Like many musicals, Felix Starro, opening Ma-Yi Theatre Company's 30th anniversary season at Theatre Row, is about the tenuous connection between family and faith. What makes Felix's strong ensemble of voices unique is that they are heard in the first Off-Broadway Filipino-American musical where pain may be imaginary but always real. Jessica Hagedorn's book and Fabian Obispo's score is based on Lysley Tenorio's short story. Filipino psychic surgeon Felix (Alan Ariano) and his teenage grandson Junior (Nacho Tambunting) are in 1980s San Francisco on the older man's latest mission to heal those in pain. His technique combines prayer and a lot of faith on the part of the seeker.
Humankind is made up of stories: the stories we tell others, those we tell ourselves, our version of the story, and even history is only a series of stories stamped with a seal of approval to be considered by the ruling power as “the truth,” though it is no more than yet another observation or opinion on what transpired. Stories have the ability to make us -- for they are the foundation where legends and heroes are born. But they also have the power and capacity to break us and tear us apart from our own kind, to separate us