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IMELDA opens Off-Broadway

Co-written with Anthony Tarrosa Ong

PAN ASIAN REPERTORY THEATRE's production of IMELDA, A NEW MUSICAL opened Wednesday, September 30, 2009 at the Julia Miles Theatre, 424 West 55th Street, New York City.

IMELDA, book by Sachi Oyama, music by Nathan Wang, and lyrics by Aaron Coleman, is a portrait of the ambitious and controversial former First Lady of the Philippines, often referred to as "The Steel Butterfly," The musical spans the 1940s to 1980s, the pivotal years after the Philippines gained its independence.

Jaygee Macapugay (Emerald Man, Ms. Saigon) portrays the influential political figure, which she believes to be the role of her career.

"It was very important that I find the humanity in [Imelda Marcos] in addition to being truthful when creating her character who is so loved and so hated at the same time by so many people," said Macapugay.

After nine previews (which began September 22, 2009), New York's first Filipino-themed musical opened to a full house whose "energy was very much enthusiastic and supportive of the cast," Loresa Lanceta, peasant mother/ensemble, observed.

It was an opening night filled with pride amongst the cast, crew, creators, producers, patrons, and Filipinos in the audience.

Songs from the musical includes, "3,000 Pairs of Shoes," "A Beautiful Place," "If I Had Raised The Butterfly," and the 11 o'clock number, "Myself, My Heart," a song sung by Corazon Aquino (Liz Casasola) at the funeral of her husband Senator Benigno Aquino (Brian Jose). 

Casasola (Girl Crazy, Lady, Be Good) revealed to BroadwayWorld Philippines that she prays to the late Corazon for guidance before going on stage at every performance. "I want to portray [Corazon] as a devoted mother and wife who truly loved God, her family, and the Philippines."

IMELDA, under the direction of Tim Dang (Producing Artistic Director of East West Players in Los Angeles), features choreography by Reggie Lee, scenic design by Kaori Akazawa, lighting design by Victor En Yu Tan, costume design by Ivy Chou, and hair and makeup by Leslie Espinosa. 

The cast also has Mel Sagrado Maghuyop as Ferdinand Marcos, Alan Ariano, Angelica-Lee Aspiras, Billy Bustamante, Leanne Cabrera, Sacha Iskra, Jonelle Margallo, and Romney Piamonte. 

IMELDA runs on a limited engagement through Sunday, October 18, 2009. Performances are Tuesday-Saturday at 7:30 p.m. with matinees on Sunday at 3:00 p.m. Regular tickets are $55. Senior tickets are $35. Student tickets are $20. To buy tickets, call (212) 239-6200 or visit


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