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) will reprise their Off-Broadway roles for the upcoming Broadway run of Here Lies Love. The disco musical about former Philippines First Lady Imelda Marcos' rise and fall will begin performances June 17 at the Broadway Theatre. Opening night is set for July 20.
The David Byrne-Fatboy Slim musical originally premiered in 2013 Off-Broadway at The Public Theater where Llana starred as Ferdinand Marcos and Ricamora as Ninoy Aquino. Marcos was tenth president of the Philippines, whose dictatorship lasted 20 years until 1986 during which Aquino, a Philippine senator, served as the leading critic of the Marcos family and was assassinated in 1983. His murder sparked the People Power Revolution which lead to the removal of the Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos from power. Llana and Ricamora both earned 2014 Lucille Lortel nominations for their performances.
Following Here Lies Love, Ricamora made his Broadway debut in 2015 as Lun Tha in The King and I, and starred alongside Llana who joined the musical as a replacement in the titular role of the King of Siam
Llana said in a statement, “This is a dream: to be a Filipino actor, playing a Filipino character, telling a crucial part of Filipino history, which is also part of American history. I'm honored to return to Here Lies Love. We built a family creating this show 10 years ago, and now we get to do it again on Broadway. See you on the dance floor!”
“Working on Here Lies Love allowed me to embrace my Filipino heritage––all that Pinoy pride!," adds Ricamora. "This is a huge moment for increasing representation on stage, and I’m so excited and proud to bring this revolutionary show to Broadway.”
Additional members of the creative team and casting will be announced at a later date
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.
Following its original run at The Public, Here Lies Love ran at the National Theater in London in 2014, and Seattle Rep in 2017 with Ricamora reprising his performance for the latter. 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.
In response to the social media posts, Ricamora and Llana both expressed their support. Ricamora commented on Instagram with a string of heart emojis and Llana responded with the word, "YES!"
The creative team for Here Lies Love will include scenic designer David Korins costume designer Clint Ramos, lighting designer Justin Townsend, sound designers M.L. Dogg and Cody Spencer, and projection designer Peter Nigrini with casting by Tara Rubin, Xavier Rubiano, and Gail Quintos. General management will be by Foresight Theatrical. Giselle “G” Töngi is the show’s cultural and community liaison.
Similar to its Off-Broadway immersive staging, Here Lies Love will transform the Broadway Theatre into a dance club environment with a variety of standing and sitting audience options available throughout the space.
Said the producing team: “As a team of binational American producers––Filipinos among us––we are thrilled to bring Here Lies Love to Broadway! We welcome everyone to experience this singularly exuberant piece of theatre. The history of the Philippines is inseparable from the history of the United States, and as both evolve, we cannot think of a more appropriate time to stage this show. See you on the dance floor!”
Here Lies Love will be produced on Broadway by Hal Luftig, Patrick Catullo, Diana DiMenna for Plate Spinner Productions, Clint Ramos, and Jose Antonio Vargas.
Listen below to the Off-Broadway cast album, led by Tony winner Ruthie Ann Miles