Vina Morales makes Broadway debut in ‘Here Lies Love’

Vina started singing at age 9 at a church choir in Cebu. Photos: Here Lies Love

The producers of “Here Lies Love,” the groundbreaking musical from David Byrne and Fatboy Slim,are pleased to announce the upcoming Broadway debut of popular Filipino actress Vina Morales, who will join the show performing as Aurora Aquino for a limited guest engagement from Friday, September 22 – Sunday, October 22 at the Broadway Theatre.

Morales steps into the role following Lea Salonga’s final performance as  Aurora Aquino  this Saturday, August 19 at 3:30pm. Salonga remains a key member of the show’s co-producing team. Cast member Reanne Acasio steps back in as the full-time “Aurora Aquino” in the interim.

As previously announced, “Here Lies Love” is committed to featuring various guest stars from the Philippines in the role of “Aurora Aquino,” showcasing the country’s abundance of talent. This production marked the first time Salonga played a Filipino role on the Broadway stage.

“I am so excited to share the news that my friend Vina Morales will be joining our fabulous all-Filipino company in ‘Here Lies Love’! So talented and lovely, but most of all, so kind. She will be a wonderful addition to our cast,” Salonga said,

“To be able to perform on Broadway is a dream come true for any artist,” said Morales. “I am grateful to  Coach Lea  Salonga for guiding me along the way. You’re the best, Lea! I am excited to be part of the ‘Here Lies Love’ family and I can’t wait to perform for all of you!”

Director Alex Timbers said, “David Byrne and I were first introduced to Vina’s extraordinary talents over 10 years ago in Manila, when we were casting Here Lies Love’s National Theatre production. It’s an exciting, full-circle moment to have her join us now on Broadway; and an honor to introduce her, in this show-stopping role, to our incredible audiences.”

Lea Salonga steps down as Aurora Aquino after August 19.

Her bio says Vina started singing at age 9 at a church choir in Cebu. A priest discovered her talent and urged her to try out at Cebu Pop Music Festival. Her family moved to Manila where film projects quickly opened for her. She became a contract star of Viva Films, trading her name from Sharon Garcia Magdayao to the more cinematic sounding Vina Morales. Vina’s star rose with numerous hit movies and recordings.

The show features the first all-Filipino cast to perform on Broadway: Arielle Jacobs (“In The Heights,” “Aladdin”) as  Imelda Marcos,  Jose Llana (“The King and I,” “The 25th Annual Putnam Country Spelling Bee”) as  Ferdinand Marcos,  Conrad Ricamora (“How to Get Away with Murder,” “The King and I,” “Soft Power” – Grammy nominations) as  Ninoy Aquino;  Aaron J. Albano, Melody Butiu, Moses Villarama, Jasmine Forsberg, Reanne Acasio, Jaygee Macapugay, Julia Abueva, Renée Albulario, Aaron Alcaraz, Carol Angeli, Nathan Angelo, Kristina Doucette, Roy Flores, Timothy Matthew Flores, Sarah Kay, Jeigh Madjus, Aaron “AJ” Mercado, Geena Quintos, Shea Renne, Angelo Soriano, and Danielle Troiano.

The creative team 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.

Additional creative team members include ATW Jonathan Larson Grant recipient J. Oconer Navarro (music director), Billy Bustamante (assistant director), Renée Albulario (assistant choreographer), Bobby Garcia (casting consultant/Philippines), Gregory T. Livoti (production stage manager), and Ryan Gohsman and Sheryl Polancos (assistant stage managers). Giselle “G” Töngi is the show’s Cultural and Community Liaison.

The show is produced by Hal Luftig/Kevin Connor, Patrick Catullo, Clint Ramos, Jose Antonio Vargas, and Diana DiMenna and Plate Spinner Productions, with Aaron Lustbader serving as executive producer.

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