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'Here Lies Love'

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"Here Lies Love" tells the rise and fall of former Philippines first lady Imelda Marcos. History meets disco literally as the story is told in a nightclub.

Ruthie Ann Miles plays Marcos. Miles admits a big challenge is bringing to life a woman with views vastly different from her own and giving that to show-goers.

"As an actor you believe in yourself," Miles says. "You need to be your own best friend, your own biggest supporter so that the audience can come on a journey with you."

And what a journey it is, carried out on multiple revolving stages and sets during the entire 90-minute performance.

"We're hopping up and down on platforms," Jose Llana says. "It's a constant motion, it's literally a moving train."

Llana plays dictator Ferdinand Marcos. Born in the Philippines, Llana and his family actually demonstrated against the Marcos regime, making his role even more personal.

"What I tell my friends who haven't seen the show: we're going to give you a political story, but it's going to be in a party," he says. "The audience and the cast are all dancing all the time."

The dancing is courtesy of music by David Byrne and Fatboy Slim. The audience stands the entire show, giving it a true discothèque feel. And the actors leave the stage to dance with the audience.

"They're having such a good time, with smiles on their faces," says Conrad Ricamora, who plays Ninoy Aquino, the former love interest of Imelda Marcos and leader of the opposition. Ricamora's father was born in Manila, fueling his desire to be in a production he says is telling an important story.

"It achieves the entertainment value and the educational, inspirational value that you get from the history of what actually happened," he says.

"Here Lies Love" is now in previews at the Public Theater. Opening night is May 1.

http://herelieslove.com/

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