Here Lies Love plays its final performance on Broadway November 26.
The show officially opened July 20, 2023 at the Broadway Theatre after beginning previews June 17. Following the closing performance, the musical will have played 33 previews and 149 regular performances.
The immersive disco musical is based on the real story of Filipino First Lady Imelda Marcos, whose husband Ferdinand Marcos was the 10th president of the Philippines and ruled as dictator for 20 years until 1986. The musical featured 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. Read the reviews here.
A previous statement from the show's producers reads: “When we started this journey to bring this bold and original work to Broadway, we asked ourselves: Can anyone produce on Broadway in a new way? Is there a new path forward? What does the template look like? Will audiences want something radically new? Who will those audiences be?
“We have learned a great deal about the answers to those questions. Yes, new ways can work. Artistic excellence can be achieved. But the reality is, succeeding on Broadway means not only producing excellent work with artistic merit—it also means creating the audience for it. And how much time it takes to find and grow new audiences is out of sync with the tight timeframes for audience-building and awareness.
“Every aspect of our production brought new life and fresh ideas to Broadway, from the innovative music of David Byrne and Fatboy Slim, the beautiful choreography of Annie-B Parson, the masterful staging by our visionary director Alex Timbers, and the jaw-dropping set, lighting, sound, and projection designs by David Korins, Justin Townsend, M.L. Dogg, Cody Spencer and Peter Nigrini, and among the most dazzling collection of costumes ever seen on Broadway created by Clint Ramos.
“As the first-ever fully binational producing team, we are deeply proud and honored to have brought this pioneering theatrical event to Broadway. The first all-Filipino acting company on Broadway received universal critical acclaim, celebrated by thousands of people from diverse backgrounds, including record numbers who experienced going to a Broadway show for the first time. As an artistic, cultural, and commercial enterprise, we believe that Here Lies Love had to be presented on Broadway.”
There are plans underway for possible upcoming runs of the show in Japan and Australia.
Leading the final cast is Arielle Jacobs as Imelda Marcos opposite Jose Llana as Ferdinand Marcos, with Conrad Ricamora as Ninoy Aquino, a Philippine senator who critiqued the Marcos family during its regime until his assassination in 1983. Ninoy Aquino's murder sparked the People Power Revolution which resulted in the removal of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos from power. Both Llana and Ricamora reprised their performances from the musical's 2013 Off-Broadway run.
The all-Filipino cast, a first for Broadway, includes Broadway alums Melody Butiu (Doctor Zhivago), Jaygee Macapugay (Shucked), Julia Abueva (KPOP), Aaron Alcaraz (Mean Girls), Kristina Doucette (Wicked), Jeigh Madjus (Moulin Rouge!), Geena Quintos (Miss Saigon), Shea Renne (Hadestown), and Angelo Soriano (Aladdin), as well as Moses Villarama, Jasmine Forsberg, Reanne Acasio, Renée Albulario, Carol Angeli, Nathan Angelo, Roy Flores, Timothy Matthew Flores, Sarah Kay, Aaron J. Albano, Danielle Troiano, and Aaron "AJ" Mercado. For many, the show is personal as several of them and their families lived in the Philippines when the Marcos family was in power.
Returning to the project from its Off-Broadway run are original director Alex Timbers (Moulin Rouge) and choreographer Annie-B Parson. They are joined on the creative team by music director J. Oconer Navarro, 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. Bobby Garcia serves as casting consultant. General management is by Foresight Theatrical. Tom Gandey and J Pardo also contributed additional music for the production.
The immersive staging of the Here Lies Love transforms the Broadway Theatre into a disco dance club complete with a performance catwalk and "satellite stages." It also features 360-degree lighting and video screens as part of the design.