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Meet the Fil-Am playing Imelda Marcos in 'Here Lies Love'

Posted at | Updated as of 08/20/14 8:32 PM

NEW YORK – "Here Lies Love", a musical on the rise and fall of former Philippine first lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos, is now on its second run at the Public Theater in New York City.

It’s a modern Cinderella story of how a provincial lass from Leyte rose to become the most powerful woman of the Philippines.

During its first “Filipino night” and for a limited time only, Filipino-American stage actress Jaygee Macapugay got to play “the rose of Tacloban”, a role that is usually played by a Korean-American actress.

“Whether you love or hated Imelda Marcos, you can’t help but deny that she had a power over the people, and based on that you can decide for yourself,” said the actress.

“Here Lies Love” is a revolutionary musical experience created by Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, David Byrnes and English DJ and producer, Fat Boy Slim.

The 360-degree multimedia spectacle blends Philippine political history with electrifying dance music.

“We are actually telling the story so that younger Filipino-Americans who were raised in America can go home and talk to their parents about it,” said Jose Llana, who plays Ferdinand Marcos, “And learn from the mistakes that were made during the Marcos Regime so that those mistakes don’t happen.”

From Malacanang to Manhattan, it’s one big party in an “Imeldific” kind of way.

“It’s immersive in a way that you, as an audience, begin as a spectator,” said George Salazar, who plays the young Benigno Aquino III. “By the end of the show you become Filipino regardless of what your story is or what our background is.”

The tree-time Tony-winning Broadway producer who is co-producing “Here Lies Love” said he is excited to see this Imeldific musical brought to life in different cities around the world.

“We start rehearsal in London next month,” said co-producer, Jhett Tolentino, “And Australia we’ll be casting in spring, and in the fall in San Francisco we’ll start, and they will do the tour.”

Another “Filipino Night” is being planned in celebration of the Filipino Heritage Month in October.

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