it has been quite a while since my last post and I happened to check this tumblr account of mine to see if it’s still active, and after a few tries for my password, i finally got it correctly!
now, what could have brought me to post on this blog again?
one good reason is regarding the first live musical that i’ve watched.
When i Learned that Isay Alvarez and Robert Sena’s Spotlight Artist Center is Re-staging the hit musical KATY! i was quite ecstatic.
i came to know the musical when i heard the song MINSAN ANG MINAHAL AY AKO. i searched it in youtube and found a video, apparently from the original Musical in the late 1980’s starring Mitch Valdez and one of the original producers of the Musical Ms. Celeste Legaspi. The first time i watched the video, i was moved by the song and how it was delivered by the two top caliber performers. i then searched for more videos of it and find several others including the Opening number of the play: ANG MUNDO AY ENTABLADO, BALUT, PAHIRAM NG ISANG KANTA (by the late Ten Ten Munoz), and SARI-SARING BABAE. i was highly entertained by those videos and really hoped that the said musical will be revived.
then i heard the news that KATY was really in the path of being Re-staged. so i wasted no time and bought two tickets for me and a friend. I watched it at the Cultural Center of the Philippines last January 18, and boy! the Php 1000 was really worth it!
The musical starred our Broadway artist Ms. Isay Alvarez as Katy Dela Cruz, considered to be the highest paid performer during her time and hailed as the country’s Queen of Bodabil (Vaudeville) and Queen of Jazz. It highlights the career, the life, the struggles and the music of Katy all throughout her long career.
The musical was also starred by famous local actors like Tirso Cruz III who played Tatay Juan, Katy’s father, Gian Magdangal as Peping, Katy’s husband, Aicelle Santos as the young Katy, Dulce as Olivia, Lou Veloso as the Director, Tricia Jimenez (Hannah San), Celine Fabie (Patsy Pachochay) and CJ Mangahis as Mary Walter as well as Epy Quizon as his late father Dolphy.
the entire cast did a very good job, from the main cast to the ensemble. everything was executed very well and you can clearly see that every scene and number was practiced precisely to be at par, if not better than the original musical play.
Ms. Isay Alvarez is very remarkable in her portrayal as Katy. she was very effective in showing how Katy loved her craft. Her voice did justice to Mitch Valdez’s original portrayal. She looked a little thin, (due to her recent illness) but she pulled a marvelous performance specially in her BALUT and ABA BA BA BOOGIE number.
Aicelle Santos was a revelation during the musical. i know that she can sing very well, but i did not know that she can also act well. She has portrayed the role of the teen-ager Katy quite well. and i really love how she handles herself onstage specially that she is working with established performers. Her MINSAN ANG MINAHAL AY AKO act with Dulce highlights her performance.
As usual, you dont expect anything less from the Asia’s Diva, Ms. Dulce. her voice hasnt waned through the years. it is still very powerful and her delivery of every line of the song is very moving. Celeste Legaspi’s original character was portrayed very well by Dulce. with her powerful vocals, she delivered MINSAN ANG MINAHAL AY AKO like it was her original song. what’s more remarkable was when she sang LARUAN KONG LANGIT and LUHA SA KINALIMUTANG LUPA. i can feel her emotions being poured in every song that she sings. and her “Sermon” to Katy really was the highlight of the show.
Tirso Cruz and Gian Magdangal also did a very good job. But i like Tirso more. his TIGNAN MO NGA NAMAN number was very touching that when he already hit the best part of it, i saw the woman sitting next to me (not the girl im with) fell into tears. he may not have been a powerful addition to the song numbers but his portrayal as Tatay Juan really gave color to the story.
Katy’s 3 friends were also very good. i really like those 3 and how they have supported Katy all throughout. Epy Quizon and his tap dance number also brought the crowd into their dancing moods. it was a perfect tribute not only to Katy dela Cruz but also to the late Dolphy. Lou Veloso (part of the original cast)was also commendable for his outstanding performance as the theater director. the Child who performed Tenten Munoz’s PAHIRAM NG ISANG KANTA was also very energetic and she left the crowd at awe with her superb vocal power even at her young age.
during the curtain call, i cant help but flash a big smile on my face, as my hands cant stop clapping at the powerhouse cast. the entire performance is world class.
The ensemble (with China Cojuangco) were also wonderful in every dance and song number. and Mel Villena’s AMP band did a great job for the music of the play. and i can proudly say that I WOULD RATHER WATCH KATY THAT LES MISERABLES. to watch a cultural treasure is more important than to prioritize western musicals.
our country is blessed with very talented performers and i can say that these performers can match the other performers abroad if given the chance. Katy the musical is one proof of the richness of our music, our talents and our culture and heritage. and i am proud that i was able to witness one of the best shows that Philippine entertainment has to offer!
(the photos were downloaded from various websites in the internet)