H.E.R. has joined the producing team of Here Lies Love ahead of the long-gestating musical’s Broadway debut this summer.
Here Lies Love tells the story of Imelda Marcos’ rise to power and subsequent fall at the hands of the Philippine People Power Revolution. David Byrne came up with the concept and lyrics for the show, and teamed with Fatboy Slim on the music.
H.E.R. – who was born to a Filipino-American mother and an African-American father – said in a statement, “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.”
On learning that H.E.R. had joined the producing team, Byrne said in a statement, “Thrilled to have H.E.R. as part of the team. See you dancing at the revolution!”
Another of the show’s producers, Lea Salonga, said in a statement, “On behalf of our binational producing team, we welcome Gabi [H.E.R., who was born Gabriella Wilson] to the Here Lies Love team with open arms! I am a huge fan of her genre-defying and multifaceted artistry, and it’s empowering to welcome another Filipino artist to our ranks. Together, we are throwing the biggest party Broadway has ever seen – and everyone is invited!”
Salonga, who was born in Manila, won a Tony in 1991 for best actress in a musical for Miss Saigon. She is set to join the cast of Here Lies Love in a five-week guest engagement from July 11-Aug. 13.
The musical begins preview performances Saturday, June 17, ahead of an official opening night on Thursday, July 20.
Here Lies Love has had a long road to Broadway. The property originated 13 years ago as a studio album by Byrne and Fatboy Slim. The double-length album debuted and peaked at No. 96 on the Billboard 200 in April 2010. The theatrical show made its world premiere at The Public Theater in New York in 2013, returned to The Public in 2014-15, debuted at London’s Royal National Theatre in 2014, and opened at Seattle Repertory Theatre in 2017.
At the risk of getting ahead of ourselves, if Here Lies Love were to win best musical at the 77th annual Tony Awards in June 2024, H.E.R. would become an EGOT. Not only that, but she would become, at 26, the youngest EGOT by more than a decade. The youngest EGOT to date is composer Robert Lopez, who secured EGOT status at age 39 in 2014.
H.E.R. would not be the first person to EGOT by winning a Tony as part of a platoon of producers. Jennifer Hudson secured EGOT status by winning a Tony as one of dozens of producers of A Strange Loop, which won best musical in June 2022.
H.E.R. (who is now 25) has won five Grammys, including song of the year for “I Can’t Breathe,” an Oscar for “Fight for You” from Judas and the Black Messiah and a Children’s and Family Emmy Award last year for We the People, which won as outstanding short form program.
David Byrne’s American Utopia won a Special Tony Award in 2020. (That show also began life as a studio album.) Byrne previously won both an Oscar and a Grammy for scoring The Last Emperor with Cong Su and Ryuichi Sakamoto.
Fatboy Slim won the 2001 Grammy for best short form music video for “Weapon of Choice,” featuring Bootsy Collins.
Here Lies Love will play at The Broadway Theatre, one of the few Broadway theaters that is physically on Broadway. The floor space will be transformed into a dance club environment, where some audience members will stand and move with the actors, and others will watch from seats located around the theatre.
As previously announced, Jose Llana and Conrad Ricamora will recreate their original roles as Ferdinand Marcos (Imelda’s husband and the 10th president of the Philippines) and Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino (a Philippine senator, opposition leader and the Marcoses’ primary critic), respectively. Additional casting will be announced soon.
The show was developed and directed by Tony Award winner Alex Timbers, with choreography by Annie-B Parson and additional music by Tom Gandey and J Pardo.
The creative team for Here Lies Love also includes three-time Tony Award nominee David Korins (scenic design), Tony Award winner Clint Ramos (costume design), Tony Award winner Justin Townsend (lighting design), M.L. Dogg & Cody Spencer (sound design), and three-time Tony Award nominee Peter Nigrini (projection design), with casting by Tara Rubin CSA, Xavier Rubiano CSA, Gail Quintos and general management by Foresight Theatrical.
Additional creative team members include J. Oconer Navarro (music director), Billy Bustamante (assistant director), Renée Albulario (assistant choreographer), Bobby Garcia (casting consultant/Philippines), Gregory T. Livoti (production stage manager), and Ryan Gohsman and Sheryl Polancos (assistant stage managers). Giselle “G” Töngi is the show’s cultural and community liaison.
Here Lies Love is produced by Hal Luftig, Patrick Catullo, Diana DiMenna and Plate Spinner Productions, Clint Ramos, and Jose Antonio Vargas, with Aaron Lustbader serving as executive producer.
They are joined by Salonga, H.E.R., Bobby Garcia, Giselle “G” Töngi, Celia Kaleialoha Kenney, Girlie Rodis, Miranda Gohh, Rob Laqui, Georgina Pazcoguin, Don Michael H. Mendoza, Adam Hyndman, Yasuhiro Kawana, Triptyk Studios, Shira Friedman, James L. Nederlander, Kevin Connor, Patrick Trettenero, Elizabeth Armstrong, Cathy Dantchik, Wendy Federman/Suzanne Niedland, Luke Katler/Ryan Solomon, Laura Ivey/Janet Brenner, and Hunter Arnold/TBD Theatricals.
Tickets are on sale now at Telecharge.com or by phone at 212-239-6200. The Broadway Theatre box office will open on Saturday, May 20.