Theater review: Is the future of staged theater “Here Lies Love”?

Ruthie Ann Miles is Imelda Marcos in "Here Lies Love" at The Public Theater through June 2. Credit: Joan Marcus
Ruthie Ann Miles is Imelda Marcos in “Here Lies Love” at The Public Theater through June 2.
Credit: Joan Marcus

Is it hyperbole to say that David Byrne has reinvented the stage musical with his thrilling “Here Lies Love” at The Public Theater? Byrne’s foray into the theater world is a breath of orchid-scented fresh air as he recounts the story of everyone’s favorite Filipina, the ever-fascinating fashionista Imelda Marcos, with a disco-infused beat and help from co-composer Fatboy Slim. Jumpsuited young traffic cops shepherd the dancing audience – seating is nonexistent in the main section – out of harm’s way as the shoulder-level turntable swings round to accommodate the flow of actors between the two stages at either end of the rectangular space and on to the catwalks on the side.

Virtually sung-through, “Love” follows its heroine from her early days as a rural beauty queen to her zenith as jet-setting first lady and subsequent fall from grace. We learn that she was first the girlfriend of Ferdinand Marcos’ most strident opponent, Benigno Aquino, and that she suffered deeply through her husband’s much-publicized affair with American actress Dovie Beams. We feel for Imelda when she plaintively asks, “Why don’t you love me?”

As if the driving music were not enough of an invitation, the MC encourages the audience – strongly – to dance along, but don’t be intimidated. If you can do the bunny hop at a wedding, just jack up the rhythm and you’ll be fine. Director Alex Timbers and his crackerjack design team execute Byrne’s vision with breathtaking flair. It’s a hell of a good time.

If you go

‘Here Lies Love’
Through June 2
The Public Theater,
425 Lafayette St.
$89-$94, www.publictheater.org


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Local

Oval oasis: Summer of fun kicks off this…

A bold partnership between the Fairmount Park Conservancy and the city's Parks and Recreation Department is kicking off this weekend with family activities re-activating this unused public space.

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

MLB

Jimmy Rollins is key to Phillies success

When John Kruk was asked about what the Phillies need to contend for a playoff berth, the ESPN analyst said Jimmy Rollins needs to play like a MVP again.

MLB

Ben Revere lifts Phillies to avoid sweep

Ben Revere came through with a two-out RBI single against Atlanta’s tough lefthander Alex Wood.

NBA

Season wrap: 76ers make the grade

The 76ers opened the 2013-14 season with a victory over the Miami Heat. The Sixers closed the season with a win at Miami.

NBA

Fantasy basketball: Finding next year's NBA studs

Before we put the 2013-14 fantasy basketball season to bed, it’s worth thinking about next year’s breakouts while they’re fresh in our mind.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.