B’way’s new musical “Here Lies Love” is a send-up of Imelda Marcos, ex first lady of the Philippines, whose son’s now president — probably before his own kid becomes its next president.
I saw this thing years ago. The Public Theater. Small space. The Broadway Theatre just now got completely rejuiced to accommodate its set. Showfolk like cosmetic surgery — but how about a venue that didn’t need such face-lifting?
Writing’s fine, set designer’s great but as Imelda’s longtime friend — she’s in Manila and we spoke recently — I can’t feel friendly to the show.
The Imelda I know: In the ’70s she gave a huge black-tie gala for me in Manila just hours after I arrived — all-night flight — from New York. My seat of honor? Alongside then-President Ferdinand Marcos resplendent in medals, uniform, flags, equerries, adjutants, soldiers and anything else around. Photos of us both — elbow to elbow. Tight close-ups. Me — fast asleep on his shoulder.
Before Trump bought Kayser-Roth’s Miss Universe Pageant, I was its assistant-to-the-president. Always done domestically, I’m the one who put it internationally and I began with Imelda.
Telecasting to 500,000, she created miracles. Built a new theater, closed on three sides, open on one for the humidity. Arranged housing for techies, engineers, staffers, contestants, personnel, executives, families, makeup people, VIPs, hundreds who poured in from the universe.
Imelda was — and is — super smart. In NYC for meetings, she arranged one giant buffet. Gift from the King of Jordan, she said. OK by me except my friend owned a Middle East restaurant and far as he and I can recall it was he who supplied the truckloads of food.
In New York’s General Douglas MacArthur Suite of the whatever-happened-to the Waldorf, her living room got turned into a church. I know, I was there.
When on trial in NYC in the 1990s I was with her. In court. Daily. The day of acquittal she crawled down St. Pat’s center aisle on her knees. When all became too much she fell apart and was rushed to the hospital.
That’s the Imelda I know.
Not everyone took pride in our just happened Pride parade.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand marched with smiles, but bitched to all: “It’s too sunny and too warm.” She prefers rain in Spain mainly on some plain.
Also, a woman ran up to AG Tish James. Said how good to finally meet her hero. Tish was delighted. Same woman then said: “Thank you so much Queen Latifah.” Tish got undelighted.
Montclair Film hosted a Stephen Colbert-Jim Gaffigan evening as part of a North to Shore Festival in Newark last weekend.
Gaffigan, who’s going on tour with Seinfeld: “Today, stand-up comedy’s become a college educated practice. Once it was just people who couldn’t afford therapists.”
Colbert on the writers’ strike: “It’s been on for two months. I’ve been telling jokes to my hairbrush.”
Future sign on one of NYC’s coming sanitation trucks:
“Our guarantee. If you are not satisfied with our methods, you will receive double your garbage back.”
Only in New York, kids, only in New York.