Here Lies Love was conceptualized by David Byrne. He teamed up with Fat Boy Slim to create an interactive dance musical that has been winning over audiences performance after performance. Working for the Public, there was buzz in the air about the show before it opened and I knew I wanted to see it, yet didn’t rush to put in for my employee tickets. What a mistake on my part! before I knew it previews started, word got around town and we were sold out! Here Lies Love is definitely a hit! Many folks have made their way to come check out what all the craze is about. This week alone Jeff Perry (Grey’s Anatomy,Scandal) , Sally Fields and Lin-Manuel Miranda have all come to see HLL. The show has now been extended four times and I was lucky to get in for Saturday night’s performance. The Luester Hall has been transformed into a nightclub and in the trance of the ambiance, rocking music, and flashing lights you are taken to the Philippines. Not your traditional musical theater setting, the audience is fully immersed in the show. I enjoyed dancing and singing along with the cast. As I watched this incredible ensemble of talented actors I couldn’t help but feel an immense sense of pride for the Filipino community. I just stood there and thought to myself how wonderful it must feel not only for the actors who are in the show to be a part of the show and tell “their” story but for their community to be represented in a place such as The Public Theater.
When In the Heights won Tony Award for Best Musical in 2008, I cried. It was a beautiful moment for the Latino community, we all won that day. The featured actors shine yet I love to watch the ensemble actors, they work so hard playing multiple roles and bringing the show to life in a fantastic way. For Renée Albulario, Melody Butiu, Natalie Cortez, Debralee Daco, Joshua Dela Cruz, Jose Llana, Kelvin Moon Loh, Jeigh Madjus, Ruthie Ann Miles, Maria-Christina Oliveras, Conrad Ricamora, Trevor Salter, and Janelle Velasquez it must be a dream not only to do what you love everyday but be a part of show that has such a significance in the history of the Filipino people.
One of my favorite moments of the show is a beautiful acoustic performance featuring Kelvin Moon Loh, Renee Abulario, and Joshua Dela Cruz with lyrics from the actual words from the People Power Revolution. Now while I’m sure the show was unable to cover all the historical and political aspects of the time, I believe it did the job of the theater; to teach and entertain. Now, thanks to Here Lies Love my keyboard typing fingers hit google. I did some reading/research on Imelda Marcos and the Philippines. Hopefully the show has the same affect on the others.
*HLL has been extended 7/01-7/28 if you can. Run, don’t walk to the Public to see this show!