The upcoming Broadway production of Here Lies Love is giving audiences an early look at the Broadway Theatre—which no longer has orchestra seats. Producer and guest star Tony and Olivier winner Lea Salonga and three-time Tony-nominated scenic designer David Korins stopped by the theatre to look at its current transformation into a dance club. The disco musical will immerse audiences in the story of former Philippines First Lady Imelda Marcos' and her family's rise and fall beginning June 17 with previews. Watch the video above, which features subtitles in Tagalog, to get a sneak peek.
Korins explains that the steel structure of the set will extend from the back wall of the theatre all the way to the mezzanine which will have a performance catwalk and "satellite stages." He also revealed there will be 360-degree lighting and video screens as part of the design. Salonga explains there will be four ways to experience the show: through floor tickets, floorside seats, front mezzanine, and rear mezzanine.
The David Byrne and Fatboy Slim show will open July 20 with Salonga starring in the guest role of Aurora Aquino July 11-13. The cast will star the already announced Jose Llana (The King and I, The 25th Annual Putnam Country Spelling Bee) and Conrad Ricamora (How to Get Away with Murder, The King and I) who will reprise their Off-Broadway roles for the Broadway run. Following Salonga's run, guest stars from the Philippines will take over the role.
The show marks an exciting return for Salonga who made her Broadway debut at The Broadway Theatre in 1991 as Éponine in Les Misérables. Shen then starred in Miss Saigon in the same theatre shortly after. With Here Lies Love, Salonga will play her first Filipino role on the Main Stem and make her debut as a Broadway producer.
An international casting search is underway to select the show's remaining company of over 20 actors, including for its lead Imelda Marcos. 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.
Alongside Korins, the creative team includes music director J. Oconer Navarro, 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 go on sale to the general public March 27 following early availability to American Express card members and an Audience Rewards presale.