After a more than three-year hiatus from performing on stage, Franco Laurel returns in the musical A Christmas Carol which opens next month. Franco admitted he was first offered the role last year but declined due to a conflict in schedules. “I’m glad to be back home. First and foremost I’m an artist and forever will be an artist and it just feels great the moment I stepped into the rehearsal hall and saw the cast. I knew that this is where I’m meant to be and I’m just glad that I’m singing and dancing and acting again,” he shared during the Globe Live and 9 Works Theatrical press launch held last November 9 in Taguig.
Also joining him in the cast of A Christmas Carol is his daughter Mariella whom Franco said he first introduced theater to by bringing her to his Filipino play Rama and Sita at UP theater when she was eight years old. “She was exposed to it. Her mom and I are thespians so there’s no doubt that Mariella was going to get into it. My other daughter’s getting into it and I have no doubt my two younger ones are also going to get into it,” he said.
Franco said he tries his best to guide his eldest daughter on and off stage. “Being a stage father I’m just there to support her. I give my notes after. Now I just let her be because I just want her to grow and fly and grow on her own within the parameters, like just give her my tips on what you should do and shouldn’t do. My advice to her is to be excellent in everything she does and in theater there’s no lagging, no lazing around. It’s really more of working hard and putting your heart into it and she does. There’s no take twos,” he shared.
With a fifth child on the way with wife Ayen, Franco said his family is actually what keeps him looking ageless. “A happy wife, a happy life and we’re going to have another baby soon. So that’s keeping me young. I have a happy family. I’m just so blessed to have my wife Ayen and my going to be five children. She’s due to give birth on November 30 so soon. I made paalam na from rehearsals on that day (laughs),” he added.
Watch the Globe LIVE and 9 Works Theatrical staging of Menken & Ahren’s A Christmas Carol starting December 7 at the Globe ICONIC theater in BGC. For show schedule and tickets, log on to https://glbe.co/acc-tix.