MANILA, Philippines – Actor Epy Quizon will play his father Dolphy in the revival of the original Filipino musical “Katy!” which is scheduled to open next year, according to a newspaper report late on Monday.
Quoting the musical’s executive producer, theater actor Robert Seña, the Manila Bulletin said Quizon was contacted about the role one week before the veteran actor passed away on July 10.
“So I called him, I think he was resting pa. Sabi ko, ‘Sorry, pasensya na. I’ll ask if you would consider a role on ‘Katy!’ a musical that I’ve done in 1988…’ I asked him na kung pwede niyang gawin, sabi ko he’s the only person that we thought who can do the role and give justice to Tito Dolphy,” Seña told the Bulletin.
Seña, an original cast member of the West End production of "Miss Saigon," originated the role of Golay in the musical about the life of vaudeville performer and jazz singer Katy dela Cruz, who died in 2004.
Golay was the original stage name of Dolphy when he was still performing in bodabil theaters in Manila as a 17-year-old dancer before achieving fame as a film actor.
Seña admitted that during the auditions, they didn’t find anyone who could give justice to the role of Golay.
“You have to watch a lot of Dolphy films and [see] not only his gestures and mga quirks, but also the look and the voice. I think Epy’s the best person na talagang kadikit,” he told the Manila Bulletin.
Seña’s wife Isay Alvarez will take on the title role, while movie actor Tirso Cruz III will play her father. Singers Dulce and Gian Magdangal are also included in the musical, Seña said.
“Katy!” premiered in 1989 with Mitch Valdes as the bodabil queen. Ryan Cayabyab composed the music, while Jose Javier Reyes wrote the book and lyrics. Nestor Torre directed the show, which also starred Celeste Legaspi and Bernardo Bernardo.
The musical was staged at the now-defunct Rizal Theater in Makati. Dela Cruz even flew in from the US just to attend the premiere.
The restaging of “Katy!” will be produced by Spotlight Artists Center, led by Seña, Alvarez and Tricia Amper Jimenez.
It will run from January 10-27, 2013 at the Cultural Center of Philippines, according to the Manila Bulletin.