Juan Carlos Galano stars in his stage debut, ‘Zsazsa Zaturnnah: The Musical’

What we saw in the pocket media conference for showbiz junk Juan Carlos Galano is a determined artist who wants to expand his craft — exploring his boundaries in acting in film and television, and this time around, on stage.

True enough, one of his dreams is turning into reality as he makes his theatric debut. He mentioned that he has never imagined singing on stage for his first-ever role in a theater play. But as fate would have it, he is playing the important role of Dodong in the 2023 edition of the cult classic stage comedy ZsaZsa Zaturnnah: The Musical… Yun Lang, which is top-billed by singer/actress Kim Molina as ZsaZsa Zaturnnah. The musical play runs from March 17 to April 2 at the Doreen Fernandez Black Box Theater, Areté, Ateneo de Manila University.

READ MORE: Kim Molina plays superhero in ‘Zsazsa Zaturnnah the Musical… Yun Lang!’

JC had already honed his acting chops in such TV shows as Rava Sirena, Daddy’s Gurl and Regal Studio Presents (‘My Third Wish’ and ‘Mother of the Groom’). He was also part of the MMFF 2021 entry, Nelia. His buff bod has also been prominently displayed in Bench billboards strewn all across the metro and even on social media.

The moreno actor remembers his foray in theater during his elementary school days.

He recalls, “I’ve done a stage play and a musical back in elementary when I lived in Saipan. It feels good to be back onstage, and I still consider this my first time especially since every performance should feel like it’s your first time performing. I want to serve the audience my 110%. It definitely has its pressure as this is my first time after a long time.”

Despite having honed his acting skills for TV and film, JC admits that stage work is a totally different ballgame.

He points out, “Film and theatre are two completely different animals. I would say it was challenging stepping onstage in terms of adjusting my acting. Ang daming concepts that you need to be mindful of, like exploring the negative spaces, whereas in film, you are boxed in the limits of your frame.”

Unlike most millennials who might be clueless about the musical’s original template, JC admits that he’s familiar with the story. He admits, “Yes, but I was mostly familiar with the movie. I’ve onlv been recentlv exposed to Philippine theater. To prepare for the role, I read the graphic novel by Carlo Vergara.

Asked to describe his character, JC elaborates, “Dodong is earnest. Hindi niya alam na gwapo siva. Kahit sanay na siya sa routine niya, there’s that journey na kailangan niyang tahakin. He’s looking for something to make his life more meaningful. Hindi lang puro trabaho hinahanap niya.”

How is he preparing for the rigors of his role?

“i’ve been working out and dieting,” he proudly admits. “My director tells me hindi kailangang

manufactured yung hitsura, so I’m not going extreme. I just want to be fit and be the kind of Dodong that really engages in manual labor.”

And just how ‘physical’ will he get here? Will he be showing flesh or doing a kissing scene?

He sheepishly confesses, “Yes, there is a kissing scene, and yes, I have a topless scene, plus another scene where zombies try to expose my butt.”

For JC, being given the privilege of working with the cast is a great honor. “This is my first time working with all of them, which is a real honor. Dito pa kami nagkakilala ni Kim, even if our families know each other pala,” he reveals.

Does he see himself dabbling in comedy as well, maybe in future projects? He candidly admits,

“I have reservations about that. Hindi kasi ako funny. Pogi lang. I’m just meat to these people.”

Aside from ZsaZsa Zaturnnah, JC has a few projects lined up. He discloses, “I’m waiting on a movie with Octo Arts. I recently finished filming with Julia Barretto and Diego Loyzaga under Firestarter Productions and Viva.

He has also been a BENCH brand ambassador for the past two vears.

Presented by Rizal Library and co-presented by Areté Ateneo and Ateneo Blue Repertory, ZsaZsa Zaturnnah is based on the graphic novel by Carlo Vergara, adapted for stage by Chris Martinez, with music and lyrics/ musical direction by Vincent A. de Jesus. Directed by Missy Maramara.

JC’s playdates include March 17, 18, 25, April 1 and 2 (evening), and April 2 (matinee).

Juan Carlos Galano is managed by ALV Talent Circuit.

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