Ma-Yi Theater Company celebrates the official opening of Felix Starro, a new musical about a young, undocumented immigrant in San Francisco and his famous faith healer grandfather, September 3. The production, which began previews August 23, marks the first time a musical created by Filipino-Americans is presented Off-Broadway.
Felix Starro is based on a short story by Filipino-American writer Lysley Tenorio, features a book and lyrics by novelist and playwright Jessica Hagedorn (Dogeaters), and music by Fabian Obispo.
Ma-Yi Producing Artistic Director Ralph B. Peña directs a cast made up of Alan Ariano, Nacho Tambunting, Caitlin Cisco, Francisca Muñoz, Ryan James Ortega, Diane Phelan, and Ching Valdes-Aran.
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.