Comedienne Kakai Bautista is a familiar face in supporting roles on TV and the movies, but is first and foremost a singer by heart. And she is ready to tell her story via song as she celebrates her 15th year anniversary with a concert at the Music Museum on April 6.
Bautista first set foot in the performance scene as a fresh college graduate in Biñan, Laguna. Out with friends one day, she went along to audition for community theater group, Tanghalang Biñan, under noted stage director Frannie Zamora and immediately landed the lead role in “Katy the Musicale” because of her singing voice. In fact, her performance had the stamp of approval of Zamora’s friends whose names were Celeste Legaspi and Mitch Valdez, who also watched the provinciana sing her heart out.
“I sang a song from [the musical]‘Ramahari’ for my auditions, which I will also sing for the concert,” Bautista revealed at a tête-à-tête before the Holy Week.
But while one would think that impressing the likes of OPM señoras assured Bautista of theater projects after Katy in Biñan, no such thing happened to her newly found career.
Zamora, an esteemed in-house director of Gantimpala Theater Foundation, generously took Bautista along to Manila, where she remembers starting out as an “alila” [slave]of the stage.
“I would mop floors, work in costume, until I eventually became Lea Salonga’s wardrobe and wig assistant for 80 shows when she did ‘They’re Playing Our Song’ [with Singaporean Adrian Pang]in Manila,” she elaborated. “Pero ang bait-bait niya; never akong nahirapan kay Manang [Lea] throughout the run and now we’re very good friends.”
Her patience in working odd jobs for the stage eventually paid off as she was finally cast in such memorable musicals as “Sino ka ba Jose Rizal” and “Alikabok.”
She also clinched her very first audition for TV with noted ABS-CBN director Laurenti Dyogi and found herself among the supporting cast of John Lloyd Cruz and Bea Alonzo’s “Kay Tagal Kitang Hinintay.”
“It wasn’t easy going into TV in the beginning either,” Bautista chuckled. “I had bigger stars looking down on me but I needed a job so I stuck it out.”
As such, the actress-comedienne who wowed the crowd with her impeccable performances in “Rak of Aegis” and her impersonations on “Your Face Sounds Familiar” will pay tribute to her mentors through her concert repertoire on Friday night.
“The show won’t only be about me, it’s also for the people who have been part of the 15 years,” Bautista reiterated, adding she has sent all of them, including Salonga who is currently busy in Broadway, an invitation to her concert.
She will also share the stage with guest performers, led by Mamay Entrata, X Factor UK’s JBK and some of her Rak of Aegis co-stars.
Comically titled “Kakai XV: The Dental Diva 15th Anniversary Concert,” after the “title” King of Talk Boy Abunda gave Bautista, the concert is produced by FLM Creatives and Productions Inc., with Marvin Querido as musical director, and Frank Lloyd Mamaril as over all director.