Dear People of The World,
I would like to interrupt our regularly-scheduled programming of non-blogging with this, gasp, spazz entry about the recent musical I just watched entitled Here Lies Love. It is currently playing at the Dorfman Theatre in London and features our very own Mark Bautista and a bunch of talented actors I got the pleasure of seeing perform.
Lemme just say that I went into this without a solid background on what the musical was about; all I knew was that it narrated Marcos’ reign in the Philippines. When I saw the poster, though, I was all, “Wait. Imelda?”
Yes, Imelda. Party version.
Here Lies Love is a concept album and rock musical made in collaboration between David Byrne and Fatboy Slim, about the life of the former First Lady of the Philippines Imelda Marcos along with the woman who raised her—Estrella Cumpas—and follows Marcos until she and her family were forced to leave the Philippines. ~ Wikipedia
I did not expect any of the things that happened that night. Like, at all.
Let’s start off with Lea Salonga. Yes, Miss Saigon herself. Purser and I were waiting for return tickets to come our way (’cause damn it, the place was sold out) when I turned my head around the room and spotted a familiar face. OH MY GODS LEA. Me to Purser: OMG SIR PLS TAKE A PIC OF US PLS PLS. Him: STAHP. (Not verbatim, lol) Unfortunately, my phone’s battery was already depleted so hohoho Merry Christmas to me.
Anyway, scored last minute tickets and when we went in, people in neon pink jumpsuits greeted us saying, “Welcome to Club Millennium!” OHKAE. Apparently, the tickets we got were for the standing room. We were all huddled up on the ground floor close to the stage when the “club DJ” welcomed us and laid out some house rules. Basically, we were instructed to follow the people in pink and move with the stage. Didn’t really understand why until the actors came out and performed for 90 minutes non-stop.
Oh my gosh, how am I to even articulate what had transpired in those 90 minutes? It went by so fast and everything was so fun, I couldn’t even. All I can say is that it was a feast for the senses! The beats were sick and the songs were so modern — something seriously new to me, especially when you say “musical theatre” (like, srsly, am I in a club or…?). The choreography was SO cute. I loved the precise movements of their hands, especially while Imelda was singing about her role as First Lady. The costumes (and the costume changes) were FABULOUS. Ninoy, in his crisp white suit; Imelda in her vintage-meets-modern dresses. Super love the one shown in the poster! Looks amazing in real life! Loved loved loved her white and red gown as well. CAN I HAVE IT.
I wouldn’t want to be the stage manager for this show ’cause the timed movements of the platforms and safeguarding of the actors who went down from the stage to break the fourth wall would have given me a heart attack. So seriously, KUDOS TO YOU, STAGE MANAGER. KUDOS TO YOU AS WELL, MR. DIRECTOR AND ALL YOUZ CREATIVE MINDS BEHIND THIS PRODUCTION (hello, David Byrne and Fatboy Slim). EVERYTHING WAS PERFECT. I loved the lights. I loved that I was given the opportunity to sing, dance (the “Filipino Square Dance”), and jump up and down (beside Lea, omg). I loved Natalie Mendoza as Imelda, with her killer voice and dance moves + amazing nuances. (So fierce, this woman, I swear!) I loved Mark Bautista as Ferdinand Marcos! Super nakakakilig! (Lea spazzed [TO ME OMG] how kilig she was when Mark came out on stage.) I loved Dean John-Wilson as Ninoy Aquino; his crooner voice and smooth moves. I loved Gia Macuja-Atchison (Lisa Macuja’s sister!) as Estrella! (I plan on covering Why Don’t You Love Me because of her and Natalie, lol). I loved the ensemble! Ang galing lang talaga eh! T_T I loved that, although the musical was conceptualized by Europeans, it still very much showed and captured the Filipino culture. I was so kilig when I heard Filipino pop cult references, modern lingo (“KALOKA!“), and swear words (yeah, haha) in the middle of the songs. It was one of the moments Purser, Lea, and I shared while in the audience, ’cause we were the only ones who laughed when these were uttered (especially when Imelda said P.I. HAHAHA).
I loved the ending so much. The artistry in depicting Ninoy’s death, Imelda and the strobe lights, EDSA Revolution, and KARAOKE! I loved that I got to learn new things about Imelda’s life and their reign as rulers of the Philippines. I seriously did not know that Ninoy used to date Imelda. 😐 Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, nor hell a fury like a woman scorned, indeed.
Guh. If any of you are in London (or New York), do catch this musical. You won’t regret it.
Love, Abby ♥