Skip to content

‘Here Lies Love’ producers reach agreement with musicians union

The two had been in negotiations regarding the new musical’s plan to use prerecorded tracks instead of a live orchestra.

View from the rear mezzanine of the Broadway Theatre for "Here Lies Love" (Credit: Rendering by David Korins)

The producers of the forthcoming Broadway musical “Here Lies Love” have reached an agreement with Local 802, the chapter of the American Federation of Musicians for the Greater New York area (whose membership includes Broadway musicians). As previously reported, the two parties had been at odds over the production’s intent to employ a DJ and use prerecorded tracks rather than live musicians.

With the agreement, the Broadway productions will begin previews as scheduled.

“On behalf of our entire cast, company and creative team, we have reached an agreement with musicians union Local 802, per the collective bargaining agreement,” the show’s producers said in a statement. “We look forward to welcoming audiences to experience the revolutionary musical experience that is ‘Here Lies Love’ at the Broadway Theatre beginning on Saturday, June 17.”

Tino Gagliardi, president of Local 802, also released a statement: “After negotiation, we have reached an agreement that will bring live music to ‘Here Lies Love’ with the inclusion of 12 musicians to the show,” Gagliardi said. “Broadway is a very special place with the best musicians and performances in the world, and we are glad this agreement honors that tradition.”

It is important to note that previous iterations of “Here Lies Love” did include live music from three actor-musicians, in addition to the prerecorded tracks.

““Here Lies Love” has always had three actor-musicians and a musical director in every production,” producers added. “The show’s integrity and the musical concept remains the same.”

The dispute initially surfaced at the end of May amidst ongoing negotiations between the two sides. Local 802 and the Broadway League have a collective bargaining agreement that stipulates a minimum number of live musicians that must be employed at each Broadway theater. The number at the Broadway Theatre, where “Here Lies Love” is scheduled to play, is 19. The agreement states that producers wishing to employ fewer musicians than the house requirement must apply for “Special Situation” status and defend their reasoning to a panel consisting of representatives from both Local 802 and the League, as well as neutral parties.

“Here Lies Love” will begin previews at the Broadway Theatre on June 17 ahead of an official opening night on July 20. The musical captures the story of Filipina First Lady Imelda Marcos, her rise to power and her subsequent fall to the People’s Power Revolution.

The musical’s concept and lyrics are by Tony, Oscar and Grammy winner David Byrne with music by Byrne and Grammy winner Fatboy Slim. Additional music is by Tom Gandey and J Pardo.

“Here Lies Love” is being produced on Broadway by Hal Luftig, Patrick Catullo, Diana DiMenna for Plate Spinner Productions, Clint Ramos and Jose Antonio Vargas.

Update: A clarification has been added to this article regarding the presence of live music in previous iterations of “Here Lies Love” and the initial proposed plan for Broadway. The current version is the most up-to-date.