An ‘imeldific’ performance: Here Lies Love

By Don Tagala, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

July 26, 2013

NEW YORK — The New York Times calls it the “exciting new Poperetta” created by musician David Byrne that sets a new standard for theater audience participation. “Here Lies Love” is the story of former Philippine First Lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos as it’s never been told before.

Through David Byrne and Fatboy Slim’s music, it tackles the rise and fall of the former first lady in an imeldific, throbbing disco club atmosphere.

Jose Llana, who plays Ferdinand Marcos, said “Here Lies Love” is neither a play nor a musical.

“It’s theater that is not anything anyone has seen before, it tells the story in a really creative way, it puts the audience not just an outside spectator but it makes them part of the action,” Llana said.

“It’s all music, actually, for 90 minutes and there’s incredible dance,” cast member George Salazar, who was last seen in the musical “Godspell” said, “But on top of that they come in as audience members but they become the ‘Filipino people,’ it’s an exciting piece.”

Playing Imelda is Korean-American actress Ruthie Anne Miles who said portraying Mrs. Marcos is a challenge because history, it seems, has already judged her.

“I want the audience to make up their own mind about her, I’m not going to tell them to judge her, I’m not going tell them to love her, but I do want them to think and explore history,” she said.

Filipino-Canadian cast member, Jeigh Madjus, recently finished “La Cage Aux Follies” tour with George Hamilton, Imelda Marcos’ rumored boyfriend back in the day.

“I asked him about that, he said they are just friends,” Madjus said, “He has nothing but wonderful things to say about her.”

Tessie Tomas who has played “Meldita” in many of her stand-up comedy shows has seen the show twice with her son Robin Tomas.

“There is something more serious and sad, that is let’s not forget about what happened during the Marcos regime and all the abuses that have happened during that time and all the sufferings of the Filipino and our struggle in the EDSA revolution and what we have gained out of that,” she said.

14 out of the 17 cast members are Filipino-Americans.

“Here Lies Love” is now on its fourth and final extension. The show is set to close on July 28th but sources close to the production say, the off-Broadway show may soon be on its way to a bigger stage and they are keeping their fingers crossed.

You may contact Don Tagala at don_tagala@abs-cbn.com

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