Sam Concepcion's manager, Carlo Orosa of STAGES Management, clarified that the actor did not get replaced in Maynila Sa Mga Kuko Ng Liwanag The Musical.
Sam was initially supposed to play Julio Madiaga, the lead character played by Bembol Roco in the 1975 film directed by Lino Brocka.
However, according to his manager, Sam turned the role down. For this reason, the production tapped Arman Ferrer to portray the lead character.
Carlo Orosa also pointed out that his other talents from STAGES are also part of this musical that will open starting September 30.
In a text message, Carlo explained: "We were delaying Sam's confirmation due to his hectic schedules (ASEAN international events, recordings, EU tour in October). In the end, we had to turn down the good offer because it would be unfair to the production to just attend a few rehearsals."
In a phone interview with PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) earlier today, September 14, Carlo Orosa recalled:
"In-offer nila kay Sam. Tinawagan nila ako for Sam so they were sure that they wanted him.
"I offered my other artists, Shiela Valderamma and Aicelle [Santos]. Then they liked them naman and they offered them the lead roles.
"As to yung lumalabas na report na they were replaced, they were not replaced. We turned it down."
When was the role offered to Sam?
"It was offered around July. We turned it down [around August]."
He narrated that they received a text message from production confirming that Sam was supposed to play the lead role.
"Right after they sent the text message [confriming Sam], I called them personally and told them, 'I'm afraid we would have to turn it down.'
"Nalungkot nga sila kasi they really had Sam in mind for the role.
"Dalawa rin ang kina-cast nila for Julio and they were sure about Sam.
"Nung nag-turn down kami, lahat napunta kay Arman."
Why did Sam turn down the lead role in Maynila Sa Mga Kuko Ng Liwanag The Musical?
"Because marami na si Sam na schedule prior to the opening of the show. October 3 pa lang, aalis na siya.
"Aalis siya for Europe for three weeks, so how can he do the show?
"Mayroon rin siyang ASEAN na six days siyang nawala so how can he rehearse for the show? Tapos nagre-recording siya. Marami siyang naka-plot na events."
Carlo commended the production team since they were willing to be flexible when it comes to Sam's schedule.
"In fairness to them, they were willing to work around our schedule. Pero kami, we could have accepted it kasi sila, willing naman sila mag-adjust. Kaya lang we felt it was unfair for us to accept it, baka hindi niya magawan ng justice o hindi niya mabigay ang 100% niya.
"It was best for us to turn it down."
LAUNCHING FILM. The 24-year-old actor will soon star in his launching film.
Carlo disclosed, "Meron na kaming script. On the day that we signed with Viva, may binigay nang project kay Sam.
"Next week, may prod[uction] meetings na kami and pagbalik niya from Europe, we start shooting in October.
"It's his first film, starring film ni Sam."
Last September 12, Sam signed a co-management deal with Viva Artists Agency (VAA). He left Star Magic but he is still being co-managed by STAGES.