Inside Ma-Yi’s Opening Night Party of FELIX STARRO with Jessica Hagedorn, Ching Valdes-Aran, Alan Ariano and More

Ma-Yi Theater Company’s world premiere of Felix Starro, a new musical by Jessica Hagedorn and Fabian Obispo, opened at Theatre Row (410 West 42nd St.) on September 1. Scroll down for photos of the opening night party at The Brazen Tavern.

Composer Fabian Obispo, Playwright Jessica Hagedorn. Photo by Lia Chang

Based on a powerful short story by acclaimed Filipino American writer Lysley Tenorio, who was in the house for opening night, Felix Starro marks the first-time-ever a musical created by Filipino Americans is being presented Off-Broadway.

Composer Fabian Obispo, Playwright Jessica Hagedorn, Author Lysley Tenorio, who wrote the short story the musical is based on. Photo by Lia Chang

Directed by Ma-Yi’s Producing Artistic Director Ralph B. Peña (The Chinese Lady, Among The Dead) and choreographed by Brandon Bieber (FX’s “Fosse/Verdon”), Felix Starro also marks the long overdue return to New York stages of novelist and playwright Hagedorn whose critically-acclaimed Dogeaters (The Public Theater, 2001) was called “imaginative and fluidly impressionistic” (New York Times). Felix Starro began previews on August 23 and performances will continue through September 15.

Alan Ariano, Choreographer Brandon Bieber, Ching Valdes-Aran. Photo by Lia Chang

The cast for Felix Starro includes Alan Ariano (King and I, Miss Saigon) as Felix Starro, Caitlin Cisco (Hundred We Are) as Crystal, Francisca Muñoz as Mrs. Delgado, Ryan James Ortega as Bobby/Ramon, Diane Phelan (School of Rock) as Charma, Nacho Tambunting (NBC’s “Rise”) as Junior, and Obie and Lortel award-winner Ching Valdes-Aran as Flora.

Diane Phelan, Ching Valdes-Aran, Alan Ariano, Nacho Tambunting, Francisca Muñoz, Ryan James Ortega, Caitlin Cisco. Photo by Lia Chang

In Felix Starro, protagonist Felix is a famous faith healer in the Philippines, whose clients once included celebrities and big politicians. After falling on hard times, Felix decides to go to San Francisco for one last healing mission with ailing Filipinos in the Bay Area. Junior, Felix Starro‘s nineteen-year-old, orphan grandson, goes along as his assistant. Unbeknownst to Felix, Junior has plans of his own.

Nacho Tambunting, Francisca Muñoz, Ching Valdes-Aran, Caitlin Cisco, Diane Phelan, Ryan James Ortega, Alan Ariano. Photo by Lia Chang

Felix Starro explores issues of faith, family, love, loss, betrayal, and what it means to be an undocumented immigrant in America.

Lysley Tenorio, Ching Valdes-Aran. Photo by Lia Chang

The creative team also includes Obie award-winner Marsha Ginsberg (scenic design), Becky Bodurtha (costume design), Oliver Wason (lighting design), Julian Evans (sound design), Paulo K Tiról (orchestrations), Ian Miller (musical director), Cristina Sison (production stage manager), and Jorge Z. Ortoll (executive producer)

Director Ralph B. Pena, Musical Director Ian Miller, Alan Ariano, Ching Valdes-Aran, Orchestrator Paulo K. Tirol. Photo by Lia Chang

Tickets, priced at $52-$102, can be purchased by visiting ma-yitheatre.org or by calling Telecharge at 212-239-6200.

