Television and film icon George Takei, Tony Award-winning actress Lea Salonga, Telly Leung and Paolo Montalban lead the cast of the World premiere of Allegiance – A New American Musical, an epic story of family, love and patriotism set during the Japanese American internment of World War II, at The Old Globe, September 7 -October 21, 2012. Directed by Stafford Arima, with music and lyrics by Jay Kuo and book by Marc Acito, Kuo and Lorenzo Thione, the production features choreography by Andrew Palermo and music supervision, arrangements and orchestrations by Lynne Shankel. Performances for Allegiance – A New American Musical are on the Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage in the Old Globe Theatre, part of the Globe’s Conrad Prebys Theatre Center, in San Diego’s Balboa Park at 1363 Old Globe Way in San Diego. Opening night is Wednesday, Sept. 19 at 7:00 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online at www.TheOldGlobe.org, by phone at (619) 23-GLOBE or by visiting the Box Office at 1363 Old Globe Way in Balboa Park.
On the 60th anniversary of Pearl Harbor, a meeting with a young journalist forces WWII veteran Sam Kimura to remember his family’s relocation from their California farm to the Heart Mountain internment camp in Wyoming. As they struggle to adjust to their new home, Young Sam and his sister Kei find themselves torn between loyalty to their family and allegiance to their country. With its moving score, Allegiance – A New American Musical takes audiences on a journey into our nation’s history through the eyes of one American family.
George Takei portrays Sam Kimura, a former internee who revisits the ghosts of his past, and Ojii-san, the grandfather and pillar of strength of the Kimura family. Best known for portraying Mr. Sulu in the “Star Trek” series, Takei’s acting career has spanned more than five decades with more than 40 feature films and hundreds of television roles to his credit. Takei and his family, along with 120,000 other Japanese Americans, were unjustly incarcerated behind the barbed-wire enclosures of United States internment camps at the outbreak of World War II. Takei spent part of his childhood at Camp Rohwer in Arkansas and at Camp Tule Lake in Northern California. Meeting George Takei and hearing his personal story inspired Allegiance creators Jay Kuo and Lorenzo Thione to bring the story of the Japanese American internment to the stage.
Lea Salonga plays Kei Kimura, a young internee who falls in with a group of activists, and Hana Suzuki, the interviewer who impels Sam to delve into his memories. Salonga originated the role of Kim in the West End and Broadway productions of Miss Saigon, winning the Tony and Olivier Awards, among others. She was the first Asian to play Eponine in Les Misérables on Broadway, returned to the show in 2007 as Fantine and reprised the role for the sold-out 25th anniversary concert in London. Salonga’s feature film credits include the singing voice of Princess Jasmine in Aladdin and Fa Mulan in Mulan.
Telly Leung is young Sammy Kimura, who is torn between fighting for his country and honoring his community – and his family. Leung most recently appeared in the Broadway revival of Godspell. His other Broadway credits include Flower Drum Song, Pacific Overtures and the final company of Rent. Leung also originated the role of Boq in the Chicago company of Wicked. His television and film credits include “Glee” (Wes, Dalton Academy Warblers) and Rent: Filmed Live on Broadway. His first solo CD, I’ll Cover You, will be released in the fall.
Joining the cast is Paolo Montalban as Mike Masaoka, the polarizing real-life leader who encouraged cooperation with the internment despite being Japanese American himself. Montalban is best known for playing the Prince in Wonderful World of Disney’s Cinderella and has appeared on Broadway in Pacific Overtures and The King and I.
The cast also features Michael K. Lee (Frankie Suzuki), Paul Nakauchi (Tatsuo Kimura) and Allie Trimm (Hannah Campbell) with Katie Boren, Jon Jon Briones, Geno Carr, Karl Josef Co, Marc de la Cruz, MaryAnn Hu, Brandon Joel Maier, Kürt Norby, Ann Sanders, Jill Townsend, Kay Trinidad and Scott Watanabe (Ensemble) and Jennifer Hubilla and Conrad Ricamora (Swings).
The creative team includes Donyale Werle (Scenic Design), Alejo Vietti (Costume Design), Howell Binkley (Lighting Design), Jonathan Deans (Sound Design), Darrel Maloney (Projection Design), Jan Gist (Dialect Coach) Telsey + Company (Casting) and Anjee Nero (Stage Manager).
