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.
FRUITING BODIES, a new play by Sam Chanse, is a call to the wild parts of ourselves that have been starved of oxygen. It's a hunt to find the elusive, the dangerous, the long buried...The familiar family drama finds a different setting away from the dinner table to the forest floor with it's mercurial mycology. It's a thought provoking transformation play where the troubled characters enter the shifting forest, the unknown, and emerge somewhat altered. There are secrets to be revealed, hero's to be tested and dream fragments to confront. The Ma-Yi Theater Company takes us mushroom hunting into the
The Chinese Lady is a shattering story of how our western culture’s scopophilia leads us to make “freaks” of those who are different to ourselves. Our obsessive voyeurism does not lead to understanding of others but rather a desire to possess, command and sometimes destroy the objects of our incessant gaze. This is one of the most original, thought-provoking and necessary works I have ever seen. It is a production that excels on every single level – text, direction, performance and design. I am still haunted by the brilliance of the insights, the emotionality unleashed in the spaces between words
This is the third time I have had the honor of reviewing a show by the colossal talent that is Ji Young Choi. She is a South Korean performer who blends classical Shakespearian texts with rituals and cultural practices from her home country to create an entirely new form. In Love Deadline she tackles the inner thoughts of the character of Desdemona as she stays isolated in her tea room for seven days wrestling with the source of Othello’s unexplained rage. This production had its world premiere at the United Solo Theatre Festival – a perfect platform for a solo
This is cheek sore, solar plexus spasm funny. This is laughter therapy that exfoliates grumpy out of your psychological wardrobe. Randy can turn a phrase like he’s cornering a Lotus Elise SC. You’re watching a truly hilarious stand-up comedian who is sitting down. He looks like the love child of Kermit the frog and Barney the dinosaur but has more facial expressions than Jim Carrey as Ace Ventura. You marvel at how “felt” and eyeballs can be more enlivened than the bulk of the humans you know. Randy may be energized by puppetry but he has almost as much soul
I have had delicious earworm of “Anything Goes” since I saw this vivacious production at Theatre Row. Musicals Tonight! is having an epic 20th anniversary spring season with work that is truly exceptional. I had the great pleasure of seeing their brilliant “Boys From Syracuse” last month and with “Anything Goes” this month they are exceling at knocking our socks off. This 1934 Cole Porter classic must have been a joyful oasis and vital antidote to the Depression years. I left feeling so optimistic about everything - "It's delightful, it's delicious, It’s de-lovely! It has an infectious happiness about it