Nakausap ng PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) ang award-winning stage actress na si Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo.
Nasa media launch si Menchu ng bagong musical-comedy play na The 39 Steps noong February 15, sa Rehearsal Hall ng Repertory Philippines sa Ortigas Center, at gayundin sa evening performance ng dulang The Joy Luck Club, last Ferbuary 18, sa Onstage-Greenbelt 1 sa Makati City.
Nasa parehong okasyon ang stage actress, bilang newly appointed Associate Artistic Director ng Repertory Philippines.
Taon 1978 nang unang sumali sa Rep si Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, who was then 15 years old.
Ayon kay Menchu, napanood niya ang musical na The King and I (Rep's 16th theater season) and she was knew that theater was going to be her life.
"There was no turning back," she said. "My passion for theater was born. The quest to perfect my craft was all-consuming!"
In the early '80s, her younger brother, Raymond Lauchengco, who has also established himself in the arts (theater, TV, recording and movies) also joined Rep.
RAYMOND AND KARYLLE. With brother, Raymond, Menchu recalled, "We did commercials, only as the 'Pepsi generation.' But [we were] never in a movie together. Musicals, we did plenty. We did The Sound of Music, South Pacific... ang dami! Because we started out together. Hanggang nag-recording na si Raymond, tapos, nag-movies na siya; nawala na siya sa theater.
"Ako, naiwan... kasi ito talaga ang love ko. Love ko talaga ang theater!" she said.
Repertory Philippines is now on its 74th season. How old is Menchu?
"Guess?" she said, before revealing: "I'm [now] 47 years old!"
Mukhang in her 30s pa si Menchu. Maaari pa siyang gumanap sa mga stage role o character na higit na bata kaysa tunay niyang edad.
"Yes!" she nodded in approval. "That's why nga, si Anton Juan (guest director of The Joy Luck Club), galit na galit sa akin. 'Why are you playing mother? You shouldn't be playing mother roles!'"
Ang tinutukoy ni Anton Juan ay ang pagganap ni Menchu sa Light In The Piazza (ng Stages Productions), bilang nanay ng singer-actress na si Karylle. Ang naturang musical ay itatanghal sa kalagitnaan ng taong 2011.
MOVIES, TV AND STAGE. Menchu has appeared in a few movies, either in cameo or supporting roles, kabilang na dito ang light romance-drama, Good Morning, Sunshine, na pinagbidahan nina Vilma Santos, Lloyd Samartino at ng Spanish actor na AMB Junior.
The film was directed by Ishmael Bernal (National Artist for Film) at prinodyus ng (now inactive) Lea Productions.
Mas maraming nagawang shows para sa telebisyon si Menchu, noong 1980s.
"I haven't done TV in a long time," sabi niya. "Before, I did so many. We're talking of the '80s, ha. I hosted Patok Na Patok (a game show), and we had our own TV show, Let's Go. I also co-hosted Disco Rama (with the late Bobby Ledesma). I was in Penthouse Live (on GMA-7 which had a succession of hosts, the most successful being the tandem of Pops Fernandez and Martin Nievera).
"Ang dami ko ding ginawang teleserye," dagdag pa ni Menchu. "I remember, we did one version of a Jose Rizal teleserye (for RPN-9); si Joel Torre pa ang Jose Rizal and I was Josephine Bracken..."
Sa kasalukuyang panahon, maaari siya uling magpaka-aktibo, lalo sa telebisyon. Pero hesitant ang aktres, na nanalo ng award (Best Lead Performance in a Musical, for Rep's Sweeney Todd) noong isang taon during the 2nd Philstage Gawad Buhay Awards.