Are you the next Katy dela Cruz?

Who is Katy dela Cruz and why is Isay Alvarez excited in restaging “Katy: The Musical” several months before its playdate?

For the information of today’s internet generation, Katy, “The Queen of Filipino Jazz”, was the highest-paid entertainer at the tender age of 18. Her storied career lasted eight decades, more than any of today’s stars can dream of.

Katy was the Jessica Sanchez and Charice Pempengco of her time. Katy’s voice had that knock-out power that could floor the most jaded voice critic.  And she shared the stage with Dolphy no less during the good old vaudeville days.

More than that, her uphill climb to fame can inspire reality show contestants and even seasoned singers today.

“Katy’s story of triumph and struggles is something we Filipinos can still learn from,” says Isay, who plays the title role, and whose company, Spotlight Artists Centre is mounting the musical.

“She’s tough but soft when it comes to people she loved most. She’s an outstanding performer who went through a lot but came out a victor because she’s strong, with a big talent to share,” Isay pointed out.

Playing someone as legendary as Katy is not easy.  And Isay knows she has big shoes to fill after Mitch Valdez played the character two decades ago.  Katy sang and  danced, laughed and cried for all she was worth.

This is why Isay – and the rest of the cast – Epi Quizon as Golay, Dulce, Tirso Cruz III, Lou Veloso, Gian Magdangal are preparing for the musical’s January 2013 opening this early.

Spotlight is looking for the actress – aged five to 10 -- who will play the young Katy (call 899-8089 for audition schedules).

The young Katy is just as important as her grown-up counterpart because the musical has something to teach today’s children.

“It will teach the young generation that success comes only to the hard worker,” muses Isay. “Aside from her big talent, Katy’s passion as a performer brought her to where she was.  Success is not handed to you.”

“Katy: The Musical” at the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ (CCP) Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino (Little Theater) will be directed by Nestor Torre, with original music by Ryan Cayabyab.  Libretto is by Jose Javier Reyes.