Tony and Olivier winner Lea Salonga has joined the cast and the producing team for the upcoming Broadway run of Here Lies Love. Previews begin for the David Byrne and Fatboy Slim musical June 17 in the Broadway Theatre ahead of its July 20 opening night.
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 Conrad Ricamora). Following her run, guest stars from the Philippines will take over the role.
Though Salonga has previously starred on Broadway in Les Misérables, Miss Saigon, Flower Drum Song, Allegiance, and Once On This Island, this will be Salonga's first time playing a Filipino role on the Main Stem. The performance will also be a homecoming for Salonga, who made her Broadway debut at The Broadway Theatre in 1991 as Éponine in Les Misérables shortly before starring in Miss Saigon in the same theatre. Here Lies Love will be Salonga's first Broadway producing credit.
Already announced in the cast are Jose Llana (The King and I, The 25th Annual Putnam Country Spelling Bee) and Ricamora (How to Get Away with Murder, The King and I) who will reprise their Off-Broadway roles for the Broadway run. An international casting search is underway to select the show's remaining company of over 20 actors, including for its lead Imelda Marcos.
The disco musical tells the story of former Philippines First Lady Imelda Marcos' and her family's rise and fall. Marcos was married to Ferdinand Marcos, the tenth president of the Philippines whose dictatorship lasted 20 years until 1986. During his regime, a Philippine senator Ninoy Aquino was the Marcos family's leading critic until being assassinated in 1983. His murder sparked the People Power Revolution which lead to the removal of the Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos from power.
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.
Following its original 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 which included the production's intentions in portraying this vulnerable moment in Filipino history onstage in 2023. Read more here.
Joining the creative ream are music director J. Oconer Navarro, assistant director Billy Bustamante, assistant choreographer Renée Albulario, casting consultant Bobby Garcia, production stage manager Gregory T. Livoti, and assistant stage managers Ryan Gohsman and Sheryl Polancos.
The creative team for Here Lies Love already include 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, and cultural and community liaison Giselle “G” Töngi. Casting is by Tara Rubin, Xavier Rubiano, and Gail Quintos. General management will be by Foresight Theatrical.
Here Lies Love is produced on Broadway by Hal Luftig, Patrick Catullo, Diana DiMenna and Plate Spinner Productions, Clint Ramos, and Jose Antonio Vargas, with Aaron Lustbader serving as executive producer. They are joined by Lea Salonga, Bobby Garcia, Giselle “G” Töngi, Celia Kaleialoha Kenney, Girlie Rodis, Miranda Gohh, Rob Laqui, Georgina Pazcoguin, Don Michael H. Mendoza, Adam Hyndman, Yasuhiro Kawana, Triptyk Studios, Shira Friedman, Kevin Connor, and Hunter Arnold/TBD Theatricals.
Tickets will go on sale to the general public March 27 following early availability to American Express card members and an Audience Rewards presale.