Felix Starro off Broadway
Felix Starro is the first musical created by Filipino-Americans about their heritage. Credits to Ma-Yi Theater.

Felix Starro, the first off-Broadway musical created by Filipino-Americans, is set to premiere this September at Theatre Row in Manhattan.

The Ma-Yi Theater Company’s production opens its 30th anniversary season with the new musical created by award-winning Filipino-American artists, writer Jessica Hagedorn, composer Fabian Obispo, and Ma-Yi Producing Artistic Director Ralph B. Peña. Choreography is by Brandon Bieber.

Felix Starro is based on a short story by Whiting Writer’s Awardee Filipino American writer Lysley Tenorio. The play is described by Ma-Yi as an exploration of “issues of faith, family, love, loss, betrayal, and what it means to be an undocumented Filipino immigrant in America.”

The play synopsis: Felix Starro, a famous faith healer from the Philippines whose clients once included Hollywood celebrities and the most powerful politicians, has returned to San Francisco for one last healing mission to cure ailing Filipino Americans in the Bay Area. Unbeknownst to Felix, however, Junior, his nineteen-year-old grandson who has been acting mysteriously, has a mission of his own and the choice he makes could rip their family apart forever.

Broadway and Off-Broadway actor Alan Ariano leads the cast of Felix Starro along with Nacho Tambunting, Diane Phelan, Caitlin Cisco, Francisca Muñoz, Ryan James Ortega, and Obie and Lortel award-winner Ching Valdes-Aran.

Ariano’s debut with Ma-Yi is the Fil-Am actor’s first time to play a Filipino role. His theater credits include The King and I, Miss Saigon, and more recently Mamma Mia.

“This is a blessing for me, to be able to do this.” Ariano said in an Asian Journal interview. “We don’t see a lot of representation, we don’t see Filipinos on stage all the time so to actually find out that there’s a new, original musical written for Filipinos, about Filipinos, by Filipinos, that’s great news.”

Felix Starro opens on September 3 and is scheduled to run through September 15 at the Theatre Row, 410 West 42nd Street in Manhattan.

Stories of Filipino-American experience recently made a film debut with the screening of Yellow Rose starring Broadway royalty Lea Salonga and Eva Noblezada.

Another feature film, Nanay Ko, will soon be released in American theaters.

WATCH THIS SNEAK PREVIEW and SEND well wishes in the comments below to the cast and crew of Felix Starro for showcasing Filipino talent in American theater!

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