Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Lia Chang Photos: Late Night at HERE LIES LOVE with Jaygee Macapugay, David Byrne, Jose Llana, Conrad Ricamora, Melody Butiu and More

Jaygee Macapugay as Imelda Marcos in HERE LIES LOVE. Photo by Lia Chang

Jaygee Macapugay as Imelda Marcos in HERE LIES LOVE. Photo by Lia Chang

I had the best New Year’s Eve ever, dancing the night away at Club Millennium, a/k/a as the Off-Broadway production of David Byrne and Fatboy Slim’s smash hit musical, Here Lies Love at The Public Theater’s LuEsther Hall in New York.

It is a whirlwind for Jaygee Macapugay, who stars as Imelda, with eighteen hair and costume changes, but she graciously allowed me to be her shadow for a fabulous all access pass.

Melody Butiu as Estrella, Jaygee Macapugay as Imelda and Company. Photo by Lia Chang

Melody Butiu as Estrella, Jaygee Macapugay as Imelda and Company. Photo by Lia Chang

Jaygee Macapugay as Imelda Marcos in HERE LIES LOVE. Photo by Lia Chang

Jaygee Macapugay as Imelda Marcos in HERE LIES LOVE. Photo by Lia Chang

I’ve seen Here Lies Love three times and it worked in my favor while documenting this talented ensemble of rock stars backstage and during the 90- minute show.

Within a pulsating dance club atmosphere, David Byrne and Fatboy Slim deconstruct the astonishing journey of Filipina First Lady Imelda Marcos retracing her meteoric rise to power and subsequent descent into infamy and disgrace at the end of the People Power Revolution. Here Lies Love is neither a period piece nor a biography, neither a play nor a traditional musical but an immersive theatrical event combining songs influenced by four decades of dance music, adrenaline-fueled choreography, and a remarkable 360-degree scenic and video environment to go beyond Imelda’s near-mythic obsession with shoes and explore the tragic consequences of the abuse of power.

The evening culminated in ringing in 2015 with David Byrne, his Here Lies Love cast and crew, while the countdown to the New Year from Times Square was projected on the walls of the theater. Special thanks to all, including Josiah who navigated the show for me, Rachel Brown and Kate Wallace.

Billy Bustamante, Lia Chang, David Byrne, Melody Butiu, Diane Phelan, Renee Albulario, Ali Ewoldt, Jaygee Macapugay and Aaron J. Albano on New Year's Eve at HERE LIES LOVE. Photo by Rogier de Boer

Billy Bustamante, Lia Chang, David Byrne, Melody Butiu, Diane Phelan, Renee Albulario, Ali Ewoldt, Jaygee Macapugay and Aaron J. Albano on New Year’s Eve at HERE LIES LOVE. Photo by Rogier de Boer

Under the direction of Alex Timbers, Here Lies Love played a critically raved-about, sold-out run last year at the same space, which was extended by popular demand four times.

David Byrne and the HERE LIES LOVE cast and crew usher in 2015 on the set at The Public Theater's LuEsther Hall in New York on December 31, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang

David Byrne and the HERE LIES LOVE cast and crew usher in 2015 on the set at The Public Theater’s LuEsther Hall in New York on December 31, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang

In addition to Macapugay as Imelda, this commercial run of Here Lies Love stars Jose Llana as Ferdinand Marcos, Conrad Ricamora as Ninoy Aquino, and Melody Butiu as Estrella.  Produced by Joey Parnes Productions and EMURSIVE (Jonathan Hochwald, Arthur Karpati, and Randy Weiner, principals). You have five more chances to see the show, before the final performance on January 4, 2015.

Jose Llana and Jaygee Macapugay as Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos in HERE LIES LOVE. Photo by Lia Chang

Jose Llana and Jaygee Macapugay as Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos in HERE LIES LOVE. Photo by Lia Chang

Ben Brantley of The New York Times writes, “Imelda is now played, quite devastatingly, by Jaygee Macapugay. (The excellent Jose Llana, as Marcos, and Conrad Ricamora, as Aquino, are still on board.) She bears a less exact physical resemblance to her character than her predecessor, the wonderful Ruthie Ann Miles. But she adds an extra dash of molten steel that makes this Imelda a red-hot chiller. Enjoy the privilege of being burned by her at least once more before she leaves town.” Click”From Rapture to Regret in a Tale of Love, Martial Law and Shoes” to read Times Writers Share Last Chance Theater Picks.


