Flashforward to the end of the “Katy” musical’s long, SRO run, and we were all most gratified to see that it had been hailed by two reviewers as the artistic event of the year. It was further credited with proving that a Filipino musical could emerge as a popular and artistic triumph—thanks to the glorious music of Ryan Cayabyab, the witty script and lyrics of Joey Reyes, and the show’s stellar performances, led by Mitch Valdes’ memorably luminous portrayal of the title character.
These thoughts come to mind, because I’ve just come from a meeting with Spotlight Artists Center’s Robert Seña and Isay Alvarez, and they confirmed that Spotlight’s revival of “Katy” slated for September this year is a “go,” with auditions slated for this Sunday at the Spotlight studio.
A friend tagged me when his friend posted an this article in Facebook. I was trying to multitask while reading Nestor Torre's article when I browsed on the second paragraph above. My mind said, "Stop. Was that what I think it was?" (Click here for the article from Philippine Daily Inquirer Online.)
I had to simply put everything else on hold while I pulled up the article once more. And yes, they are planning to re-stage Katy! after 23 years!
For the readers who are not familiar with the name, Katy de la Cruz was the premiere artist during her time. Her career spanned for eight decades. A legacy rarely seen nowadays.
During the early part of the last century, the Bodabil topped all entertainment media. If Atang de la Rama rings a bell, then we're on the right timeline.
Other familiar names where with her on stage like Chichay, Etang Discher, Patsy, and Mary Walter. Yes they were part of showbiz before you saw them in comedy and horror films.
When time and tide changed, she also tried the silver screen but eventually concentrated on concert abroad. She stayed in the US performing in some of the popular theaters there.
In 1989, Celeste Legaspi and Girlie Rodis produced a stage musical in her honor with music and lyrics by Ryan Cayabyab and Jose Javier Reyes.
Katy! tells the classic tale of breaking away from convention and doing what you love to do. Everything else followed. Fame, fortune and all the complications thereof.
I didn't have the privilege to watch the original play dates in 1989. That is why I have been so thankful for Youtube for video excerpts.
A lot of people don't know that Katy popularized the novelty song Balut. Here is Mitch Valdez in the 1989 Katy!:
Another song, that I think has been done by almost every singer I know, is Minsan ang Minahal ay Ako.
When I was still in our college choir, we learned this piece and was astounded by its pain. It is the plea of a soon-to-be-forgotten star to the audience to be remembered that there was a time that s/he was loved by them:
I'm sure you're curious how she sounds like. Here is her rendition of Magtanim ay Di Biro.