Written and photographed
By Jude Bautista
Katy (Isay Alvarez) goes back to the theater shocked by the news that she and the older cast had been replaced by the director (Lou Veloso). They look for their cast mate Dolphy (Epy Quizon) to find out his reaction. Direktor replies “Nandun na naman si Dolphy tinutulungan ang mga mananayaw na may pakpak magbihis.” ( Dolphy’s in there helping the dancers with wings change) The sexy Sheng Belmonte comes out scantily clad with feathers barely covering her private parts. Dolphy follows immediately behind her ogling the most beautiful parts of the ‘costume.’
Epy Quizon receives any comparison to his late father with a lot of humility and reluctance. Dolphy after all is considered as the greatest Filipino Comedian. No other actor in KATY the Musical, however, can claim to look like the role they play more than Epy Quizon. KATY runs from January 17-27, 2013 at the CCP. Watching Epy’s facial expressions and mannerisms on stage is almost like seeing Dolphy himself. He’s had a lot of practice as he has done a lot of TV and film projects where he shared scenes and even played the younger version of his famous father. “Pidol’s Wonderland” from TV5 allowed Dolphy to work not just with Eric and Epy but also Vandolph.
MARKOVA: COMFORT GAY was directed by Gil Portes and written by Doy Del Mundo. Dolphy was in the title role of Walterina Markova who was a ‘comfort gay’ during World War II. Two of his sons Eric and Epy played Markova in different ages. Portes related in news reports that the three of them made cinematic history because of a rare feat that had never been done before. The trio was given both Best Actor and Best Actress awards at the Brussels International Film Festival in 2001. The award was in recognition of their performance both as actors and actresses. Locally, FAMAS and the Urian singled out Epy’s performance by giving him the Best Supporting actor award.
MARKOVA was the last film where Dolphy had a gay role. As a comedian it was one of his oft-repeated characters. In KATY we see him more as a Ladies Man, which Dolphy was in real life and makes one realize how good an actor he was by being so convincing as a homosexual. Epy knew his dad differently than the leering character he played on KATY, “People knew my father was a gentleman. Nilagyan natin ng flavor na medyo may pagka sexy. Kinuha yung pagka naughty nung dad ko. He was always a gentleman.”
Epy’s work in KATY is definitely worthy of award considerations. It was with great difficulty that he looked at the many dance sequences for the musical. Apart from the very sexy dance sequence with Sheng Belmonte, Epy, Aaron Ching, the whole ensemble also had a very elaborate tap dance sequence with lead star Isay Alvarez. It was very huge shoes to fill since Dolphy was known for his tap dancing with Bayani Casmimiro who was the ‘Fred Astaire of the Philippines.’
Everyone who saw Epy thought he did a fantastic job. Cinemalaya Competition Head Laurice Guillen said, “Epy looks like Dolphy the most when he was young those days. Epy has got the grace as a dancer of Dolphy. Of course no one wants to be compared to Dolphy. If you see the old films you can see what a great dancer he was. But Epy was able to deliver.”
When Epy was born however, he did not look like Dolphy. Epy said in an interview, “Honestly it’s probably the bone structure and the physique. But when I was born my dad said Di ko kamukha yan na salisihan yata ako ha? (laughs) I was born blonde, very fair skin. Blonde talaga na curly yung hair. Nung lumaki ako yung pinaka kamukha ng katawan, facial structure, boses.”
KATY is the perfect material to showcase Epy’s talents on stage as an actor and total performer. There are numerous funny and comedic scenes. Where else can you see singing and dancing pregnant balut vendors on skates? Kudos to Sheenly Gener, Neomi Gonzales, Gimbey Dela Cruz, China Cojuangco and teen KATY Aicelle Santos for that wild scene alone.
One realm where Epy has over Dolphy is the number of international films that he has made. 2009 Epy was in a critically acclaimed Taiwanese film called PINOY SUNDAY by Wi Ding Ho co starring Bayani Agbayani and Alessandra De Rossi. He recently finished a U.S. production: THE THEIF THE KID AND THE KILLER by Nathan Adolfson with Lance Raymundo, Felix Roco and Joy Viado. HELLO FOREVER is a film by Australian director Peter Kirk featuring transgender actor Isis King and Jennifer Blair-Bianco is about ‘four courageous women who are faced with the harsh realities of single motherhood, poverty, prejudice, and corruption.’ Cast mate Jenny Blair-Bianco is also cast in another play in Repertory called BOEING BOEING currently running until Feb 17, 2013.
Epy has definitely made his mark with his own talent and skill. He never takes his profession for granted and is grateful for every role, “With God’s help tuloy tuloy. Let’s just keep on praying di mawala trabaho. You know this business, one day they like what you do, next day they move on. Just like Katy (he sings) Minsan Lang Minahal Ay Ako’.” Every theater actor and artist for that matter can relate to this show.
SPONSORS include: Boardwalk, SM Supermalls, PLDT, Spotlight Artists Centre, Manila Bulletin, Business World, HerWord.com, Lyric Piano, McDonalds, Phil Charity Sweepstakes, Columbia’s Quality Sweets, AnakTV, Fanny Serrano, Century Pacific Group, ROTARY INTL District 3780, ARTWORK, Dance Theater Arts, TICKETWORLD, SINGRAY’S Advertising, FJ Sionson Florist, Lyfcenter, Ha Yuan Tsinoy Comfort food, PHIL STAR, DZRH, 96.3 EASY ROCK, MONSTER RADIO RX 93.1, DZMM, MYX, 702 DZAS, Carl E. Balita REVIEW CENTER, Cinema One, Lifestyle Network, MYLESWAYS BEAUTY SALON, CAMPSUKI COSTUMES, MJ Sudayan Photography, Celeste Legaspi and Girlie Rodis of ACTORS SUTDIO EAST PROD. , Congressional Spouses Foundation Inc.