In what promoters are hailing as “The greatest reunification in Germany,” the cast of Queer As Folk is coming together in Cologne this weekend for Rise’n Shine 2012, a dream-come-true convention for the show’s legion of international fans.
Almost the entire cast will be there—Hal Sparks (Michael), Randy Harrison (Justin), Sharon Gless (Deborah), Peter Paige (Emmett), Scott Lowell (Ted), Robert Gant (Ben), Michelle Clunie (Melanie) and Thea Gill (Lindsay)—marking the first time since QAF‘s original run that the gang has been brought together.
The only no-show? Gale Harold, who, in a very Brian Kinney-esque move, cancelled his appearance at the last minute due to “a wonderful work opportunity [that] has only recently come my way.”
The event will go on anyway—”This is still is a QAF convention, and not a Gale Harold convention,” said one insider—and perhaps it’s better off without him: One QAF actor indicated Harold was not universally loved among the cast and predicted “a different actor” might play Brian in any reunion show.
Filling in for Harold will be Harris Allan, who played Michael and Ben’s adopted HIV+ son, Hunter.
Running June 8 to 10, Rise’n Shine (the name a nod to a common Brian quote from the show) is the brainchild of Elke Kriebel, a Cologne travel agent and diehard aficionada of the U.S. Queer as Folk, which ran from 2000 to 2005 on Showtime and spawned numerous fan clubs. The full program includes Q&A’s, a sightseeing tour, and photo/autograph sessions with members of the QAF cast, plus a charity auction of show memorabilia and numerous parties around the city.
“I thought she was maybe just an overexcited fan with a funny dream,” Lowell said in an interview last year of Kriebel. He and fellow castmates calculated what it would take to actually get them all to Cologne and presented the figure to Kriebel, assuming it would scare her away. “But it didn’t,” he says, “and now it looks like it is actually going to happen, and we are all so thrilled.”