Cyndi Lauper does know how to make an entrance. We're not talking about her guest appearance on As the World Turns' July 3 episode, when she visits the CBS soap to perform a benefit concert (her latest single ''Into the Nightlife'' and the classic ''True Colors'') for a university Pride event. We're talking about her appearance on the ATWT set March 27, when, before shooting her scenes, she replaced actor Jake Silbermann the first half of daytime's hottest off-but-soon-to-be-on-again? gay couple, Noah and Luke (Van Hansis) in the hot seat at the Snyder family kitchen table to answer reporter questions.
''I just think it's awful, and you should get back together with your boyfriend,'' she told Silbermann, before taking a breath that would have to last for the next 30 seconds. ''Because honestly, I think you two are made for each other. And if you're gonna start this silliness now, just think, you know, later on, you'll be sorry in life. You had your moment when you could have had real love. But no, you decided to become distracted. And then what's gonna become of you? You're gonna be unhappy, which will be perfect for this show, but, you know what I mean. You better get straightened up... [She puts out her hand for Silbermann to shake] It's nice to meet you.''
Unlike when we first reported on Lauper's visit to Oakdale, we can now tell you that her ulterior motive was to help reunite Nuke. ''Try and bring people back together, that's what I do,'' Lauper joked. ''A little singing, a little matchmaking. Nothing my family has not handed down for generations.'' Ask her what she hopes viewers walk away with from the episode and her answer is simple: ''That true love should win out!''
Gay rights is a cause that Lauper, who also guested as herself on a monumental episode of Showtime's Queer as Folk in 2005, has long supported. ''Part of it is being raised a New Yorker, Italian. You're always taught from when you're little that you stick up for your own,'' she says, in reference to her older sister, Ellen, and her friends in the community. That's why she created the True Colors Tour in 2007. ''It's always dangerous in any country when you say, 'We have this, except for you guys. Not you guys.' Because you never know when you're going to be piled into that group that doesn't have freedom or whatever life affords everybody else. [The tour] is an opportunity to step forward. I wanted to do it though the power of music and laughter and have information at people's fingertips.'' That's why, in addition to the family and friends grassroots organization PFLAG (which we all know Noah's homophobic, presumed-dead father could've benefited from joining), Lauper also invited the Human Rights Campaign along on this year's tour, which wraps July 5, to help concertgoers register to vote. ''We might have a new president that actually believes in civil rights for everybody, which will be refreshing,'' she said. ''I'm not a politician, and I'm not a mathematician, but I do believe in equality. You're gonna have to vote if you want everything equal because from what I remember from fourth or fight grade, they always said, 'Equal means the sum of all the parts.' If you want inclusion, you've got to step up and vote now.... Don't be silent. Don't give up.''