Gala mashup Y&R
Credit: Howard Wise/JPI

Genoa City is in for “romance, intrigue, and danger”. Get your first look from the set inside.

Young & Restless stars partied it up in honor of the daytime drama’s incredible 50th anniversary, and now it’s time for their onscreen counterparts to do the same. Who among us doesn’t love a Genoa City gathering, especially one that promises “one surprise after another”?

Going into the gala, which is being planned by Nikki Newman along with help from Traci, Lauren, and Michael, we have a good idea which storylines might come into play on the big night. We also know that this is a masked ball… and if that doesn’t add a fun and mysterious element we don’t know what does.

First, we have Phyllis and Jeremy gunning for Diane. They’ve got a scheme to deal with her once and for all… or at least Jeremy does and Red is going along with it. He asked her to secure personal items belonging to Diane, so it seems fairly obvious he wants to frame her for something. Find out why we suspect he’ll set her up to take the fall for Phyllis’s death. Might this all go down at the gala? It surely might — what better setting is there for mayhem?

Next, we have three women who all want Nate. The one who has him — Elena — and the two who want him: his colleague Audra and his boss Victoria, with whom he’s shared more than one kiss in the office. Victoria’s clearly not going to stop until she gets him into bed (and the gala’s at the Genoa City Athletic Club so rooms are nearby and at the ready), and though we still don’t know her well, it’s apparent that Audra is capable of a great deal of pot-stirring and manipulation to get her way. Will Nate’s relationship with Elena hit the rocks at the ball if one of her rivals makes a move?

Tucker’s company is highly sought after and while we may know the outcome of Devon’s court battle with Lily and Jill by the time the gala rolls around, it’s unlikely we’ll know the fate of McCall Unlimited. Victor plans on acquiring the company and handing it over to Adam, but Tucker realizes this and vowed that “over my dead body” will that happen. Even if Victor does manage to make the deal, Victoria might dismantle the empire before her father has a chance to install his son at the helm. What wheeling and dealing will go down amongst the masked guests?

Lily and Daniel seem on the verge of rekindling the flame of their former love, and her ex Billy is eyeing a do-over with Chelsea. Will one or more new relationships take shape at the ball? In a chat with SOD, head writer Josh Griffith teased that there would be “romance, intrigue, and danger,” so we have to assume so!

Of course, Sharon and Chance have been flirting as well, but he’s likely to be distracted by the presence of Abby and Devon, who are all but co-habitating these days. Amanda, who is back in Genoa City, will also be there. Yep, there could be some run-ins of the uncomfortable variety!

Finally, Sally is pregnant with Adam’s baby but dating Nick, whose daughter Summer is determined to interfere. We can imagine her scheming to have Nick see Sally kissing Adam (thinking he’s Nick in his mask). That is if she’s not too distracted by her husband’s mother’s antics. We’re totally expecting Diane to announce her engagement at Nikki’s bash.

One can bet that there will be even more surprises as one as yet unidentified citizen will be honored and former residents return for to their old stomping grounds. Danny, Gina, Mamie, and Leanna Love will all be on hand to witness what goes down — or perhaps be a part of it. We honestly can’t wait to find out what’s in store at what Griffith has referred to as “an affair to remember.”

It all starts Thursday, but you can get your first look at your faves in their Bicentennial Gala finery and see sneak peek photos from the set in the photo gallery below. Not to be missed!