The full cast for the upcoming Broadway premiere of immersive musical Here Lies Love will be the first all-Filipino company on the Main Stem. Telling the story of former Philippines First Lady Imelda Marcos and her family's rise and fall, previews will begin in the Broadway Theatre June 17. Opening July 20, the musical will be led by Arielle Jacobs as Imelda Marcos.
The 23-member company includes Broadway alums Melody Butiu (Doctor Zhivago), Jaygee Macapugay (Shucked), Julia Abueva (KPOP), Aaron Alcaraz (Mean Girls), Kristina Doucette (Wicked), Jeigh Madjus (Moulin Rouge!), Geena Quintos (Miss Saigon), Shea Renne (Hadestown), and Angelo Soriano (Aladdin), as well as Moses Villarama, Jasmine Forsberg, Reanne Acasio, Renée Albulario, Carol Angeli, Nathan Angelo, Roy Flores, Timothy Matthew Flores, Sarah Kay, and Aaron "AJ" Mercado. They join the previously announced Jacobs (Aladdin), Conrad Ricamora, Jose Llana, and Lea Salonga. Rehearsals begin May 1.
Director Alex Timbers said, “Our international casting search took us literally around the globe. We received submissions from actors in the U.S. to the Philippines and more than a dozen countries in between.”
Based on a real story, Here Lies Love follows Imelda Marcos, whose husband Ferdinand Marcos was the 10th president of the Philippines and ruled as dictator for 20 years until 1986. During his regime, Philippine senator Ninoy Aquino was the Marcos family's leading critic until being assassinated in 1983. His murder sparked the People Power Revolution, which led to the removal of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos from power.
Salonga will play Aurora Aquino in a limited guest engagement July 11-August 13. Aurora is the mother of Ninoy Aquino (played in the show by Ricamora). Following her run, guest stars from the Philippines will take over the role. Both Llana and Ricamora reprise their performances from the musical's Off-Broadway run.
The musical features a score by Grammy, Tony, and Oscar winner David Byrne and Grammy winner Fatboy Slim, with music by both and concept and lyrics by Byrne. Returning to the project are original director Alex Timbers (Moulin Rouge) and choreographer Annie-B Parson. The quartet, led by Timbers, have developed the musical over the course of a decade. Tom Gandey and J Pardo will also contribute additional music for the production, which will feature an immersive dance club staging in the recently reconfigured theatre.
Following its original 2013 Off-Broadway run at The Public, Here Lies Love ran at the National Theater in London in 2014 and Seattle Rep in 2017. Each production was met with a variety of responses, and conversations have cropped up again on social media as attention returns to the musical with the upcoming Broadway run. In response to online criticism, the official Here Lies Love Broadway accounts on Twitter and Instagram published a lengthy statement that included the production's intentions in portraying this vulnerable moment in Filipino history onstage in 2023. Read more here.
Alex Timbers' creative team will include choreographer Parson, music director J. Oconer Navarro, Tony-nominated scenic designer David Korins, Tony-winning costume designer Clint Ramos, Tony-winning lighting designer Justin Townsend, sound designers M.L. Dogg and Cody Spencer, Tony-nominated projection designer Peter Nigrini, cultural and community liaison Giselle “G” Töngi, and musical director J. Oconer Navarro. Casting is by Tara Rubin, Xavier Rubiano, and Gail Quintos. Bobby Garcia served as casting consultant. General management will be by Foresight Theatrical.
Here Lies Love is produced by Hal Luftig, Patrick Catullo, Diana DiMenna and Plate Spinner Productions, Clint Ramos, and Jose Antonio Vargas. Aaron Lustbader serves as executive producer. Also serving on the producing team are the previously announced H.E.R., Lea Salonga, Bobby Garcia, Giselle “G” Töngi, Celia Kaleialoha Kenney, Girlie Rodis, Miranda Gohh, Rob Laqui, Georgina Pazcoguin, Don Michael H. Mendoza/Lora Nicolas Olaes, Adam Hyndman, LaChanze, Yasuhiro Kawana, Triptyk Studios, Iris Smith, Shira Friedman, James L. Nederlander, John Gore Organization, Kevin Connor, Andrew Diamond/Patrick Trettenero, Craig Balsam, Elizabeth Armstrong, Cathy Dantchik, Wendy Federman/Suzanne Niedland, Luke Katler/Ryan Solomon, Laura Ivey/Janet Brenner, Alexi Melvin, Warner Music Entertainment, Eastern Standard Time, The Shubert Organization, and Hunter Arnold/TBD Theatricals.