Already closed | 1h 50m | Midtown W

Felix Starro

From 27 member  reviews
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. More…

From the show:
Felix Starro is a famous faith healer in the Philippines whose clients included celebrities and big politicians. After falling on hard times, Felix decides to go to San Francisco with his young grandson to set-up shop for ailing Filipinos in the Bay Area- to earn just enough money to go home and retire comfortably. Unbeknownst to Felix, his grandson Junior has plans of his own to leave his grandfather and take his chances as an undocumented immigrant What happens to them is a story about faith, immigration, and the unique Filipino experience in America.

1h 50m | Already closed | Theatre Row Complex (Midtown W)

Member Reviews (27)


Absorbing, Great singing, Refreshing, Relevant, Entertaining
Avg Score

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.

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.

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

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.

Also "Radiant am I/Just because I use chicken guts & blood,why do you think... Read more Read less

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.

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

Also through doors that had not previously existed or from one living quart... Read more Read less

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

Also Objectively, there are some snags. Subjectively, I liked it anyway.... Read more Read less

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

Great staging, Great singing, Absorbing

See it if really enjoyed this dark musical about psychic healers...talented cast...great singing...

Don't see it if you want something light and fluffy...2 intermission..

Overlong, Good score, Uneven

See it if you like seeing shows with a different point of view, tackling big themes of faith, truth, family and trust,original beautiful music & songs

Don't see it if you're looking for a polished production.There's an amateur feel to the whole thing.It does hold your interest at first but then drags on.

Great staging, Great singing, Refreshing, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if you like a refreshingly new musical with great singers, creative use of the stage and highly entertaining music!

Don't see it if you don't like musicals or only those shown on Broadway.

Thought-provoking, Resonant, Absorbing, Quirky

See it if / to support the 1st off-Bway musical created by and for Filipino-Americans; for a dark, squirmy, cool way into the immigration conversation

Don't see it if you're very squeamish; musicals are not your thing; you prefer a lot of uptempo and flashy numbers.

Talented cast, Needs a bit of work, Adequate

See it if a musical about faith-healing is for you.

Don't see it if you are expecting a fully-realized perfectly flowing musical.

Original, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Absorbing, Delightful

See it if Totally original. An interesting story, uniquely Filipino. For the story alone is worth seeing

Don't see it if the musical part is mediocre. Too much down time for a musical. Perhaps the subject matter is too dark for musical.


See it if you want to see a musical with great music or enjoy very offbeat musicals.

Don't see it if you want to see a light musical comedy.

Also The music is the best thing about this show. The lyrics, not so much. ... Read more Read less

Relevant, Refreshing, Great singing, Entertaining

See it if Acters, singers, choreography, band were great. Story unusual and refreshingly different from anything on Off Broadway.

Don't see it if Small cold theater, bring warm clothes, bare bone and depressing set, 2 3/4 hrs without intermission, some of the songs were too lengthy

Heart-felt, Absorbing, Revealing

See it if you want to try to understand what motivates troubled people to seek alternative solutions to intractable problems.

Don't see it if you cannot believe that people would be desperate enough to seek relief from a faith-healer.

Also The show bites off a bit more than it can chew. There is a once-respec... Read more Read less

Refreshing, Great acting, Thought-provoking

See it if absolutely fascinating story, amazing cast, amazing seeing an all filipino cast and creative team!

Don't see it if you're not interested in historical narratives that link to today's issues

Great singing, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Relevant

See it if you like to see shows with the perspective of another culture, you want to be solidly entertained

Don't see it if you want songs you'll be humming as you leave the theatre, you expect big $$ spectacle, you don't want to think about illegal immigration

Great singing, Entertaining, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if You enjoy pleasant and clever songs enhancing a predictable but absorbing plot with strong performances.

Don't see it if You dislike cliched immigrant stories that portray immigrants as less than perfect.

Overrated, Ambitious

See it if A new score

Don't see it if A fully integrated musical

Also There is a lot to like about this show unfortunately none of it really... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Resonant, Relevant

See it if You like works that are relevant, superbly written and cleverly directed. The cast is superb all around and the live music is top-notch!

Don't see it if Everyone should see Felix Starro!

Funny, Exquisite

See it if A really fun show, thoughtful and elegant.

Don't see it if You don't like thoughtful production work and great acting.

During previews
Relevant, Intelligent, Great singing, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if A timely tale. Mostly young talent that shines. Each has a a spot in the limelight .Clever placement of the band Variety of songs see moe

Don't see it if 2 hours should have an intermission (my 90-100 minute rule of thought) ie: Director's option in that span

Also I'ts back to Ma Yi roots ... Read more Read less

During previews

See it if Filipino musical about faith, illness, and love within context of colonialism, poverty, racism, bad health care,& immigration. Great singing

Don't see it if Slow start but heats up in 2nd half. Faith healing, undocumented people's stories annoy you. Could be longer to fill in openings in plot.

Also Diversity: all Filipino cast! Even one gay man with AIDS character.

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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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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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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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 l...
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Cast & Creatives (4)