“Here Lies Love”



The set of “Here Lies Love” which is highly based on the karaoke scene and is a disco pop musical, debuted in New York City off Broadway in 2013.

Sophia Cooper, Associate Editor-in-Chief/ News Editor

   As the current Broadway season comes to an end, a new one begins allowing new shows to make their mark on the theater world. One of the newest productions, “Here Lies Love” has received both good and bad criticism and is facing backlash after announcing that they would use music that was previously recorded instead of having the traditional in person orchestra. 

   “Here Lies Love” stars an all Filipino cast including Arielle Jacobs, Jose Llana and Lea Salonga as the leading actors. Tony winner Lea Salonga who voiced both Princess Jasmine and Mulan in “Aladdin” and “Mulan” respectively, will only star in her role for five weeks from July 11- Aug. 13, 2023. “Here Lies Love” is the first Broadway musical to star an all Filipino cast making this a show that will go down in Broadway history. 

   The concept, music and lyrics for the show were created by David Byrne and Fatboy Slim who is a singer-songwriter and has created music for his own songs and for film and television. The musical is about the former first lady of the Philippines, Imelda Marcos.

   The musical has been staged in other productions apart from the current Broadway one and each time was put on using recorded music. This is the first Broadway League musical to not have a live orchestra. The show is violating rules by doing so as The American Federation of Musicians has a contract with the Broadway League to make sure that each musical has a minimum of 19 musicians for its musicals. 

   People involved with the show cite creative reasons for their decision to exclude live musicians.

   “In conceiving “Here Lies Love,” David Byrne intentionally employed two musical performance styles that are aligned conceptually, built into the shows artistic DNA: Disco Track Acts and Karaoke,” reads an Instagram post on the “Here Lies Love” Broadway page. “Both share the method of vocalists singing along to pre-recorded, synthetic tracks.” 

   The musical will hit the stage on June 17 but will officially open on July 20.