Lea Salonga stars in expletive-laced play

Posted at 07/02/12 4:47 PM

A poster of "God of Carnage," which stars Salonga (top right), Pang (bottom right), Lauchengco-Yulo (top left) and Acuña (bottom left). Photo from Atlantis Productions

MANILA, Philippines – Tony Award-winning actress Lea Salonga returns to straight plays in the expletive-laced comedy “God of Carnage,” which will run in Manila starting next week.

In the play, Salonga will play the role of an angry wife to Singaporean theater actor Adrian Pang. They last worked together in the musical “They’re Playing Our Song,” which was staged both in Manila and in Singapore 12 years ago.

“God of Carnage” will only feature four actors – the other two are Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo and “The Kitchen Musical” star Art Acuña, who will also act as a couple.

In an interview with members of the media on Monday, Salonga shared that she was invited by director Bobby Garcia to do the play.

“I’ve been swearing a lot [in ‘God of Carnage’]. All these four-letter words have been coming out of my mouth,” she said, laughing. “But it’s not just about the words. It’s about what’s happening underneath.”

Salonga said audiences may be surprised with her new role, which she finds more interesting to portray than “good” characters.

“There’s always that temptation to stick to a formula, to what audiences are used to. And when you break out of that, it’s fun. You shatter people’s expectations," she said.

“I’ve found that playing bad people on stage is more fun. I’d love to do more stuff that’s edgier. I’d like to play roles that bite,” she added.

“God of Carnage” will run from July 13 to 22 except on Mondays at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium at RCBC Plaza in Makati. The play will also have a three-week run in Singapore in November.

Singapore’s Pang, who now runs a theater company, said about Salonga: “She’s matured and very grounded now. Life revolves around her family.”

“This is a very meticulously crafted play. I’ve grown to really love the piece,” he said about “God of Carnage.”

No intermissions

Since there are only four members in the cast of “God of Carnage,” Salonga, Pang, Lauchengco-Yulo and Acuña will not be getting any chance to leave the stage during the play, which lasts for an hour and a half.

“It’s only four people. We don’t leave the stage. Once we’re on, we’re stuck,” Salonga said.

“So you have to make sure you get the right timpla (mix) of what everyone is trying to say,” Lauchengco-Yulo added.

For his part, Pang said, “Nobody can afford to slack off and be the weak link.”

A Tony Award-winning comedy by Yasmina Reza, “God of Carnage” tells the story of two couples who meet to resolve a playground fight between their sons.

The play is produced by Atlantis Productions, the same company behind “Rock of Ages” starring MiG Ayesa and the Asian premiere of Disney classic “Aladdin.”

“I think they’re going to like it,” Salonga said of the play. “It’s going to go well. I hoping that it does.”

After “God of Carnage,” Salonga is set to fly to San Diego, California to rehearse for a new musical titled “Allegiance.” -- Karen Flores, ABS-CBNnews.com

For tickets, call Atlantis Productions at (02) 892-7078.