I can’t wait. I’m flying to New York in a little over a month for the express purpose of seeing this show. From Vogue:
Here Lies Love (the title comes from the phrase Marcos once asked to have inscribed on her tombstone) started as a 2010 all-star concept album whose songs combine ethereal melodic hooks, booty-shaking beats (some courtesy of the British DJ Fatboy Slim), and the real-life words of Imelda and her circle to tell the story of a poor Filipina girl who reaches the pinnacle of wealth and power, losing herself, betraying her nation, and becoming a criminal despot along the way. Having conceived it as an immersive theater piece, Byrne found the perfect collaborator in the dazzlingly gifted young director Alex Timbers, who shares his knack for locating the intersection of irony and sincerity. A fan of Byrne’s work (he calls the Talking Heads concert captured on film in Jonathan Demme’s Stop Making Sense “a Wagnerian total-theater event”), Timbers has made a name for himself with ingenious postmodern stage mash-ups of rock ’n’ roll and history, notably the 2010 hit Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. Timbers describes the show as “360,” meaning that there is no traditional stage and very few seats, putting the audience right in the middle of the multimedia action (dancing is encouraged). “This is a show for the A.D.D. generation,” he says. “It’s most exciting when all the elements—music, lyrics, dance, staging, lights, video—collide to create a sense of meaning and emotion.”
The collaborators wanted to avoid anything that smacked of camp (Byrne: “We don’t even mention the shoes”) or melodrama (Timbers: “This definitely isn’t Evita”). They knew that they would have to pull off a neat trick, creating a portrait of Marcos that didn’t vilify or mock or condone her actions. “You can’t sort of hate your main character right from the beginning of the show,” Byrne says. As Imelda, the young actress Ruthie Ann Miles, who at one point sings “I am the people’s star and slave,” takes her case directly to the masses (otherwise known as the audience members), sometimes, as she puts it, “singing literally face-to-face, looking right into someone’s eyes.” Miles describes Marcos as “needy” and “delusional,” but she understands where she’s coming from. “These people have given her their trust, and she puts them through so much, and then at the end she doesn’t understand why they’ve turned on her. From her perspective, honestly, I don’t think she sees that she’s done anything wrong. She’s only loved, she’s only given—and why can’t everyone else see it?
Gloria Vanderbilt By Anderson Cooper, Her Son ”I don’t really know who the woman in this photograph is. She is my mom, of course, Gloria Vanderbilt—I recognize the face, the look in her eyes, the shape of her nose—but she has lived so many different lives, inhabited so many different worlds, that in this picture, as in many photos, I find it hard to really see her. Among other things, she’s been an actress, an artist, a designer, a writer, a wife, a mother, a lover, a victim, and a survivor. Every few years she seems to shed her old self, and is born anew.”