Franco Laurel Returns to Theater After Three Years

...this time with daughter Mariella for their first major play together.

( The last time actor Franco Laurel was part of a musical was back in 2014 when he appeared as Teen Angel in 9 Works Theatrical’s Grease. He took a long break after that to focus on his job as a magazine editor while maintaining his personal blog.



When 9 Works Theatrical staged the critically acclaimed A Christmas Carol in 2016, director Robbie Guevara and executive producer Santi Santamaria asked Laurel to play the Ghost of Christmas Past. But with his busy schedule, the actor had to decline.



“They said they were doing it again this year and they asked me if I could do it. I couldn’t say no this time,” he said at the press conference of A Christmas Carol on November 9. “I’m an artist and will forever be an artist.”



Franco and Mariella Laurel at the press conference of A Christmas Carol. The father-and-daughter team is excited to perform in their first professional play together.


A Family Affair 

This production not only marks the end of his three-year hiatus from the stage, but is also the first major production that he's a part of together with his daughter Mariella.


“We did a play for [my] university before,” the 26-year-old theater actress told But this is their first professional play together. “It’s amazing,” she said about working with her dad. “Of course, it’s different to have family in this cast. It’s great. I’m enjoying it a lot.”


As for her father, he’s happy to be back in his element. “The moment I stepped into the rehearsal hall and saw the cast, I knew that this is where I’m meant to be,” he said. “I’m just glad I’m singing, dancing, and acting again.”



And it looks like it’s going to be a happy Christmas indeed for this father-and-daughter tandem. Franco Laurel and his wife Ayen Munji-Laurel are expecting the birth of their fifth child, a girl, anytime this November to December. Mariella is the eldest.


Cast and crew of 9 Works Theatrical’s restaging of A Christmas Carol



Working On Christmas Day 

9 Works Theatrical pushed the enveloped when they decided to include a show on Christmas night, December 25 last year. When an unexpected 3,000 people (combined headcount of those who purchased ticket seats and those who watched for free outside) showed up to catch the musical that night at Bonifacio Global City, Guevara and his team knew they just had to do it again this 2017.


“We’re not working on Christmas,” Joe Caliro, Globe Live executive producer quipped to the press. “We’re working on Christmas night [while] having fun.”


“We’re like a whole family, so it’s still with family,” added Miguel Faustmann, who is reprising his iconic role as Ebenezer Scrooge. “You know, all of us are together on Christmas Day even if we’re working.”



The new cast gives the press a preview of “Christmas Together.”


Same Play, New Elements 

While the plot of Alan Menken and Lynn Ahrens’ A Christmas Carol is no stranger to viewers and this will be the second time 9 Works Theatrical is staging it, Guevara guarantees that you won’t see the same tricks from its previous run.


The staging will be different. More than half of the cast is new, and some of the boys from Newsies have crossed over to A Christmas Carol. The choreography will also be different. “The only things [that remain the] same are the title of the show, the music, lyrics, and about half of the cast,” Guevara reveals.


Will there be a surprise snowfall just like last year’s grand production? We’ll just have to wait and see.


A Christmas Carol runs from December 7 to 27 at the Globe Iconic Bonifacio High Street Amphitheater, Bonifacio Global City. Tickets, priced at P2,000, are available through Ticketworld.


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