Llana, Ricamora return to HLL: ‘See you on the dance floor’

Actors Jose Llana; Conrad Ricamora. Photos by Billy Bustamante

Actors Jose Llana (“The King and I,” “The 25th Annual Putnam Country Spelling Bee”) and Conrad Ricamora (“How to Get Away with Murder”) will join the Broadway production of “Here Lies Love,” (HLL) which tells the story of former First Lady Imelda Marcos’ rise to power and subsequent fall at the hands of the Philippine People Power revolution.

“Here Lies Love” will begin performances June 17 ahead of an official opening night on   July 20. The musical was created by Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Award winner David Byrne (concept, music and lyrics) and Grammy winner Fatboy Slim (music).

Llana portrays Ferdinand Marcos, the 10th president of the Philippines whose 20-year dictatorship spanned 1965-1986. He was the husband of Imelda Marcos. He lived in exile in the United States until his death in 1989.

He said, “This is a dream: to be a Filipino actor, playing a Filipino character, telling a crucial part of Filipino history, which is also part of American history. I’m honored to return to ‘Here Lies Love’. We built a family creating this show 10 years ago, and now we get to do it again on Broadway. See you on the dance floor!”

Ricamora portrays Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, a Philippine senator, opposition leader and Marcoses’ primary critic. His assassination in 1983 ignited the People Power revolution which finally ousted Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos from power. 

“Working on ‘Here Lies Love’ allowed me to embrace my Filipino heritage––all that Pinoy pride! This is a huge moment for increasing representation on stage, and I’m so excited and proud to bring this revolutionary show to Broadway,” Ricamora said.

Both actors received Lucille Lortel Award nominations for their performances at the Public Theater off-Broadway.

Producers Clint Ramos; Jose Antonio Vargas. HLL press photos

Developed and directed by Tony Award winner Alex Timbers, with choreography by Olivier Award nominee Annie-B Parson and additional music by Tom Gandey and J Pardo, the show’s home at the Broadway Theatre (1681 Broadway at 53rd Street) will be transformed into a dance club where the audience is immersed in the story.

An international casting search is now underway for the remaining company of 20+ actors.

From its world premiere at The Public Theater in 2013, “Here Lies Love” has enjoyed popular and critical acclaim. The show returned to The Public in 2014-2015, debuted at London’s Royal National Theatre in 2014, and most recently opened at Seattle Repertory Theatre in 2017.

“Here Lies Love” is produced by Hal Luftig, Patrick Catullo, Diana DiMenna for Plate Spinner Productions, Clint Ramos, and Jose Antonio Vargas, with Aaron Lustbader serving as executive producer.

Costume Designer and Producer Clint Ramos, who has been involved with HLL since 2006, said the show gives him “an opportunity to make art around a ‘real and vital past’ during a ‘real and vital present.’”  

Tony Award-nominated Producer Vargas, who founded the immigration organization Define American, said, Filipinos despite being a large immigrant group have remained “invisible culturally.” As one of the producers, he said he is “thrilled to help break barriers on what has historically been an exclusive stage: Broadway.”

Tickets will be on sale to the general public beginning March 27 at Telecharge.com or by phone at 212-239-6200.

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