UPDATE: By the way, I was at the original “Here Lies Love” concert at Carnegie Hall six years ago. You can read my account of that thrilling experience here.
David Byrne by email:
About a week ago, on November 7th, Super Typhoon Yolanda (as Typhoon Haiyan is known in the Philippines) made landfall. It was the strongest tropical cyclone to make landfall on record. Ever. The full extent of damage and the death toll have yet to be assessed, but it's unimaginably catastrophic. The city of Tacloban on the island of Leyte has been almost wiped off the face of the earth. No place could have withstood this storm.
This past spring and summer, a musical I had been working on for years called Here Lies Love ran at The Public Theater here in NY. It takes place in the Philippines, and it follows the rise and fall of Imelda Marcos, the former first lady of the Philippines. The first song sung by Imelda begins with the words “When I was a young girl in Leyte.” The show is about the resiliency of the Philippine people—that sentiment couldn't be more timely.
Upon hearing about this tragedy, the cast contacted me about doing a show to raise money for relief efforts. Most of our cast is Filipino, and all of us feel the same way. It's personal for all of us. We all dropped whatever we were doing and this concert version of the show will happen in one week—Monday, November 25th, 8PM, at Terminal 5 here in New York.
All proceeds will go to recovery efforts that Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières are doing in the Philippines.
We'll be doing a concert version of the show—this won't be the same immersive, interactive experience as the theatrical version. But we'll do EVERY song, in order, with the original cast and costumes—plus I’ll be helping out and singing as well. The show is wall-to-wall songs. If you didn't see or hear the production, now is your chance to hear it and at the same time to do something for the survivors in the Philippines. Wear comfortable shoes!
We've pulled this together incredibly quickly. Thanks, of course, to the cast and crew, The Public Theater, Bowery Presents (who have graciously donated this venue), Todomundo and The Philippine Embassy.