David Byrne-Fatboy Slim Musical Here Lies Love Will Return Off-Broadway
By Adam Hetrick
The acclaimed Public Theater production of the David Byrne-Fatboy Slim musical Here Lies Love, an immersive theatrical experience that captures the political rise and fall of Filipino leaders Imelda and Ferdinand Marcos, will return Off-Broadway in March, according to the New York Times.
Here Lies Love was extended four times during its initial run last season at the Public's LuEsther Theater. The Public had been working to find a suitable venue for the acclaimed musical that ended its run July 28, 2013.
An ideal venue for the elaborately staged production, which includes multiple moving platforms, could not be immediately found. Joey Parnes, who is among the producers of the Off-Broadway return along with Emursive, opted to bring Here Lies Love back to its original home at the Public's LuEsther Theater. The production will be a rental at the Public, which will not put any of its own money into the commercial return.
The staging is expected to reunite much of the original Off-Broadway cast. An official announcement is expected shortly.
News of a return for Here Lies Love broke when Byrne sent an email to fans, stating that the production would reopen at the Public's LuEsther Theater on March 31.
A cast album of the musical was recorded during the initial run and is also expected to be released by Nonesuch Records.
Tony nominee Alex Timbers staged the 90-minute production that opened to strong critical notices April 23. It was extended four times. The immersive musical, which centers around the First Lady of the Philippines, encourages audiences to wear a comfortable pair of shoes 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.
The production received the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical; an Obie Award for Outstanding Music and Lyrics; Drama Desk Awards for Outstanding Music, Lighting Design, and Projection Design and Theatre World Awards for Ruthie Ann Miles (Imelda Marcos) and Conrad Ricamora (Aquino).
Ruthie Ann Miles (Avenue Q, Band Geeks) and Jose Llana (Spelling Bee, Flower Drum Song) co-starred as Imelda and Ferdinand Marcos, respectively.
The original cast also featured 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.
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