First bowing at The Public Theater in 2013, David Byrne and Fatboy Slim’s Here Lies Love now makes its Broadway debut ten years later. The starry creative team for this historical musical 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.
Did the reviews rise to the calibre of talent involved? The Broadway Blog shares snippets from reviews.
In The New York Times, Jesse Green wrote, “In any case, on Broadway, it’s not until the gorgeous last song, ‘God Draws Straight, that the material matches the movement in a way that reaches the balcony. Led by Moses Villarama, and based on comments by eyewitnesses to the peaceful 1986 revolution, it acknowledges the moral superiority of its real heroes — the Philippine people — in the only way a musical can: by giving it beautiful voice. Finally, it’s OK to applaud.”
Johnny Oleksinki for The New York Post said, “Still, even if Here Lies Love doesn’t reach the emotional highs of Evita (one reason it can’t is that, unlike Eva Peron, Marcos is alive and well and with a son, Bongbong, who’s the current president of the Philippines), it’s a ravishing sensory experience unlike any other. You’ll walk out at the end with no changed opinion of Imelda Marcos, but instead with your eyes opened about the endless possibilities for Broadway theaters.”
And in Variety, Naveen Kumar remarked, “The ingenuity that Bryne demonstrated in American Utopia, an astute compilation of existing hits into a treatise on democracy, is unevenly expressed here. Though their dynamic musicianship is undeniable, it’s hardly clear what the creators make of the Marcos’ fraught legacy. According to the script, many of the show’s lyrics are drawn from its historical figures’ public remarks. But the Marcos’ words have been artfully assembled here without a coherent or critical point of view about their politics or public personas. The pair’s duplicity and alleged wrongdoings are distilled into mere headlines, in projection design by Peter Nigrini.”