Ma-Yi Theater Company celebrated the official Off-Broadway opening of its latest world premiere, the musical Felix Starro, September 3. Based on a short story by Filipino-American writer Lysley Tenorio, the musical is centered around a young, undocumented immigrant in San Francisco and his famous faith healer grandfather.
Felix Starro, which continues its limited engagement at Theatre Row, is directed by Ma-Yi Producing Artistic Director Ralph B. Peña. The musical features a book and lyrics by novelist and playwright Jessica Hagedorn (Dogeaters), and music by Fabian Obispo.
The cast of the world premiere is made up of Alan Ariano, Nacho Tambunting, Caitlin Cisco, Francisca Muñoz, Ryan James Ortega, Diane Phelan, and Ching Valdes-Aran.
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In Felix Starro, Felix (Ariano) is a famous faith healer in the Philippines, whose clients once included celebrities and big politicians. After falling on hard times, he decides to go to San Francisco for one last healing mission with ailing Filipinos in the Bay Area. Junior (Tambunting), his 19-year-old, orphan grandson, goes along as his assistant, and unbeknownst to Felix, has plans of his own.
Rounding out the creative team are choreographer Brandon Bieber, scenic designer Marsha Ginsberg, costume designer Becky Bodurtha, lighting designer Oliver Wason, and sound designer Julian Evans. Orchestrations are by Paulo K Tiról, Ian Miller is the musical director, Cristina Sison is production stage manager, and Jorge Z. Ortoll is executive producer.