By LIA CHANG
Broadway’s Allegiance, a new musical inspired by George Takei’s true-life story, began previews on October 6th, with an opening night set for November 8th at the Longacre Theatre (220 West 48th Street). It features a book by Marc Acito and music and lyrics by Jay Kuo. Olivier Award nominee Stafford Arima (London’s Ragtime, Off-Broadway’s Bare, Carrie, Altar Boyz) directs.
The cast of Allegiance includes: George Takei as Sam Kimura/Ojii San; Lea Salonga as Kei Kimura; Telly Leung as Sammy Kimura; Christopheren Nomura as Tatsuo Kimura; Michael K. Lee as Frankie Suzuki; Katie Rose Clarke as Hannah Campbell and Greg Watanabe as Mike Masaoka. The ensemble will feature Aaron J. Albano, Belinda Allyn, Marcus Choi, Janelle Dote, Dan Horn, Owen Johnston, Darren Lee, Kevin Munhall, Manna Nichols, Rumi Oyama, Catherine Ricafort, Momoko Sugai, Sam Tanabe, Elena Wang, Scott Watanabe and Scott Wise.
Inspired by the true-life experience of its star George Takei (Star Trek, Heroes), Allegiance follows one family’s extraordinary journey in this untold American story. A mysterious envelope leads Sam Kimura (Takei) back 60 years to a time when he (played as a young man by Telly Leung — Godspell, Glee) and his sister Kei (Tony winner Lea Salonga — Miss Saigon, Mulan) strive to save their family from the wrongful imprisonment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. Sam enlists in the army to prove the Kimura’s loyalty, but Kei joins draft resisters fighting for the rights of their people. Their paths take them from the lush farmlands of California to the wastelands of Wyoming to the battlefields of Europe, and their divided loyalties threaten to tear them apart forever. But as long-lost memories are unlocked, Sam finds that it is never too late to forgive and to recognize the redemptive power of love.
“I’m excited to be witnessing George Takei make his Broadway debut at the age of 78, and to be working with this company,” said Salonga at a press preview. “To get to work with Telly Leung, who made his Broadway debut with me in Flower Drum Song, to get to work with so many people who are making their Broadway debuts, it’s nice to be able to see that. We are doing this in a real entertainment community, where every show is not just a show, but it’s a family of people working to tell a story. And in every Broadway theater, that is what happens and I’m only too proud to be a part of that history.”
Broadway.com: Lea Salonga, George Takei and Telly Leung Talk the True-Life Inspiration Behind Broadway’s ALLEGIANCE
Broadway.com: Lea Salonga Sings “Higher” from the New Broadway Musical ALLEGIANCE
Broadway.com: Telly Leung and Katie Rose Clarke Sing “I Oughta Go” from ALLEGIANCE
Broadway.com: First Look at Michael K. Lee and the company of ALLEGIANCE singing “Paradise” from the New Broadway Musical ALLEGIANCE
Lia Chang is an award-winning filmmaker, a Best Actress nominee, a photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. 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, which will screen at the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival on November 21st. She is profiled in FebOne1960.com Blog, Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.