Menchu Lauchengco Yulo looks forward to her new kontrabida role.
Considered as the first lady of Philippine musical theater, Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo (older sister ‘80s teen idol Raymond Lauchengco) admitted she is enjoying her latest role as Miss Hannigan, the villain in the upcoming stage musical Annie. "I was like that’s going to be so much fun because I have to be drunk on stage and terrorize children (laughs). Well that’s something I’ve never done so I guess the biggest challenge for me will be really sustaining the drunkenness but not really too much na hindi na ako maka-act and then finding the right voice for her. So it’s going to be fun. I like doing roles that are so different from who I really am,” she shared.
In the Resorts World Manila production, Menchu admitted it will be another kind of challenge performing two shows a day with no alternates. "None of us have alternates. The only ones with alternates are the kids because they cannot do two shows in one day. Sleep is very important. More than anything, it’s really sleep,” she said.
Working with the two young stars Krystal Brimner and newcomer Isabeli Elizalde has been easy for Menchu who is also the associate artistic director of Repertory Philippines. "Oh it’s been wonderful. Those two girls are very different so you’ll have to come see it twice because they both are playing it different but we are very excited because Beli (Elizalde) has never done theater and so this is completely a first time for her. And then Krystal naman has only done movies so again it’s different for her but they’re both very talented and you’re going to fall in love with them,” she admitted.
Having been in the theater industry for more than three decades already, Menchu said she does not mind playing the villain. "Well I’ve played a lot of kontrabidas already. I played the witch in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe on stage. Sa teleseryes why not? Oh yes. I am very open to that. The only problem is schedule because you know theater. Theater will always be my priority because that’s what I am comfortable doing. It’s really my medium,” she said.
Menchu said if she ever goes into television, she wants to follow in the footsteps of a celebrity friend. "Idol ko si Cherie Gil. In a teleserye I’d like to be the next Cherie Gil. Cherie and I are very good friends and we always tease each other. She wants to do a musical with me which we’ve done. We did Nine together but I’ve always say, ‘Cherie pag ayaw mo na ako na ha. Ako na yung kontrabida?’” she added.
Annie the musical starts its run at the Newport Performing Arts theater in Resorts World Manila on September 30, 2016.