‘Here Lies Love’ musical introduces Broadway’s first-ever all-Filipino cast

‘Here Lies Love’ musical introduces Broadway’s first-ever all-Filipino cast
Michelle De Pacina
May 3, 2023
The upcoming musical “Here Lies Love” has introduced Broadway’s first-ever all-Filipino cast. 
The immersive musical, whose official opening night is on July 20, narrates the rise and fall from power of the Philippines’ former First Lady Imelda Marcos following the 1986 People Power Revolution. 
On Monday, the official Instagram of “Here Lies Love” shared the news in a post featuring a photo of the whole cast.   
“No better way to kick off AAPI Heritage month than by introducing the world to our beautiful all-Filipino Broadway cast!” the team wrote

The Broadway musical was adapted from musicians David Byrne and Fatboy Slim’s 2010 album of the same name, choreographed by Annie-B Parson and produced by Tony and Olivier Award-winner Lea Salonga.
The cast members include: 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 and Aaron Mercado. 
“Our international casting search took us literally around the globe. We received submissions from actors in the U.S. to the Philippines and more than a dozen countries in between,” director Alex Timbers told Playbill.

Filipino stars, including Salonga, Arielle Jacobs, Jose Llana and Conrad Ricamora, were previously announced as cast members. 
The musical marks Salonga’s producer debut and first Filipino role in a Broadway musical, as well as her return to the Broadway Theatre, where she originally made her debut as Kim in “Miss Saigon” in 1991. The 52-year-old star is notably set to make a guest appearance during a five-week run from July 11 to Aug. 13.

Jacobs, who will star as Imelda Marcos, previously starred in the Broadway productions of “In the Heights” and “Aladdin.” Llana, who will take on the role of Marcos Sr., performed in “Rent” and “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.” Ricamora, who is best known for his role in the drama series “How to Get Away with Murder,” will star as Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, while Salonga will portray his mother, Aurora Aquino.
The announcement comes after Filipino American singer H.E.R. was announced to join the musical’s producing team.
“Filipinos are a global people. We come in all colors and build bridges across cultures. I am beyond excited to produce my first Broadway musical and forge a unique and meaningful partnership with ‘Here Lies Love,’” the 25-year-old said in a statement.
The musical premiered at The Public Theater in 2013, the National Theater in London in 2014 and Seattle Rep in 2015 before it was picked up for Broadway.
Imelda is the wife of former president and dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. and the mother of the Philippines’ current president Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. 
The Marcos era is considered one of the darkest chapters in the country’s history. During the 14-year period of martial law from 1972 to 1981, the Marcos administration engaged in a series of human rights abuses in targeting activists, journalists, religious workers, political opponents and citizens.
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