The Broadway Theatre has been transformed into an electrifying disco space for the production of Here Lies Love. Conceived by David Byrne of Talking Heads fame, the musical melds the life story of former Philippine First Lady Imelda Marcos with the infectious beats of Fatboy Slim to create a fully immersive dance club experience that envelopes audiences. With our own callout in the show’s Playbill, McLaren’s entertainment team led by William Gorlin, PE, SE provided structural engineering of the sets, production rigging, floor extension and support structures, seating towers, and existing structures.
Broadway Theatre Renovations
The main challenge of the production was to turn a traditional proscenium theater into a black box theater arrangement combining the stage and auditorium spaces into one dynamic disco, where the audience would be an integral part of the show alongside the actors. To achieve this, the theater underwent significant structural changes, including the removal of 900 orchestra seats and extension of the stage through the proscenium and into the auditorium. This allowed the performance space to integrate with new side seating towers around the 300-person dance/performance floor and connect with the seats in the mezzanine. Our engineers developed the structural design of the freestanding show structures including stage extension platforms, gallery style seating towers, access stairs and aisles, and cellar support shoring.
Engineering Club Millennium
Illuminating Here Lies Love’s imaginative “Club Millennium” setting, the performance catwalk and satellite stages are accented by a giant disco ball, 360ᵒ lighting, audio speakers, projection surfaces, and massive video screens. McLaren evaluated the flown trusses and rigging which supports the overhead production elements, including analyzing loads on the gridiron and pre-existing and new auditorium rigging points.