Felix Starro
Closed 1h 50m
Felix Starro
79

Felix Starro NYC Reviews and Tickets

79%
(27 Reviews)
Positive
85%
Mixed
15%
Negative
0%
Members say
Absorbing, Great singing, Refreshing, Relevant, Entertaining

About the Show

This new musical about a Filipino Faith Healer peddling hope to sick people in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District offers a story about faith, immigration, and the unique Filipino experience in America.

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Member Reviews (27)

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69
Strong voices, Good score, Pointless, Too long, Absorbing

See it if you like unusual musicals. Gd score (son-of-Sondheim sound), lousy lyrics. Pointless plot. Gd voices. Choreog hit or miss. Random projectns.

Don't see it if you want a coherent piece. Some gd songs, but show is too long w no payoff. Inconsistent chars. Talented actors deserve better vehicle.

75
Sad, Thematic, Good music, Slow, Relevant

See it if Interesting themes: father-son rift, loss of identity, loyalty vs. honesty, Filipino culture. Interesting music.

Don't see it if Characters are too shallow to sustain a 2 hour show. Once the main conflict is established, it drags. Some off-pitch vocals.

79
Clever, Refreshing, Indulgent, Great singing, Ambitious

See it if interested in new musicals & Philippine artists & creators, stories about the faith-healing culture of late 20th century, father/son tales

Don't see it if don't like musicals, esp. small chamber ones, no interest in Philippine culture or faith healing scams, or slow, frustrating situations

90
Charismatic, Refreshing, Must see, Ambitious, Clever

See it if Sweet & sour Latin/Asian fraudulent-charismatic psychic surgery pop malady musical. Well-utilised set."If you have faith it must be true."

Don't see it if Exploiting the vulnerable, pure, faithful & absolute. Rebuffed AIDS victim as "lost cause." Stolen identity subplot for disavowing the past. Read more

76
Refreshing, Relevant, Great acting, Great singing, Clever

See it if you enjoy an interesting new musical performed and written by Filipinos. Good characters with intelligent plot. Nice singing.

Don't see it if you don't like shows about immigration or faith healers.

70
Disappointing, Silly sets, Indulgent, Slow, Quirky

See it if you're interested in some insights into another culture, some good singing & songs, great band; particularly liked Caitlin Cisco.

Don't see it if score OK but poor lyrics; inconsistent singing and acting; actors pushing sets back & forth is distracting; by end of play the actors moved Read more

84
Refreshing, Great book and music, Uneven vocalists, Curious, Subtly innovative

See it if Engaging short story treatment evokes mood over plot/argument. U don’t expect all shows w/ prominent ethnicity to be about ethnic oppression

Don't see it if want a fully polished show or one that follows all the formulas. U only like shows w/ prominent ethnicity if they omit ethnic oppression Read more

78
Atypical heritage, Great music/composition, Entertaining, Ambitious

See it if rich and varied composition spanning all major past and present composers; bona-fide showstopper number, very good unknown cast

Don't see it if storyline stakes seem moderate at best; production values often get in the way of presentation, Tagalog-ism humor may ring hollow

Critic Reviews (13)

The New York Times
September 3rd, 2019

"Do You Believe in Miracles? ‘Felix Starro’ Does: A new musical about a Filipino faith healer bringing “psychic surgery” to America expands the frontiers of the form."
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Time Out New York
September 3rd, 2019

3/5 Stars "If the heartfelt storytelling too seldom quickens the pulse, it’s a pleasure to see so many actors of Asian descent getting a chance to tell a story that, though universal in appeal, feels unique to Filipino culture."
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Theatermania
September 3rd, 2019

"Wrestling With Faith and Family in 'Felix Starro': Ma-Yi Theater Company presents the world premiere of Jessica Hagedorn and Fabian Obispo's musical adaptation of a short story by Lysley Tenorio."
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Lighting & Sound America
September 6th, 2019

"The people behind Felix Starro have on their hands some fascinating and extremely novel subject matter; it's too bad that no one seems to know what to do with it. A musical that cries out for a daringly theatrical approach has been given a conventional book-musical treatment, with results that leave one wondering who the characters onstage are."
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New York Stage Review
September 3rd, 2019

2/5 Stars "Musical on Philippines Psychic Surgery Needs Gurney: Playwright Jessica Hagedorn, composer Juan Obispo take on questionable healing clumsily"
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New York Stage Review
September 3rd, 2019

3/5 Stars "Not Entirely a Magical New Musical: A sorrowful story about a faith healer does not entirely satisfy"
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TheaterScene.net
September 4th, 2019

"This intriguing musical is dynamically presented and wonderfully performed. There’s an abundance of ethnic details, uneasy atmosphere and narrative suspense accompanied by a quite accomplished score. It’s in the familiar flim flan tradition of 'Elmer Gantry' with Filipino touches"
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Theatre is Easy
September 14th, 2019

"While it showcases a dazzling array of Filipinx talent…the production never quite reaches its full potential due to a few unbalanced elements…yet the story of the Starro family's rise, fall, and erasure in the American diaspora is certainly one that should be in the history books."
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Theater Pizzazz
September 3rd, 2019

"A riveting musical, profound storyline presenting hard problems about identity, familial love, personal transformation . . . and one's personal responsibility to leave a positive legacy. Based on the unique short story by American Filipino writer Lysley Tenorio, the production is trenchant in its currency."
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CurtainUp
September 3rd, 2019

"The world premiere of Jessica Hagedorn and Fabian Obispo's new musical, kicks off Ma-Yi Theatre Company's 30th anniversary season. Its being the first created by Filipino-Americans about Filipino-Americans is indeed a milestone worth celebrating."
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T
September 3rd, 2019

"Despite the significance of Ma-Yi Theater Company's effort, 'Felix Starro' the musical loses the nostalgic undertones of Tenorio's short story. One wishes the new musical successfully highlighted the parallels between the efforts of Felix and his grandson to escape their pasts and 'start over.' Unfortunately, the writers seem to have taken on too much."
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New York Theater
September 3rd, 2019

"Authentic feeling glimpse into a world seldom seen on a New York stage… enhanced thanks to a spot-on seven-member cast, who invest the characters with psychological credibility….they also sing powerfully enough to make the most of a well-orchestrated if not especially memorable score."
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Theatre's Leiter Side
September 3rd, 2019

"'Felix Starro' is neither an in-depth look at psychic surgery nor of immigration policies…It also sometimes can't make up its mind if it's a musical or a drama… Ralph B. Peña has created several theatrically interesting moments but does little to alleviate the…ploddingly dramatic scenes."
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