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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Mar 9, 2011

Menchu Lauchenco a bipolar wife in Next to Normal

AT 47, Menchu Lauchengco Yulo looks younger than her age. An icon in Philippine theatre, she started her career in “The King and I” when she was 15 and she was quickly consumed by a passion for performing on stage. She also tried the movies in “Good Morning Sunshine” with VIlma Santos and Junior and she also hosted TV shows like “Disco Rama”, “Let’s Go” and “Patok na Patok”, but she’d always go back to theatre. She now plays her most challenging role in the Broadway rock musical “Next to Normal” of Atlantis Productions, after which she plays Karylle’s mom in another musical, “Light in the Piazza” of Stages Productions. She’s also busy with Repertory Phils. plays as “Joy Luck Club” and “The 39 Steps”.

“Mahirap ang ‘Next to Normal’ as I play Diana, a mother who has bipolar disorder and it affects my family. It won the Tony and Pulitzer prizes, addressing serious issues like death of a loved one, suicide, drug abuse and losing one’s sanity. Jett Pangan plays my husband Dan, Bea Garcia is our daughter Natalie and Felix Rivera is our son Gabe, but there’s a shocking twist in his role that viewers will discover as the play goes on. Also with us are Markki Stroem as Bea’s love interest, Henry, and Jake Macapagal as my psychiatrist.”

“Next to Normal” opens tonight at the Carlos Romulo Theatre in RCBC Plaza Makati. For tickets, call Atlantis Productions at 892-7078 or 840-1187.