The Old Globe is presenting a variety of supplemental seminars and exhibitions during the run of Allegiance that explore the history and significance of the Japanese American internment.
• INSIGHTS SEMINAR: ALLEGIANCE – Free Seminar
Monday, Sept. 17 at 7:00 p.m. (Reception at 6:30 p.m.)
Members of the creative team discuss the history of the production and the issues they faced in the creation of Allegiance. No RSVP is necessary for this FREE event.
• IN THEIR OWN WORDS: STORIES FROM FORMER INTERNEES – Free Seminar
Monday, Oct. 15 at 7:00 p.m. (Reception at 6:30 p.m.)
Former internees share their unique, first-hand perspective of the historical events that take place in Allegiance. (RSVPs are required for this FREE event. Email RSVP@theoldglobe.org to reserve a seat.)
• “THE TAG PROJECT” – Theater Lobby Installation by Artist Wendy Maruyama
Wendy Maruyama’s “The Tag Project” features groupings of ID tags resembling those worn by Japanese Americans as they were sent to the internment camps. Approximately 11 feet tall and weighing more than 100 pounds, each grouping contains enough tags to represent every person in one of the 10 U.S. internment camps.
• “ALLEGIANCE: A SAN DIEGO PERSPECTIVE” – Museum Exhibition
The Old Globe and the Japanese American Historical Society of San Diego present a museum exhibition throughout the run of Allegiance about the history of Japanese Americans who lived in San Diego prior to World War II and their removal to the internment camps. The exhibition will contain photographs, artifacts and materials about the internment and how it affected San Diego County and its citizens. Located in the Museum of Man Annex directly adjacent to the Old Globe Theatre, the exhibition is free to the public and will be open two hours prior to each performance.
TICKETS to Allegiance – A New American Musical can be purchased online at www.TheOldGlobe.org, by phone at (619) 23-GLOBE or by visiting the Box Office at 1363 Old Globe Way in Balboa Park. Performance times: Wednesday, Sept. 12 at 7:00 p.m, Thursday, Sept. 13 at 8:00 p.m., Friday, Sept. 14 at 8:00 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 15 at 8:00 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 16 at 7:00 p.m. and Tuesday, Sept. 18 at 7:00 p.m. Regular Performances: Tuesday and Wednesday evenings at 7:00 p.m., Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings at 8:00 p.m., Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2:00 p.m. and Sunday evenings at 7:00 p.m. There will be no performance on Thursday, Oct. 11. Discounts are available for full-time students, patrons 29 years of age and under, seniors and groups of 10 or more.
Additional events taking place during the run of Allegiance – A New American Musical include:
POST-SHOW FORUMS: Allegiance
Tuesdays, Sept. 25 and Oct. 2, Wednesday, Oct. 10 and Saturday, Oct. 13 (matinee) FREE
Discuss the play with members of the Allegiance cast and crew at post-show discussions led by the Globe’s creative staff after the performances.
OUT AT THE GLOBE: Thursday, Sept. 20 at 6:30 p.m. $20
An evening for gay and lesbian theater lovers and the whole LGBT community, Out at the Globe includes a hosted wine and martini bar, appetizers and door prizes. Everyone is welcome. $20 per person. RSVP at (619) 23-GLOBE. (Tickets to Allegiance are sold separately.)
LOCATION: The Old Globe is located in San Diego’s Balboa Park at 1363 Old Globe Way. There are numerous free parking lots available throughout the park. Valet parking is also available ($10). For additional parking information visit www.BalboaPark.org.
The Tony Award-winning Old Globe is one of the country’s leading professional regional theaters and has stood as San Diego’s flagship arts institution for over 75 years. The Old Globe produces a year-round season of 15 productions of classic, contemporary and new works on its three Balboa Park stages: the Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage in the 600-seat Old Globe Theatre and the 250-seat Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre, both part of The Old Globe’s Conrad Prebys Theatre Center, and the 605-seat outdoor Lowell Davies Festival Theatre, home of its internationally renowned Shakespeare Festival. More than 250,000 people attend Globe productions annually and participate in the theater’s education and community programs. Numerous world premieres such as The Full Monty, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, A Catered Affair and the annual holiday musical, Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, have been developed at The Old Globe and have gone on to enjoy highly successful runs on Broadway and at regional theaters across the country.
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Lia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist.
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