Here Lies Love features, in alphabetical order: Aaron J. Albano, Renee Albulario, Carol Angeli, Billy Bustamante, Melody Butiu, Natalie Cortez, Debralee Daco, Kristian Espiritu, Rob Laqui, Jose Llana, Jaygee Macapugay, Jeigh Madjus, Diane Phelan, Conrad Ricamora, Enrico Rodriguez, Janelle Velasquez, and Tobias Wong.

Jaygee Macapugay, David Byrne and Melody Butiu usher in 2015 on the HERE LIES LOVE set at The Public Theater's LuEsther Hall in New York on December 31, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang

Jaygee Macapugay, David Byrne and Melody Butiu usher in 2015 on the HERE LIES LOVE set at The Public Theater’s LuEsther Hall in New York on December 31, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang

The production received the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical; an Obie Award for Outstanding Music and Lyrics; Drama Desk Awards for Outstanding Music, Lighting Design and Projection Design and Theatre World Awards for Ruthie Ann Miles (Imelda Marcos) and Conrad Ricamora (Aquino). Here Lies Love received a record 11 Lucille Lortel Awards nominations, and garnered 5 Lortel Awards, including Alex Timbers for Outstanding Director, Ruthie Ann Miles for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical, Clint Ramos for Outstanding Costume Design, Justin Townsend for Outstanding Lighting Design and M.L. Dogg and Cody Spencer for Outstanding Sound Design.

Schedule:
Friday, January 2 @ 5 PM & 9:30 PM
Saturday, January 3 @ 5 PM & 9:30 PM
Sunday, January 4 @ 5 PM

Tickets for Here Lies Love range from $99-$139. A limited number of $40 day-of-performance rush tickets will be available at The Public’s Taub Box Office (425 Lafayette Street, NYC) one hour before the start of each performance. Tickets subject to availability, and the offer is good for two tickets per person, cash or credit cards. For more info and tickets to Here Lies Love, please visit http://www.herelieslove.com/.

Jaygee Macapugay and Company in HERE LIES LOVE. Photo by Lia Chang

Jaygee Macapugay and Company in HERE LIES LOVE. Photo by Lia Chang

The New York production will close on January 4, 2015. The show is also currently running at London’s National Theatre through January 8, 2015. A production will open in Sydney in May 2015 as the theatrical center piece of the Vivid Festival. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yi577d7fUDA

Click here to see my full photo coverage of Here Lies Love.

Lia Chang and David Byrne on New Year's Eve at HERE LIES LOVE. Photo by Diane Phelan

Lia Chang and David Byrne on New Year’s Eve at HERE LIES LOVE. Photo by Diane Phelan

Lia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia starred as Carole Barbara in Lorey Hayes’ Power Play at the 2013 National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, N.C., with Pauletta Pearson Washington, Roscoe Orman, and made her jazz vocalist debut in Rome Neal’s Banana Puddin’ Jazz “LADY” at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in New York. She is profiled in Jade Magazine.

Here Lies Love articles:
Up Close and Personal with Jose Llana; HERE LIES LOVE Star Set for Lincoln Center’s American Songbook Debut on March 12, 2015

Photos: David Byrne, Jaygee Macapugay, Jose Llana and Conrad Ricamora Bring the ‘Here Lies Love’ Disco to the Apple Store Soho

Meet David Byrne, Here Lies Love Creator and Cast members Jaygee Macapugay, Jose Llana, and Conrad Ricamora at the Apple Store Soho

Jaygee Macapugay stars as Imeda Marcos in Here Lies Love at The Public, Beginning October 20, 2014

Catch Jaygee Macapugay as Imeda Marcos in Here Lies Love at The Public through August 23, 2014

Photos: Christine Toy Johnson, Baayork Lee, Jose Llana, Ann Harada, Dodie Pettit and More at Charles Randolph-Wright’s “Three Voices” concert series at Stage 72

Jaygee Macapugay to appear as Imeda Marcos in Here Lies Love at The Public, July 5-7, 2013

Lucille Lortel Awards for Here Lies Love, Fun Home, The Open House, Good Person of Szechwan

Jose Llana, Ruthie Ann Miles, Melody Butiu, Conrad Ricamora and More Open in David Byrne- Fatboy Slim’s Here Lies Love on May 1

