By Eric Borromeo

There’s no doubt about it. Maine Mendoza, popularly known as Yaya Dub in Eat Bulaga’s “kalyeserye” is the toast of the TV town these days. In last Saturday’s segment, its twitter account, #ALDUBBATTLEForaCause, broke the show’s previous record of 3.5 million tweets. As of this writing, it has already reached more than 5 million, and still counting.

People from all walks of life seem to be infected with the “AlDub” fever. So, it’s no longer a wonder that even a New York Broadway show producer would be smitten by Yaya Dub’s charm and wackiness.

Shea Arender got our attention via his Facebook post about his admiration towards the “Dubsmash Queen” and his interest to have her star in a new comedy musical that he is producing. We were fortunate enough to have a chance to interview him via skype, through a friend.

The Broadway producer related that he discovered Maine through his Filipino friends who are fans of her dubsmash videos on YouTube.

“So I watched all her videos, and she is really very funny,” Shea said. “She is so talented that it gave me an idea to come up with a comedy musical which I am really planning to produce soon. I was intrigued by Yaya Dub’s comedic performance. However, I would not try to take her away from the TV show where she all started.”

Shea Arender's post taking interest on Yaya Dub
Shea Arender’s post taking interest on Yaya Dub

To prove that he is really serious in knowing more about Yaya Dub, Shea is coming to Manila this October 17. His visit will also coincide with some corporate shows and a kick-off to his Asian tour which will commence in Macau.

“I have really high hopes to meet Maine,” he stressed, “and get the chance to know her personally, and probably talk to her about my plans in producing a musical for her. She is really amazing and very talented. Most of the time I can’t understand a thing she’s saying, but I will be laughing out loud after watching her. She is really adorable”

We asked if he will include Alden Richards, Yaya Dub’s love interest, in that musical?

Shea laughed before he answered, “Why not? They are a sensational team in the Philippines, right? I might also include Lola Nidora. That guy is really amazing.” CN5GPJuVEAENpmu

But when Shea learned that Lola Nidora, played by Wally Bayola, is a straight family guy, all he could mutter was, “Amazing… just wow!”

Watching clips of Eat Bulaga, Shea said that it also gave him an idea to turn the longest-running noontime show of the country into a musical.  It will be the first time for the said Broadway producer to visit Manila. Would he be like to in Eat Bulaga’s “kalyeserye”? “Definitely! And probably do a dubsmash with here. I will do anything to get close to Yaya Dub and know her better,” he happily answered.

“I have heard so many good things about your country. I have many Filipino friends here, and they are all wonderful people. That’s why I am really excited to be in your country,” he added. Aside from Maine, Shea said he was also very impressed with Arnel Pineda.

“I find Arnel Pineda really amazing! I am a big Journey fan, and when I saw him perform in one of their concerts on DVD… he is really fantastic. I learned also of his beginnings, and that was really inspiring. I am also looking forward in meeting Arnel, too,” Shea said.

Shea’s most notable off-Broadway production in which he also starred was the musical Shea: Prince Of Christmas. It is a Christmas love story which received favorable critical and fan reviews. In 2012, he released a holiday album entitled “Every Day’s Christmas.” It included a co-written original song “The Christmas I Met You.” In addition to charting internationally, this single hit Number One on the Adult Contemporary Charts, Number Three on the Christmas Singles Chart, and an impressive Number Sixty-One on the Merry Christmas Network Top 100 Christmas Songs of All Time list in its first year of release. “The Christmas I Met You” also made the first Grammy ballot for Song of the Year on the 55th Annual Grammy Awards. His most recent production was The Wonderful Wizard of Song in 2014.

Asked if he has plans to bring his Christmas musical to the country, Shea replied, “It will be my first time in your country. I will first get the feel of your business there, then why not? I know you are a nation of great performers, I am sure it will be a pleasure working them.”


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