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‘Here Lies Love’ actors call for Martial Law history retelling

Don Tagala | TFC News New York

Posted at May 16 2023 09:30 PM | Updated as of May 16 2023 09:31 PM

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Actors of the musical “Here Lies Love” have stressed the need for a retelling of the country’s Martial Law period and the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution. 

The musical by David Byrne is based on the rise and fall of former Philippine first lady Imelda Marcos.

David Byrne's Imelda Marcos musical is coming to Broadway in June

Jose Llana, who plays the role of Ferdinand Marcos Sr., said the musical is a cautionary tale for the world to see. 

"[It’s] showing people what happens when you elect popular candidates in a very popular election,” he said. “Then they have a party for 20 years. But what’s even more important is we show what happens after. Hangover comes and the lights turn on, and it’s called the People Power Revolution.”

Disney Princess Arielle Jacobs, known for her role as Princess Jasmine in Aladdin on Broadway, will step into the shoes of Imelda. 

She believes this part of Philippine history is a story that needs to be told to a new generation.

“There's so many democracies at stake all around the world,” she said. “And there are countries all around the world that [want] to rewrite history.”

Jacobs added: “I think “Here Lies Love” shines a light on our history and it really shines a light more specifically on the people who led the revolution, the people who fought for democracy.”

“Here Lies Love” takes the audience back to the 70’s and the 80’s disco club scene in New York. 

Bryne said the disco-driven musical brings to life Imelda’s lavish lifestyle in New York, and her endless parties with the Big Apple’s elite. 

It will feature an all-Filipino cast for the first time on Broadway.

Conrad Ricamora plays the late senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino III, whose assassination in 1983, led to the bloodless revolt three years later. 

“There’s never been an all-Filipino cast on Broadway,” he said. “We’re all energized and extra excited to tell our story in a revolutionary way.”

Playing the role of Ninoy’s mother Aurora is award-winning singer and actress Lea Salonga. 

Lea Salonga joins cast of 'Here Lies Love' on Broadway

“On one level, the song is gorgeous but on a whole other level, it’s heartbreaking because this character is talking about her son,” she said. 

“Here Lies Love” previews start on June 17 and opens on July 20 at the Broadway Theater in New York City.