The cast album of Here Lies Love—with seven new songs—is out today on Nonesuch Records! You can get it HERE.
As I've mentioned before, the physical package is gorgeous, and includes two CDs containing 26 songs total, sung by the wonderful, original cast over tracks by Fatboy Slim, myself and others. Also included is an 80-page, full-color book with an introduction by Public Theater director Oskar Eustis, an essay I wrote about the making of Here Lies Love (which was just published on Guernica Mag) and another on the historical era it covers (with photos!), complete lyrics, and all sorts of credits.
Alex Timbers, Outstanding Director
Ruthie Ann Miles, Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical
Clint Ramos, Outstanding Costume Designer
Justin Townsend, Outstanding Lighting Design
M.L. Dogg and Cody Spencer, Outstanding Sound Design
It was fun—a nice celebration of some of the less overtly commercial work being done. The reception was held in the Rosenthal Pavilion on the 10th floor of the Kimmel Center at NYU.
Here is a portrait of the Kimmels that was in the lobby. Who is this lovely couple?
Martin Kimmel was the largest builder of strip malls in the US. Thank you Martin for that. He was also prescient in viewing Florida as a retirement community/opportunity.
But, as sometimes happens, the Kimmels used their fortune to support philanthropic causes, donating millions to stem cell research and other hospitals ($150 million donated to another NYU hospital) not to mention the Martin Kimmel Center for University for Life (that's a mouthful) which is the building that houses the Skirball Center (another philanthropic family whose portrait wasn't on display) where this ceremony took place. So, though we had to watch for decades at the strip mallification of our continent, we got some medical research facilities and hospitals.
The Kimmel Center's Rosenthal Pavilion is also where Ruthie Ann Miles, our award-winning Imelda, was proposed to by her husband. He sent her to gather some of his NYU homework elsewhere, and when she returned there were folks in formal attire and a pianist. (God forbid she replied, “I need to think about this.”) She had his homework in her hand, and asked, “What about the homework?”
I asked the winners to share their written acceptance speeches with me, and they actually said yes! (Alex Timbers said his off-the-cuff, so he's off the hook.) Public Theater Artistic Director, Oskar Eustis, dutifully accepted the Lortel Award on Ruthie Ann Miles' behalf—the cast was performing to a sold-out audience that night!
Thank you for this and yes, it's great to share this with Paloma. I just want to thank everyone at the Public Theater for their support, my assistants, fellow designers, my fiancee Jason and the whole company. Finally, I want to thank Alex Timbers and David Byrne for this creation. Because of it, there are 18 talented actors of color performing right this very moment to a sold-out audience. Thank you very much.
Cody is in Chicago right now and unfortunately is unable to be here tonight. First, we'd like to thank David and Norman for creating the original album, and then conceiving it as a stage musical. We'd like to thank Alex for asking us to be a part of this, and for guiding it along to become such an amazing, exciting original show. Thank you to Kim, Justin and Matt—our Music Department, for all the help making it sound good. Thanks to our mixer Craig, Robert, Dave and Kortney, and all the rest of our sound crew for loading it in and the daily operations. Our fabulous cast, the other designers, associates and assistants; Alaina and Scott and their whole stage management team; the running crew, the Public Theater staff, especially Gabriel, Mac and John, Dennis and Leslie at Masque; our agent Jessica at Gersh for all of her negotiations, guidance and help throughout the years.
Theatre is a collaborative process, and we take away and learn from every experience we have, so I'd like to thank everyone I've worked with from Pip and Erik at Grinnell to my current productions who have helped shape me through the years, and especially I'd like to thank Cody, my co-designer, for coming on this journey and being the most wonderful collaborator I could ever hope to work with. Thank you.
What an amazing honor to receive this award in front of a room full of life long heroes, amazing for making work with people I admire the most. David, Alex, Oskar, the entire HLL company, and unbelievably supportive Public staff AND most importantly my lovely wife, Elena Arroz, thank you.
Ruthie Ann Miles:
"Oskar, are you really reading this?! The thought of this makes me giggle. 'I am Oskar.' 'I am a very smart man trapped inside a teddybear's hug.' Alright. If Oskar is reading this email then I need to make sure these words are said:
First, Thank you to the Lortel Nomination Committee for noticing all the hard work put into telling our story.
David Byrne, I never told you that I get extremely nervous in auditions. But YOU WERE DANCING at my callback and suddenly I didn't care about anything but the music -- that's the effect you have on people. It was such a gift. Thank you seeing this role in me, and having the confidence to trust me with your baby. (I trust my baby with you, too!)
Alex Timbers, you make actor's better; you make ME a better! I am so IN OVER MY HEAD with Imelda, and I have had to work hard just to keep up with your brain! I am so thankful for your unique vision and way of storytelling. It has changed me. Thank you for directing me so patiently and generously.
Many thanks to The Public Theatre, and especially Jenny Gersten and Oskar Eustis. ('That's me!') Thank you for supporting us and making us feel like a million bucks. Your team has held us up -- from the smallest blackbox to that huge MassMoCa warehouse, from pregnancy to sinus infection #3 ...you have made me LOVE this journey and truly feel like FAMILY with you all. It has been a “labor of love” and it has been so wonderfully worth it!
Thank you Joey Parnes and Immursive, for moving heaven and earth to bring us back to the playing field. We love this show and are so grateful.
Thank you to my leading men, Jose and Conrad who make me love playing Imelda -- and despise it at the same time. You are both so generous and kind, and I am the luckiest girl to kiss you BOTH every night…just kidding, Jonathan <---that's Ruthie's husband.
I must recognize the cast because they are, hands-down, the hardest working ensemble you have EVER seen! There isn't time to breathe in our show, and they make it look easy! Melody and Maria-Christina are my special ladies who deserve thunderous applause. And our crew, who are just as much part of the performing ensemble as you’ve ever seen.
My deep thanks to Rachel, my dresser. I daresay my backstage-track is even more busy and tumultuous than the time spent in the light, and it certainly would not be possible without Rachel. She is my rock.
God gave me yet another opportunity to sing and I am always so grateful. My love and thanks goes to my "civilian" husband, Jonathan, who tries so hard to understand this insane business. Honey, neither so I. And last, but really most: thanks to my mom -- who selflessly sacrifices and cares for my family while this mommy plays dress up.
Congratulations to all the nominees, especially these leading ladies. What an honor to be recognized with you all! Thank you all, again, for noticing everyone's hard work. Thank you for the TIME and OPPORTUNITY to recognize the many people who support and carry me. (Thank you, Oskar!!) Thank you, all!
Congratulations to all those who won and were nominated!
Click (or swipe if you're viewing this on your phone) through the gallery below for photos of the winners and snapshots of their speech/notes: