"I don't have the same physique, her lungs, nose, and throat. I refused to watch her videos, and did not listen to how she sang the songs. I had to make it my own because that was the only way to make my take on Lucy real. But I've accepted the fact that people will compare my singing to her. It cannot be helped, and what can I do about it anyway if I'm different?" she adds.
"Menchu and I had the same concept of Lucy; but I had to attack it just a tad differently because many elements I put in her character came from my own realm of experience."
Character Similarities to Themselves
Assuming their respective roles, both found traits that mirror themselves.
Aguilos is quick to share, "Lucy's life is so close to home. I may not have the same profession [she's a prostitute], but she survives life's trials and tribulations through an undying faith that life has something good to offer her, no matter how elusive. She lives moment to moment."
Pangan sees himself as Hyde, especially with his being short-tempered, when he was younger, "I found it difficult to suppress; but nowadays, all it takes is a deep breath whenever I feel like punching some jerk in the face. It works... most of the time."
Memories to Carry Along
In doing "Jekyll & Hyde," Pangan's greatest realization is that "the songs are indeed beautiful. I will never get tired of listening to or performing them."
However, Aguilos stresses, "To be frank, I'm not a fan of this musical, in the first place, because the songs are just 'too' popular, and analyzing the script more closely made me realize what a task Menchu had in her hands."
"It has a very 'problematic' script, excuse my blatant honesty. There's not enough meat in the text, hence its failure on Broadway. When you read it, you tend to think: 'Oh, it could be better this way, or that way, if they put this, and that.' Unfortunately, we couldn't add to the script. Menchu had to make it work through stage elements and devices, and building the relationships between the characters through plain acting. It's so totally different now, and so much more meaningful. Menchu's sleepless nights have paid off."
Pangan is currently playing the role of the narrator in the crowd-pleasing "Rock of Ages," followed by playing Guido Contini, a famous Italian filmmaker, in Maury Yeston's "Nine," both by Atlantis Productions. Both roles will definitely give him a good stretch, according to him.
Aguilos will perhaps pursue her sabbatical from theater, which had to be pushed back in order for her to make her theater debut with Rep. After "Jekyll and Hyde," she can now say – as she makes her exit – that she had worked with Rep, one of the most established theater companies in the Philippines.
Photos by Jory Rivera and Dale Bacar