Jessica Hagedorn and Ching Valdes-Aran. Photo by Lia Chang
Caitlin Cisco, Francisca Muñoz, Alan Ariano, Nacho Tambunting, Diane Phelan, Ryan James Ortega. Photo by Lia Chang
Nacho Tambunting, Ryan James Ortega, Caitlin Cisco. Photo by Lia Chang
Ching Valdes-Aran, Diane Phelan, Alan Ariano, Francisca Muñoz. Photo by Lia Chang
Musical Director Ian Miller and Orchestrator Paulo K. Tirol. Photo by Lia Chang
Han Ong, Esther Woo, Jessica Hagedorn, Ching Valdes-Aran and Paloma Woo. Photo by Lia Chang
Lia Chang and Jessica Hagedorn. Photo by Garth Kravits
Composer Fabian Obispo, Playwright Jessica Hagedorn, Author Lysley Tenorio, who wrote the short story the musical is based on. Photo by Lia Chang
Tazewell Thompson, Jorge Z. Ortoll, Ralph B. Pena, Fabian Obispo. Photo by Lia Chang
Jessica Hagedorn with her daughters Esther and Paloma. Photo by Lia Chang
Garth Kravits, Alan Ariano. Photo by Lia Chang
Dax Valdes, Nicole Ponseca, Jake Poulos. Photo by Lia Chang
Mirirai Sithole, Caitlin Cisco and Lauren N. Chou. Photo by Lia Chang
Brian Kim, Caitlin Burke, Joan Almedilla, Alan Ariano, Diane Phelan. Photo by Lia Chang
Daniel Le, Diane Phelan, Cheeyang Ng. Photo by Lia Chang
Shannon Tyo and Anastacia McCleskey. Photo by Lia Chang
Dax Valdes, Ching Valdes-Aran. Photo by Lia Chang
Alan Ariano, Joan Almedilla. Photo by Lia Chang
Dax Valdes, Ralph Pena, Alfredo Narciso. Photo by Lia Chang
Jessica Hagedorn, Ian Miller, Caitlin Cisco, Ryan James Ortega. Photo by Lia Chang
Associate Producer Sarah Hanlon and Production Stage Manager Cristina Sison. Photo by Lia Chang
Melanie Joseph, Ching Valdes-Aran and Morgan Jenness. Photo by Lia Chang
Melanie Joseph, Fabian Obispo, Ching Valdes-Aran and Morgan Jenness. Photo by Lia Chang
Ching Valdes-Aran and Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits
Ching Valdes-Aran, Jorge Ortoll, Francisca Muñoz. Photo by Lia Chang
Lia Chang, Mirirai Sithole, Diane Phelan and Brian Kim. Photo by Garth Kravits
Alan Ariano and Francisca Muñoz. Photo by Lia Chang
Eli Zoller and Alan Ariano. Photo by Lia Chang
Assistant Stage Manager Samantha McCann and Ching Valdes-Aran. Photo by Lia Chang
Han Ong, Ching Valdes-Aran, Dax Valdes, Jake Poulos. Photo by Lia Chang
Fabian Obispo and Ching Valdes-Aran. Photo by Lia Chang
Diane Phelan. Photo by Lia Chang
Alan Ariano, Diane Phelan. Photo by Lia Chang
Mirirai Sithole, Diane Phelan and Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits
Alan Ariano and Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits
Diane Phelan, Alan Ariano and Francisca Muñoz. Photo by Garth Kravits
Alan Ariano, Orchestrator Paulo K. Tirol and Diane Phelan. Photo by Lia Chang
Richard Le, Diane Phelan, Cheeyang Ng, Brian Kim. Photo by Lia Chang
Nacho Tambunting and Jorge Z. Ortoll. Photo by Lia Chang
Jake Poulos, Suzette Porte and Dax Valdes. Photo by Lia Chang
Dax Valdes, Alan Ariano, Diane Phelan and Caitlin Burke. Photo by Lia Chang
Rogier de Boer and Diane Phelan. Photo by Lia Chang
Anastacia McCleskey, Shannon two and Garth Kravits. Photo by Lia Chang
Garth Kravits and Diane Phelan. Photo by Lia Chang
Richard Le, Ralph B. Pena, Diane Phelan and Rogier de Boer. Photo by Lia Chang
Orchestrator Paulo K. Tirol and Ching Valdes-Aran. Photo by Lia Chang
Ching Valdes-Aran and Alan Ariano. Photo by Lia Chang
Caitlin Cisco, Ching Valdes-Aran, Ryan James Ortega and Diane Phelan. Photo by Lia Chang
Lia Chang and Shannon Tyo. Photo by Garth Kravits
Lia Chang, Ching Valdes-Aran and Diane Phelan. Photo by Garth Kravits
Brian Kim, Lia Chang, Ching Valdes-Aran and Diane Phelan. Photo by Garth Kravits

BroadwayWorld: Photo Flash: Jessica Hagedorn, Ching Valdes-Aran, Alan Ariano And More Celebrate FELIX STARRO Opening Night

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits. Photo by Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2019 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s