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for it. He was involved in this project called Decades of Divas, and they were looking for financing, and he had this idea and I loved it. It just sounded like it was really exciting and had legs and I told him, “I know some people that can get that done. I like the idea.” So from that point forward, I brought the investors in and I brought a lot of different people to the organization, and Franke and I have become best friends. We’ve put the show on twice for friends and family and for media, and due to that success and the investors behind it, we’re ready to launch.
Digest: What is the show?
Dicopoulos: The show is called Calling All Divas, and it’s a show about a nightclub owner whose name is Mr. D, who is me, and I’m looking to save my nightclub because we’ve fallen on hard times and I’m going to be closing up shop. And Nick, who is the Franke character, comes up with this idea: “Hey, listen, boss, you can’t close the club. I got this great idea to save your club. We just need a superstar. We just need one diva. We need one singer that can come in here and save it. A name.” And I go, “I don’t have that kind of money to pay a name.” So he goes out and he brings all these girls into the club to sing for me, to audition for me. They’re so outstanding, they’re so incredible that I can’t just pick one. I pick all four and I call them “The Un4gettables”. They save my nightclub.
Digest: What kind of music is it?
Dicopoulos: It celebrates the greatest music of all time. It’s a combination of theatrical musical and music from Madonna, Kelly Clarkson … I mean the list is endless. It celebrates the greatest pop No. 1 platinum records of all time.
Digest: You’re now touring with it. What’s the schedule?
Dicopoulos: March 2, 8 p.m. at the Keswick Theatre in Philadelphia is our world kickoff. We’ll hit all of the main markets and who knows? It could come to Broadway. Jersey Boys was built in San Diego and they toured around, they worked out all the kinks, and then they brought it to Broadway. So who knows? Our focus and our goal right now is to bring them good content at a reasonable ticket price.
Digest: What’s it been like to be involved in this?
Dicopoulos: It’s my first time onstage, ever! Ever in my life! I have to tell you, it’s exhilarating. It’s really, really exciting. If you get that feedback and you get that response from the audiences, every performance is electric. I’ve kind of gotten addicted to it. I never thought in a million years I would ever do that. But the greatest thrill was seeing my family’s response after that first performance. Just to see the glow and the smiles on their faces was worth everything. I’m working with really first-class, very hardworking, very dedicated people. Some of our musicians are from Bon Jovi, from Springsteen … It’s a six-piece band. It’s a great, great group.
Digest: Speaking of your family, how are they doing?
Dicopoulos: Jaden went to Rutgers four years and he loved it. Teja’s working four jobs, bless her heart. She’s doing photography, she’s doing catering, she was doing writing before. Her jewelry line is really expanding now. She’s got an incredible jewelry line that she works very, very hard at. It’s called Sea You Again. She’s on Etsy, but she has a website, it’s seayouagain.net. Little Olivia finished The New School in three years instead of four years. We’re extremely proud of her. She was devoted, dedicated, and that was her goal. Her dream was to get to California and that son of a gun goes out there, we found her an apartment, found her a roommate, and she goes and she books this game show. It’s called FAST FACTS and it’s on a new network called Ripkord.tv. It’s an interactive Internet game show, but it’s global, and she’s killing it. She hosts twice a week. I was out there and took her to GH, I took her to YOUNG AND RESTLESS. Laura Wright [Carly, GH; ex-Cassie, GL] was terrific and took us around. Mark Teschner [GH casting director] was wonderful, like, “Olivia, you’re not gonna have a problem here.” Gina Tognoni [Phyllis, Y&R; ex-Dinah, GL], who I love and adore, took us around. Jordi [Vilasuso, Rey, Y&R; ex-Tony, GL] was there. It was great catching up with everybody. Everybody is looking at me like, “What are you doing? Why aren’t you out here?” and I’m like, “That’s a really good question.” I’ve been working in different ventures and some of them didn’t pan out. I produced a bunch of reality shows and we’re still looking for homes for them. I have to reinvent myself.
Digest: Do you think about going back to daytime?
Dicopoulos: I do. It’s driving me crazy. I’m just flirting with this Divas thing and seeing how well it does. I can do that from anywhere. Once the show’s off and running, we’re just going from city to city, so I can fly in from California or New Jersey, whatever. But I would love to get back into soaps. I miss it. It was like, “Why did you not just go on a show like everybody else did? Why did you not go to California?” I thought somebody was going to pick up GUIDING LIGHT. When Oprah went after ONE LIFE TO LIVE and ALL MY CHILDREN and she tried, and then [Prospect Park] tried to work through the Internet and that failed, I thought, “How could GUIDING LIGHT, the longest television show in radio and TV history, not be picked up?” And it didn’t! I would do it [another soap] in a heartbeat. I love daytime. Daytime was very, very good to me. The fans were phenomenal and it provided me and my family with an unbelievable life. I’m extremely grateful for those fans. And for GUIDING LIGHT and Procter & Gamble and the whole nine yards. Absolutely. It’s the greatest job you could possibly have.
For more info about Calling All Divas, go to www.callingalldivas.com.
Dicopoulos had a surprise Springfield run-in last summer. “Teja treated the family to an unbelievable vacation in Turks and Caicos,” recalls Dicopoulos. “Teja loves to snorkel, so she signed us up from the resort on a snorkeling excursion on a boat. We get there in the morning and everybody signs in, we’re standing in line, and there probably were half a dozen boats and each boat would take probably 20-30 people. Teja and I get in this one line, we get on the boat, the boat takes off from shore heading into the ocean, all of a sudden I hear, ‘Frank Dicopoulos?’ I’m like, ‘What?’ And it’s Wes [Ramsey, Peter, GH; ex-Sam, GL] and Laura Wright with Laura’s whole family there on the boat! I hadn’t seen Laura Wright since GUIDING LIGHT went off the air. I hadn’t even seen Wes. He screamed, ‘Frank Dicopoulos!’ and Laura Wright’s like, ‘Are you kidding me?’ So we hung out in Turks and Caicos, and then we went and had dinner another night. It was really wonderful. I was happy for them that they’re together! I always liked both of them. Wes was just a great kid. Just a really nice guy. We always were very, very close.”
JUST THE FACTS
Birthday: January 3
Hails From: Akron, OH
We Are Family: Married Teja Anderson on October 20, 1990. They have two children: Jaden, 24, and Olivia, 21.
Turn On The LIGHT: The actor played Frank Cooper on GUIDING LIGHT from 1987-2009.
Buddy, Buddy: “Mark Derwin [ex-Mallet, GL] and I have stayed in contact over all of these years. Mark was one of my best friends. We worked very closely together. Frank and Mallet were inseparable. Those were our golden years.”
Project Planning: “I’ve got four pilots in the works. A friend of mine has a studio in Pittsburgh, a film studio, and they’re interested in these different shows. You never know when something gets sparked and triggered and it goes.”
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