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CBS Soaps in Depth
[January 29o, 2011]

[Matthew Ashford and wife take center stage]

You know Matthew Ashford as one half of DAYS OF OUR LIVES' longtime supercouple, Jack and Jennifer Deveraux. But for the last few years this talented actor has made a name for himself on stage in productions of Mamma Mia and Anthony & Cleopatra. "I saw how much joy these shows can bring to people," the actor offers."It's like musical soap opera."

This month, he's head to Sacramento, CA, to take on what could be the biggest challenge of his career, "I'm starring in the two-person musical, I Do! I Do! with my wife, Christina Saffran Ashford," he reels of his participation in the 2011 Music Circus season. "It's a pretty big theater in the round, and it'll be non-stop music, dialogue, dancing and playing musical instruments. It's very challenging but also gratifying. It's just a good year for me to grow and try new things."

Originally written for Robert Preston and Mary Martin, the musical follows a couple's marriage from 1895 to 1945 and relates the tale with more than a dozen songs. "It's a great character -- he actually reminds me of Jack. He's a writer of romance noels and very full of himself," Ashford says with a laugh. "He says things that I would never get away with -- he's a piece of work."

As Time Goes By
The process of telling a story with his wife as they both age from their 20s into their 70s on stage also reminds Ashford of two special people from his DAYS past. "It follows a relationship that grows, matures, struggles and develops, and brings to mind the on-going relationship that Macdonald Cary (Tom) shared with Frances Reid (Alice) that we all followed right up until the end of their lives," Ashford suggests. "They were always held up as being the relationships to try to be, which no one ever really lies up to, which they would say they never measured up to, either."

The production, which runs Tuesday, August 15, through Sunday, August 21, has required intense rehearsal time which meant that DAYS had to juggle Ashford's summer taping schedule in order to accommodate Jack's return now that the character is slated to hit Salem again in mid-September. And as if that isn't enough to keep him busy, he's also taping new episodes of the popular Web series THE BAY. "It's a lot of fun," he says of the star-studded production. "There's a lot of love going on around there!" Which, as it turns out, could be said of all the projects the incredibly busy actor has going on!

--Keli M. Larson
Photos  Photos  Photos  Photos  Photos  Photos

Show us the funny DAYS Jack and Jennifer never failed to in the past. But their future could be dramatic.


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