First-ever all-Filipino cast of musical ‘Here Lies Love’ set to make history on Broadway

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 25) — Disco musical “Here Lies Love” will soon make history by showcasing the first-ever all-Filipino cast on Broadway in New York City.

“Here Lies Love” tells the story of former first lady Imelda Marcos and her family’s rise to power and their fall following the People Power Revolution.

It stars Filipino-American actors Arielle Jacobs, who will be playing Imelda Marcos; and Jose Llana, who will portray Ferdinand E. Marcos for the second time.

Llana first played as the late dictator when the immersive musical opened on Off-Broadway at The Public Theatre in 2013.

Speaking to CNN Philippines on Thursday, Jacobs and Llana shared that their preparations involved a lot of research.

“The creative team has put together so much for us in terms of books, and documentaries, and videos that show different points in history,” Jacobs said.

Llana, who was born in the Philippines during martial law, said his research started with his parents.

“My parents raised me here in the (United) States with the full knowledge of why we had to leave and what the regime did,” he said.

“Me being able to revisit this 10 years later after we did it at The Public Theater has been really important for me and my family," Llana also said.

"But this time to have Arielle and to have an entire Filipino company makes it very, very personal to all of us,” he added.

Llana said the cast, which includes Tony-winning actress and singer Lea Salonga, is excited to represent their heritage and tell history.

Jacobs also said they have been receiving support from the Filipino community in the US and in Manila to help bring the story to life.

"Amongst the Asian-American Broadway community, there are a lot of Filipinos, but very rarely get to play Filipinos ourselves and I think we are really grateful that this opportunity has come," Llana said.

“Here Lies Love” will start its previews on June 17, while the official opening will be on July 20.