Here Lies Love garners four Tony Award nominations

“Here Lies Love,” the groundbreaking musical featuring Broadway’s first-ever all-Filipino cast notched four Tony Awards nominations on Tuesday, April 30.

The musical received four nominations: Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theater (Music: David Byrne and Fatboy Slim Lyrics: David Byrne), Best Scenic Design (David Korins), Best Sound Design (M.L. Dogg and Cody Spencer), Best Choreography (Annie-B Parson).

These technical nominations highlight the show’s production’s outstanding musicality and strengths in choreography, lighting, and sound that brought the unique “dance club” concept of telling Imelda Marcos’ story to life and made the immersive experience impactful.

Directed by Alex Timbers, the musical showed a captivating exploration of the life of the renowned former First Lady of the Philippines and subsequent fall at the hands of the People Power Revolution. Known for its disco-infused score and innovative staging, “Here Lies Love” began its Broadway run on June 17, 2023, with an official opening on July 20, 2023, at the Broadway Theatre. Despite critical acclaim, the show faced challenges at the box office and concluded its run on November 26, 2023.

Featuring a groundbreaking all-Filipino cast led by Arielle Jacobs, Jose Llana, and Conrad Ricamora, “Here Lies Love” marked a significant moment in Broadway history.

Jose Antonio Vargas, one of the producers, reflected on the significance of theater and expressed gratitude for the nominations through a social media post: Theatre is that rarest thing: at once ephemeral and everlasting. And award nominations are one measure of success. Grateful for the much-deserved recognition of these extraordinary artists. And equally grateful for the unforgettable experience that is Here Lies Love.

“You cannot erase the history that was made with @herelieslovebway, and I’m thankful to everyone––all the wonderful artists involved, all the performers who poured their hearts, all the producers who believed in the show—for this singular journey,” he said.

Aside from the Tony nods, the musical also received nominations from a couple of other award-giving bodies.

The Outer Critics Circle, the official organization of writers on New York theatre for out-of-town newspapers and national publications, honored Here Lies Love with nominations for Outstanding Revival of a Musical, Outstanding Scenic Design (David Korins), Outstanding Sound Design (M.L. Dogg and Cody Spencer), and Outstanding Lighting Design (Justin Townsend).

Conrad Ricamora (as Ninoy Aquino) and the cast of Here Lies Love
Photo by Billy Bustamante, Matthew Murphy and Evan Zimmerman

The musical also got three nods from the Drama League Awards for Outstanding Revival of a Musical, Outstanding Direction of a Musical (Alex Timbers), and Distinguished Performance Award (Conrad Ricamora). The 2024 Drama League Awards ceremony will take place on Friday, May 17, 2024, at the Ziegfeld Ballroom in New York City.

The 77th Annual Tony Awards, hosted by Ariana DeBose, will be broadcast live from the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City on Sunday, June 16, 2024.

Leading the Tony pack with 13 nominations each are “Hell’s Kitchen” and “Stereophonic.” These two productions earned nods in multiple categories including Best Musical, Best Direction, and Best Original Score.

Close behind, with 12 nominations, is “The Outsiders” while “Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club” has garnered 9 nominations. “Appropriate” received 8 nods; “Merrily We Roll Along,” “Water for Elephants,” and “Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch” have each earned 7 nominations.

Rounding out the list of top contenders are “Suffs” and “An Enemy of the People,” both with 6 nominations, followed closely by “Jaja’s African Hair Braiding” with 5 nominations. “The Notebook” and “Back To The Future: The Musical” have received 3 nominations each, while “Gutenberg! The Musical!” and “Monty Python’s Spamalot” earned 1 nomination apiece. n

Momar G. Visaya

Momar G. Visaya is the Executive Editor of the Asian Journal. You can reach him at [email protected].

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