The decision to avoid going into the family business can be a wise one, especially if that business involves the questionable practice of psychic healing. However, if that choice also means surrendering not only the family name, but one’s entire identity, then scamming the sick and elderly might seem to hold merit. Such is a young man’s quandary in Felix Starro, the sincere and split-focus new musical by Jessica Hagedorn and Fabian Obispo that opens the Ma-Yi Theater Company’s 30th anniversary season. Under the direction of Ralph B. Peña, this nearly two-hour dive into the meaning of faith is the first musical created by Filipino Americans to appear Off-Broadway.
Ars Nova’s KPOP begins with a chorus of glittering young Korean pop performers belting the lyrics “the future’s standing right in front of you.” Indeed, the purported mission of the play’s fictional management enterprise, JTM Entertainment, is to bring K-Pop to American audiences, and the production delivers K-Pop-styled numbers in droves.
The Ma-Yi Theater Company’s Peer Gynt and the Norwegian Hapa Band offers a sonic interpretation of Henrik Ibsen’s saga Peer Gynt. Ibsen wrote Peer Gynt in 1867 as a dramatic poem, and it was staged a decade later with music by Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg that has become famous. The play touches upon Norwegian mythology and folk tales, and it captures the hard and difficult times of mid-19th-century life in Scandinavia.