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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Dec 14, 2012

Top Theatre Actress Joanna Ampil Wants To Cultivate A Career In Local Showbiz

CAMERON Mackintosh, British producer of “Miss Saigon”, says Joanna Ampil is one of his best Kims ever. Joanna was a high school student who was whisked to London in 1991 to play the lead in “Miss Saigon”. She has since done several other West End musicals, like “Jesus Christ Superstar”, “Avenue Q”, “Les Miserables” (where she played both Fantine and Eponine), “The Real Love”. She did the original London cast recording of “Jesus Christ Superstar” as Mary Magdalene and the “Miss Saigon Complete Symphonic Recording” as Kim.

She’s now trying to cultivate her career in local showbiz. She recently won best actress in a musical at the Aliw Awards as Maria in “The Sound of Music”. Her local manager, Girlie Rodis, says she’s now also recording a new album for Viva. She has had two solo albums before. The first, a self titled debut album, was recorded in no less than Abbey Road Studios in London. Her second, “Try Love”, was released by Sony Records locally. The Viva album will have original Pilipino music. Just as she’s recording the album, she got an offer to audition for a new staging of “Cats” to tour the UK and Belgium next year. They got her to play the plum role of Grizabella who sings the show’s most famous song, “Memory”.

Girlie says they want her to sign a contract to do it for 13 months. “But she demurred as she has an album to promote here. She said she’d do it for only 6 months and it’s amazing that they accepted her terms kasi contracts are normally for one year. She wants to branch out into acting here and perhaps do a teleserye.”

Joanna is 37 but she looks much younger. She got married but it didn’t work. They have no kids. Girlie might do wonders to her local career and hopefully help her land a TV show or even a movie. Why not?