Although this show is not open to review, it also made it possible for the Williamstown Theatre Festival (WTF) to crank up really early this year, thanks to special arrangements with Mass MoCA. As WTF artistic director Jenny Gersten has planned it, the incomparable David Byrne and Fatboy Slim will take up residency in Williamstown and North Adams early in June, before Williams College normally makes the ’62 Center facility available to them.
With Mass Moca in the picture, the WTF is able to host three weeks of rehearsal and tech development prior to five workshop performances over four days, from June 21-24, 2012, at the Hunter Center for the Performing Arts on the Mass MoCA campus in North Adams.
So what is Here Lies Love? For music lovers, it’s already a phenomenon on CD, and is now slated to become a real theatrical event created by Grammy and Academy Award-winner David Byrne and directed by Tony Award nominee Alex Timbers, with music by Byrne and multi MTV Award-winner Fatboy Slim. One thing is for sure – it’s going to be far more new school than old, innovative rather than predictable. It’s going to be different, maybe there will even be dancing in the aisles and the audience will star right along with the artists. With David Byrne, you never know just what to expect. Some new dance steps perhaps? I’d almost bet on it.
Here Lies Love is also a first ever collaboration with WTF’s artistic neighbor, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) and The Public Theater in New York City. Folowing its theatrical developement here, the Public will present the World Premiere of Here Lies Love in New York City in the spring of 2013.
“I’m excited to be back at MASS MoCA. I did their very first art installation! I’ve been working on this project for a long time, and I think the former industrial space there will be the perfect place and opportunity to see if this piece works,” Byrne said about the project. “It was always intended for a space like this — so thrilling for me that this worked out. I’m grateful to Williamstown Theater Festival for making this happen. Since I performed these songs at Carnegie Hall there are at least five new ones, which I think puts a whole new spin on the story and I’m looking forward to seeing what everyone thinks.”
Within a throbbing dance club environment, in Here Lies Love, David Byrne and Fatboy Slim deconstruct the astonishing journey of Filipina First Lady Imelda Marcos, from her meteoric rise to her descent into infamy. This wholly immersive spectacle combines disco beats, adrenaline-fuele choreography, and a remarkable 360-degree scenic and video environment — going beyond Imelda’s near-mythic obsession with shoes to explore true questions of power and responsibility. Directed by two-time Obie Award winner Alex Timbers (Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson; Peter and the Starcatcher), Here Lies Love is neither period piece nor mere biography, neither play nor musical, but a unique theatrical experience that raises the pulse and quickens the blood – all filtered through the remarkable vision of David Byrne, one of the great American artists of the last half century.
Here Lies Love is produced in association with The Public Theater and supported in residence by MASS MoCA. Tickets will go on sale Friday, April 20th, 2012 and will be available through the MASS MoCA box office at www.massmoca.org or by calling (413)-662-2111.
Meanwhile, advance ticket orders for the other plays that make up the 2012 Williamstown Theatre Festival season may be placed through the Festival’s website (www.wtfestival.org) or by mail order using the season brochure (call 413-597-3400 to join the mailing list). Advance ticket orders will be processed in late May. At that time, ticket orders from Festival donors will be given priority and will be filled by descending donor level. All other advance ticket orders received by May 25, 2012 will be filled in order of date received.
The Williamstown Theatre Festival Box Office will open on June 5th, 2012 at which point tickets may be purchased online, by phone at 413-597-3400, or in person at the ’62 Center for Theatre and Dance Box Office at 1000 Main St (Route 2), Williamstown, MA 02167.