Here Lies Love: The First All Filipino Cast on Broadway
Here Lies Love” is a disco-pop musical that tells the story of Imelda Marcos, the former First Lady of the Philippines, and her husband, Ferdinand Marcos, a corrupt dictator.
The portrayal of Filipino characters and the first all-Filipino company on Broadway are groundbreaking for representation. The musical “Here Lies Love” aims to evoke catharsis in older Filipinos, allowing them to express emotions about their country’s history.
It also attempts to understand what drove Imelda Marcos, a character torn between wanting to heal the nation, bring love to her country, and share good intentions, but eventually succumbing to the corrupting influence of power.
The cast includes Arielle Jacobs as Imelda Marcos, Jose Llana as Ferdinand Marcos, and limited engagement of Lea Salonga as Doña Aurora Aquino, the grieving mother of assassinated opposition leader Benigno Ninoy Aquino.
Here Lies Love is a watershed moment for Pinoys on Broadway; it was also the first time Lea Salonga played a Filipino role.
Criticism and Wins
Some critics argue that it may sanitize the history of the Marcos regime, considering the controversial figure of Imelda Marcos.
However, the creators defend the show, stating that it offers a unique historical perspective, allowing audiences to experience the era while conveying the reality of democracy crumbling and martial law being imposed.
The production’s innovative use of transforming the Broadway Theater into a nightclub has been well-received, with the audience surrounding and participating in the action.
Imelda Marcos is now 94 and back in the Philippines, while her son, President Bong Bong Marcos Jr. (BBM), won by a landslide.