Near the end of the Public Theater’s ultra-hip, disco-spiked musical, “Here Lies Love”, leading lady Imelda Marcos (beautifully portrayed with equal parts grace and hubris by Ruthie Ann Miles) pleads to her Philippine nation: “Why Don’t You Love Me?” Perhaps it is because she has lost touch with her constituents? Or maybe it is due to the fact that her husband, President Ferdinand Marcos, has put the country under martial law? Whatever the reasons, you’ll feel as though you’ve received a unique education in Filipino history that will leave you giddy and energized.
Director Alex Timbers (“Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson) has brilliantly staged a 90 minute view of the Marcos Administration with intensity and cleverness. The show includes three moving platforms, slick choreography, audience participation, and a continual dance pulse in the club-like setting. The pulse can be credited to Talking Heads’ front man, David Byrne and DJ Fat boy slim, who have created 28 songs for the show, all of which are highly infectious.
Jose Llana (Ferdinand Marcos) and Ruthie Ann Miles (Imelda Marcos) generate chemistry and sexual energy that can hardly be contained in one space, Behind them, a talented ensemble dance and sing with precision and passion. In the musical’s title song, the lyrics ask: “Is it a sin to love too much?” If the answer is, “yes”, this reviewer must repent. After four extensions and much critical acclaim, numerous others must agree. “Here Lies Love” is simply too hard not to love.
“Here Lies Love” Runs through July 28th at the PublicTheater, located at 425 Lafayette Street in Manhattan. Tickets are available by phone (212) 967-7555.