Joanna Ampil to Play Grizabella in “Cats” 2019 Tour


Joanna Ampil, Grizabella, Cats
Joanna Ampil as Grizabella in Cats; photo from joannaampil.com

Joanna Ampil is set to play Grizabella in the international tour of Cats. According to a photo wall at The Theatre at Solaire, the tour will begin its Manila leg this November. Other cast members have yet to be announced.

Ampil, who was last seen on our local stage playing Jenna in Atlantis Theatrical’s staging of Waitress, has played the role of the “Glamour Cat” in the musical’s UK and European Tour from 2013-14, and the World Tour from 2017-2018. Her previous roles in Manila also include Maria in Stages’ West Side Story, Maria Von Trapp in Resorts World Manila’s The Sound of Music, Nellie Forbush in Resort World Manila’s South Pacific: in Concert and Frances in Atlantis Theatrical’s The Bridges of Madison County. She won the MMFF and Gawad Urian Awards for Best Actress for her portrayal of Candida in the movie musical Ang Larawan in 2017.

Cats, Joanna Ampil
photo wall in Solaire

In the West End, she has played the roles of Kim in Miss Saigon, Eponine & Fantine in Les Miserables, Mary Magdalene in the 1996 revival of Jesus Christ Superstar, Christmas Eve in Avenue Q, and Sheila Franklin in Hair, among many others.

Cats first came to Manila in 2010, with Lea Salonga performing the role of Grizabella, at the CCP. A movie musical adaptation starring Jason Derulo, James Corden, Rebel Wilson, Robert Fairchild, Taylor Swift, Idris Elba, Ian McKellen, Judi Dench, and Jennifer Hudson as Grizabella is also opening in US cinemas on December 20 this year.

Cats is a sung-through musical composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber based on T.S. Eliot’s poems in Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats. It won 7 Tony Awards in 1983, including Best Musical.

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