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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.

Aug 16, 2018

Wency Cornejo Tries His First Stage Musical In Atlantis Productions' New Broadway Musical, 'Side Show', Where He Plays The Ringmaster

WENCY CORNEJO is best known as a singer-songwriter for hit songs like “Habang May Buhay”, “Next in Line”, “Mangarap Ka”, “Hanggang” and “Magpakailanman”. He was gone for sometime, but he’s now back doing his first stage musical, “Side Show”, for Atlantis Theatrical Entertainment Group. How come he was missing for sometime?

“I moved to Davao and put up a bakery business,” he says. “I stayed there for seven years. Now, I want to put up the bakery here in Manila also. I was in Japan when my road manager asked me if I want to try theatre and I said, why not? So I sent them an audio videotape na ako mismo ang nag-selfie and now I’m playing the role of Sir, the ringmaster who’s the adoptive parents of Daisy and Violet, the conjoined twins in ‘Side Show’ that opens at the RCBC Theatre in Makati on August 31. Sir starts as arrogant but he is transformed by play’s end nang nalaos na siya.”

So how’s is his experience so far? “I’m having a hard time. I’m actually the oldest member of the cast, but in terms of experience, akong baby nila kasi virgin pa ko sa teatro. Unang-una, ang hirap mag-adjust sa 10 to 5 PM rehearsals namin araw-araw kasi I’m used to waking up late. But I’ve since adjusted to new sleeping habits. Tapos, hirap na hirap akong mag-memorize ng lines ko. At one point, sabi ko, what am I doing here? But I welcome the challenge and I’m now enjoying it. Iba talaga ang disiplina sa theatre and I’m glad that when I did my first play, it’s with Atlantis. I got offers before but walang natuloy, so I guess now is really the right timing. I’m in awe of my younger co-stars. Ang gagaling nila and they’re energy when we rehearse is contagious.”

We ask Wency if his famous broadcast journalist mom, Mel Tiangco, will watch the play? “Of course! Excited na nga siya. She will be there on opening night.”

“Side Show” is a Broadway hit based on the true story of conjoined twins who became famous stage performers in the 1930s, first staged in 1997 and then had a successful revival in 2014. Playing Daisy and Violet are theatre actresses Gab Pangilinan and Kayla Rivera. They will be attached to each other on the hip throughout the show. Supporting them are Markki Stroem as the villainous talent manager who introduces the twins to showbiz, Armand Ferrer as the Cannibal King who gives advice to the twins and David Ezra as an aspiring musician who helps the twins. This is directed by Steven Conde, musical and vocal direction by Farley Asuncion and Manman Angsico, and choreoprahy by Cecile Martinez. Tickets are available at Ticketworld.