Lea Salonga joins ‘Here Lies Love’ broadway cast amid show’s local backlash

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 03: Lea Salonga attends the "Once On This Island" Broadway Opening Night after party at The Copacabana Times Square on December 3, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)

Lea Salonga has joined one of Broadway’s most contentious productions right now.

The Tony Award-winning actress was announced as a special guest star on “Here Lies Love” this summer.

Salonga would join the cast and serve as the show’s producer.

Aurora Aquino, the mother of slain senator Benigno Aquino II, sparked the 1986 Philippine People Power Revolution, which led to the ousting of dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. and his wife, Imelda Marcos – the central character of the show – played by Lea Salonga.

Salonga is said to have only a five-week run for the show. It would then be taken over by an unannounced Filipino talent, proving that talent in Salonga’s home country was “abundant.”

The “Miss Saigon” actress took to Twitter to confirm the news, saying she was “incredibly excited” to finally be bringing the “beautiful, impactful, and important musical” to the international stage on Broadway.

“Here Lies Love,” according to Broadway World, is an immersive disco musical created by David Byrne and Fatboy Slim. It is based on the concept album that tells the story of Imelda Marcos and the Philippine People Power Revolution.

It premiered off-Broadway in 2013 and starred Filipino actors Conrad Ricamora as Benigno Aquino, Jose Llana as Ferdinand Marcos Sr., and Ruthie Ann Miles as Imelda Marcos.

The backlash against the show has grown, particularly since the announcement that it would finally be brought to Broadway in January 2023. Netizens remarked on the show’s arrival in New York City, given that the former dictator’s son reclaimed power in the Philippines when Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the son of the show’s central figures, was elected President of the Philippines in a landslide vote last May 2022.

Meanwhile, in response to the criticism, the production stated that the show “offers a creative way of re-information – an innovative template on how to stand up to tyrant.”

Producers believed that they could only tell the modern history of the Philippines by including the United States as a major player because their histories were intertwined.

The statement reads:

“Here Lies Love is an Anti-Marcos show. It is a pro-Filipino show, being told in a quintessential American form: the Broadway musical,”