Don't Cry For Me, Filipinos
There are many people’s lives worth remembering.
A few are even worth analyzing in depth. Maybe transformed into print or into paint. Perhaps even re-enacted on the screen or on the stage.
I can think of a few that have worked well. The play and movie “Amadeus,” for example. And Robert Downey, Jr.’s “Chaplin” was worthwhile. “Troy” was a fun movie—and we don’t even know if Achilles actually existed.
But there is one play the world truly does not need. And yet we are getting it anyway, courtesy of DJ Fatboy Slim (remember “Praise You?”) and David Byrne, formerly of the Talking Heads (remember “Burning Down the House?”).
Believe it or not, these two are writing a musical about none other than Imelda Marcos, former first lady of the Philippines and notorious owner of way, WAY too many shoes.
The play is going to kick off next March in Australia—a country/continent known for class. In the 1980s, we had Paul Hogan grabbing other men’s crotches. The 1990s brought us Aussie Michael Hutchence’s auto-erotic hanging suicide (coroner’s report notwithstanding). Recently, Russell Crowe, who apparently was pissed that the Sydney Olympics did not have a phone-throwing competition, decided to start the sport himself.
What has inspired these two to create this play? After all, Ferdinand and Imelda were booted out of office in 1986—it seems odd that now is the time to fill the growing cultural void of quality stage depictions of the spouses of deposed East Asian strongmen.
Call me crazy … but it seems to me the theater-going public would be better served by a focus on people that have actually impacted the world in the past decade. Here are a few suggestions:
1. A one-man show tying the most popular actor in Germany with that nation’s storied philosophical tradition: “Hasselhoff Reads Hegel.”
2. The story of the George W. Bush presidency … from an S&M angle: “Spank Me and Call Me Bush.”
3. A tale of love between a young man named Ashton and an older woman: “Mommy, Can I Have Some Moore?”
Unlike the Imelda Marcos play, at least one of these would be a shoe-in for a Tony.