The Ateneo de Manila junior is enjoying one of those fairy-tale show-biz beginnings: A complete unknown in the professional musical stage (before Hairspray, she'd only done mostly ensemble work for her school theater group, BlueRep), she's now starring in a splashy musical with some of the country's biggest names in theater, Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, Michael De Mesa and Leo Rialp among them.
Perkiness is one big similarity between this girl and her character Tracy Turnblad. You can see it a mile away, a fact not lost on the playwright-director Floy Quintos and his irrepressible eye. One evening some months ago, we found ourselves outside an Ateneo hall, about to watch the same performance of BlueRep's Summer of 42. While waiting for the house to open, Floy blurted out, “Ay, who's the perky girl?”
He was referring to Madel (we didn't know her name then), who was perhaps the most spirited presence in the lobby as she doled out tickets at the front desk and cheerfully chatted up visitors.
That buoyant sunniness and energy are now serving Madel in good stead in Hairspray. And it's all over the following video interview I did with her a few days before the show's opening. Watch:
“Hairspray,” directed by Bobby Garcia, runs until Dec. 7 at the Star Theater, Star Complex, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City. For tickets, call Atlantis Productions 8927078 or Ticketworld 8919999.