PHOTO CALL: A First Look at Imelda Marcos Musical Here Lies Love, by David Byrne and Fatboy Slim

By Matthew Blank
17 Apr 2013

Filipino political leaders Imelda and Ferdinand Marcos take center stage in the new David Byrne-Fatboy Slim musical Here Lies Love, an immersive 360-degree theatrical experience, which began its world-premiere engagement April 2 at The Public Theater.



Tony Award-nominated Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and Peter and the Starcatcher director Alex Timbers stages the 90-minute production that officially opens April 23 and will play an extended run through May 19.



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Ruthie Ann Miles
Photo by Joan Marcus



The musical, which centers around the shoe-obsessed First Lady of the Philippines, encourages audiences to wear a comfortable pair of their own footwear for the performance. Set within a dance club atmosphere, theatregoers stand and move with the actors for the duration of the show. Dancing is also encouraged.

Here Lies Love has music by David Byrne of The Talking Heads and DJ Fatboy Slim, with lyrics by Byrne. A starry concept album of the same title was released by Byrne in 2010.

Ruthie Ann Miles (Avenue Q, Band Geeks) and Jose Llana (Spelling Bee, Flower Drum Song) co-star as Imelda and Ferdinand Marcos, respectively. The two took part in a summer 2012 workshop presentation of Here Lies Love at the Williamstown Theatre Festival.

The cast also features Renee Albulario, Melody Butiu, Natalie Cortez, Debralee Daco, Joshua Dela Cruz, Kelvin Moon Loh, Jeigh Madjus, Ruthie Ann Miles, Maria-Christina Oliveras, Conrad Ricamora, Trevor Salter and Janelle Velasquez.

According to the Public, "Within a pulsating dance club atmosphere, David Byrne and Fatboy Slim deconstruct the astonishing journey of Filipina First Lady Imelda Marcos retracing her meteoric rise from childhood to her subsequent descent into infamy and disgrace at the end of the People Power Revolution. Here Lies Love is neither a period piece nor a biography, neither a play nor a traditional musical but a wholly immersive theatrical event combining songs influenced by four decades of dance music, adrenaline-fueled choreography, and a remarkable 360-degree scenic and video environment to go beyond Imelda’s near-mythic obsession with shoes and explore the true tragic consequences of power and responsibility."

Here Lies Love has set design by David Korins, costume design by Clint Ramos, lighting design by Justin Townsend, sound design by M. L. Dogg and Cody Spencer, and projection design by Peter Nigrini. Annie-B Parson is choreographer.

For tickets, priced $90.50, phone (212) 967-7555, or visit PublicTheater. The Public Theater is located at 425 Lafayette Street in Manhattan.