Jose Llana, Ruthie Ann Miles, Melody Butiu, Conrad Ricamora and More Return for Here Lies Love; Previews Begin April 14, 2014

Nov. 25: David Byrne and the Cast of The Public Theater’s HERE LIES LOVE including Jose Llana, Ruthie Ann Miles, Conrad Ricamora, Melody Butiu and More to Host Benefit Concert for the Philippines at Terminal 5

Here Lies Love, Starring Jose Llana and Ruthie Ann Miles, Extends at The Public through July 28, 2013

Photos: The 58th Annual Drama Desk Awards and After Party

Jose Llana, Ruthie Ann Miles, Maria-Christina Oliveras, Conrad Ricamora, Kelvin Moon Loh and More Set for World Premiere of David Byrne and Fatboy Slim’s Here Lies Love at The Public, April 2 – May 19, 2013

Other Articles by Lia Chang

Amazon Studios Debuts The Man in the High Castle Starring Alexa Davalos, Luke Kleintank, Rupert Evans, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Joel de la Fuente, Rufus Sewell and DJ Qualls on January 15

Photos: Fashion Designer Josie Natori at New Boutique in Nolita; Honored by Asian Cultural Council

Photos: Artist Arlan Huang, One Brush Stroke at a Time

Photos: Joey Slotnick, Mary Beth Peil, C.J. Wilson, Jeanine Serralles and More in Atlantic Theater Company’s American Premiere of Neil Pepe Helmed DYING FOR IT by Moira Buffini, Opens Jan. 8, 2015

Ben Brantley’s Best Theater of 2014: Stephen Adly Guirgis’ BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY Set for Second Stage Theatre’s Tony Kiser Theatre Beginning January 16, 2015

Q & A with Danny Ramm, Co-writer of Joe Mantegna Helmed ‘Criminal Minds’ Season 10 Episode to Honor the late Meshach Taylor; Airs January 21, 2015

Two-Time Tony Award Nominee André De Shields, Bowman Wright, E. Faye Butler, KenYatta Rogers, Jessica Frances Dukes and Michael Anthony Williams Set for Arena Stage’s King Hedley II, February 6- March 8, 2015

Jennifer Lim, Francis Jue, Telly Leung, Jo Mei, James Saito and Sue Jin Song Set for MTC Run of World Premiere of The World of Extreme Happiness by Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig, February 3 – March 29

Photos: BC/EFA Gypsy of The Year Celebrates 40th Anniversary of THE WIZ Featuring André De Shields, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Ken Page, Charl Brown, Carly Hughes, Christina Sajous, Alton Fitzgerald White, Lillias White and More

ABC’s “Fresh Off the Boat” starring Randall Park, Constance Wu, Hudson Yang, Forrest Wheeler, and Ian Chen, Premieres on February 4 & 10

Baryshnikov Arts Center Presents New York Premiere of Carmen De Lavallade’s Solo Show AS I REMEMBER IT in February 2015

Unsuk Chin’s Opera Alice in Wonderland, Featuring Libretto Co-Written with David Henry Hwang, Set for UK Premiere at the Barbican Celebrating the 150th Anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s Novels on March 8, 2015

Ken Watanabe, Kelli O’Hara, Ruthie Ann Miles, Conrad Ricamora, Jon Viktor Corpuz, Paul Nakauchi and More Set for Lincoln Center Theater’s The King and I 

Tam Mutu, Kelli Barrett, Tom Hewitt, Paul Nolan, Lora Lee Gayer, Melody Butiu, Julian Cihi and More Set for Broadway Bound Dr. Zhivago

Costume Institute’s Spring 2015 Exhibition at Metropolitan Museum to Focus on Chinese Imagery in Art, Film, and Fashion, May 7–August 16, 2015

Photos: Ellen Burstyn, Baz Luhrmann, John Leguizamo, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Stephen McKinley Henderson, John Patrick Shanley, David Henry Hwang, Liza Colón-Zayas, Kenneth Lonergan and More Celebrate Stephen Adly Guirgis at The Mimi Awards

Photos: Tommy Tune, Bob Avian, Lee Roy Reams, Christine Toy Johnson, Orville Mendoza, Lori Tan Chinn, Raul Aranas, Virginia Wing and More Celebrate 2014 Paul Robeson Citation Award Recipient Baayork Lee Crafting a Career

Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2015 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

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