L.A.-spawned Imelda Marcos musical tries to gain a foothold in N.Y.
"Imelda," a musical about the deposed first lady of the Philippines, was hatched by L.A.'s East West Players in 2005 as an Asian answer to "Evita."
Featuring a keynote song called "3,000 Pairs of Shoes" -- the quantity of women's footwear discovered in the presidential palace that Imelda and Ferdinand Marcos fled when their regime toppled in 1986 -- the show is taking a 3,000-mile step with a New York premiere Sept. 30 at the Pan Asian Repertory Theatre.
Tim Dang, the East West Players producing artistic director, will again direct, but with different lead actors from the L.A. production. The songs are by Nathan Wang, with book by Sachi Oyama and lyrics by Aaron Coleman.
In her 2005 review for the Los Angeles Times, F. Kathleen Foley observed that "shoes loom unfortunately large throughout the show," and that "sadly, although crisply paced and eye-poppingly glitzy, this seriocomic quasi-spoof has a thematic vacuum at its center."
But there's always hope that "Imelda" can find its feet this time around. And judging by this poster from the Pan Asian Repertory Theatre website, the shoe business isn't being soft-pedaled.
-- Mike Boehm