Americas Entertainment

Fil-Am singer H.E.R joins production of Broadway musical on Imelda Marcos

NEW YORK – Now,  there are two top Filipino celebrities as co-producer of the “Here Lies Love,” a Broadway musical on the rise and fall of former First Lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos.

This after multi-award-winning Filpino-American singer H.E.R., Gabriella Sarmiento Wilson in real life, announced she was joining the production team of “Here Lies Love” which is set to run this July.

“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 Vallejo, California-born Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter said in her announcement.

“Here Lies Love” was conceptualized by award-winning singer-songwriter David Byrne and DJ-producer Fatboy Slim.

Tony Award winning Filipino singer and actress Lea Salonga earlier was announced as a co-star in the musical and a co-producer as well.

Reports from US showed the musical’s producers earlier addressed criticisms, explaining that the show “offers a creative way of re-information — an innovative template on how to stand up to tyrant.”

“We cannot tell the modern history of the Philippines without the United States. They’re intertwined. Here Lies Love is an Anti-Marcos show. It is a pro-Filipino show, being told in a quintessential American form: the Broadway musical,” the producers said in a statement as early as last January.

“Here Lies Love” also marks the return of Lea Salonga to the Broadway scene.

Lea will perform “Just Ask The Flowers” as the character of Aurora Aquino, mother of the late senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr.

It was announced Lea will appear in the musical for five weeks from the July 11 to the August 13 shows. After her five-week stint, guest stars from the Philippines will take over her role. An international casting search is also underway.

Aside from being one of the cast members, Lea joined the show’s producing team.

“I’m so excited to be joining Here Lies Love as both a performer and producer,” she said in a press release. “I’m thrilled to be part of this show, as well as part of a company comprised of an abundance of Filipino talent, a first in Broadway history! We’re showing the world what we’re capable of!”

The production will serve as Lea’s first Filipino role on the Broadway stage and first stint as a producer.

Here Lies Love will also mark her return to the Broadway Theater  – where she made her Broadway debut in 1991 with Miss Saigon.

The immersive musical, which features music by David Bryne and Fatboy Slim, dramatizes the rise and fall of the Marcos matriarch and follows the dictator’s family through to the People Power Revolution. It will reportedly “transform part of the Broadway Theater into a dance club” to immerse the audience.

Here Lies Love started out as a 2010 concept album featuring singers like Cyndi Lauper, Florence Welch, Sia, and Tori Amos.

In 2013, it was adapted into a musical, which premiered off Broadway in New York City, with Ruthie Ann Miles as Imelda, Jose Llana as the dictator, and Conrad Ricamora as opposition leader Ninoy Aquino. Following its off-Broadway premiere, the musical has since built a following, and has been staged in London and Seattle.

Here Lies Love‘s official opening night on Broadway is set for July 20, with preview performances starting on June 17. (Claire Morales True/cmtpr1962@yahoo.com.ph)