Allegiance is so special to Broadway that I must first personalize why. In my youth a visit to Pearl Harbor I witnessed droves of Japanese tourist. At that time I could not understand why they would want to see the destruction that lead to Word War II. A few years later I was hired as an entertainer for Japan’s Nagasaki Holland Village aka Huis Ten Bosch. When visiting the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum witnessing the worst destruction ever in history I had an epiphany, I knew then why those Japanese tourist needed to see Pearl Harbor!
Seeing Allegiance on Veterans Day was destined. These Japanese Americans are very special Veterans, and they are still educating us through our recent terrorist acts in Paris. “I’m writing this backstage at Allegiance, my heart heavy with the news from Paris, aching for the victims and their families and friends. There no doubt will be those who look upon immigrants and refugees as the enemy as a result of these attacks, because they look like those who perpetrated these attacks, just as peaceful Japanese Americans were viewed as the enemy after Pearl Harbor. But we must resist the urge to categorize and dehumanize, for it is that very impulse that fueled the insanity and violence perpetrated this evening. Tonight, hold your loved ones, and pray or wish for peace, not only from guns and bombs, but from hatred and fear. If it is our freedom and joy they seek to destroy, give them not that victory. Against the force of darkness and terror, love and compassion shall always prevail.” George Takei.
It was fear that drove American leaders to imprison or own Japanese Americans. Fear is dangerous, but history and Allegiance gives the globe hope and “Gaman”, pronounced Gah-Mahn, this is a Japanese term of Zen Buddhist origin which means “to endure with optimism, patience, and dignity”. This song is just one of many touching songs that leaves a legacy for this Broadway musical, and a powerful message of endurance for our new global society. Love prevails in Allegiance, giving America and the globe one of the most important musicals ever written. Gaman!
“Geroge Takei’s smash hit Broadway musical shares one of the best stories ever written. It brings history to life through a brilliant musical that educates the globe. World War II lead to extreme choices given to Asian Americans by the American Government. Allegiance is George Takei’s powerful, stunning, explosive, inspiring and destined journey. Happy to announce that one of Allegiance‘s producers has been nominated for 2016 Broadway Global Producer of the Year.” Broadway Global
Telly Leung gives the performance of his Broadway career. If the Tony Awards don’t nominate Telly Leung and Lea Salonga for their performances in Allegiance, it would be as tragic as the horrific miss treatment Japanese Americans were in slaved during World War II. Allegiance leaves a legacy for Broadway History! There are very few Broadway musicals that offer a true compelling story, precise choreography, heart felt music with award winning performances by the entire Allegiance ensemble. “Even a mountain can be moved, stone by stone, Allegiance moves mountains! Pledge your Allegiance to one of the most brilliant musicals every produced!” USA Theatre Chat.
Katie Rose Clarke (Hannah) gives an endearing, award winning performance of a Nurse torn between American instructions and the Hippocratic Oath, to treat the needs of those who are ill. Katie’s voice is pure cream, character choices cleverly executed giving one of the best Broadway performances of the season. Allegiance investors please bring this musical to Japan immediately. Global audiences reactions would keep this musical running for years.
The book by Lorenzo Thione is nuclear and deafening. Every word chosen propels the plot of each character leaving not one second for misunderstanding. The music, lyrics and book by Jay Kuo is triumphant! Every song takes a moving journey and with Andrew Palermo’s choreography the outcome is entertaining, heartfelt, stylized for the historic times that it brings to life. The scenic designs by Donyale Werle let the true story shine. Costumes by Alejo Vietti color the period with grace. Howell Binkley gives nuclear lighting designs with simplistic perfection. Sound design by Kai Harada is pure. Projection design by Darrel Maloney and wig and hair by Charles G. LaPointe set the historic times. Music direction by Laura Bergquist should remind Tony Awards voters that we are missing an award that should be honored!
The entire Allegiance cast includes: George Takei (Sam Kimura, Ojii-chan), Telly Leung (Sammy Kimura), Lea Salonga (Kei Kimura), Katie Rose Clarke (Hannah Campbell), Michael K. Lee (Frankie Suzuki), Christopheren Nomura (Tatsuo Kimura), Greg Watanabe (Mike Masaoka), Aaron J. Albano (Ensemble, u/s Sammy Kimura), Belinda Allyn (Swing, u/s Hannah), Marcus Choi (Ensemble, Fight Captain, u/s Frankie Suzuki, Mike Masaoka), Janelle Toyomi Dote (Ensemble), Dan Horn (Ensemble), Owen Johnston II (Swing, Dance Captain, u/s Mike Masaoka), Darren Lee (Dr. Tanaka, Ben Masaoka, u/s Sam Kimura/Ojii-chan, Tatsuo Kimura, Frankie Suzuki), Kevin Munhall (Private Kinght), Manna Nichols (Swing, u/s Kei Kimura, Hannah), Rumi Oyama (Mrs. Natsumi Tanaka, Ensemble), Catherine Ricafort (Betsy Tanaka), Momoko Sugai (Peggy Maruyama, Ensemble), Sam Tanabe (Swing, u/s Sammy Kimura), Elena Wang (Ensemble, u/s Kei Kimura), Scott Watanabe (Ensemble, u/s Sam Kimura/Ojii-chan, Tatsuo Kimura), Scott Wise (Ensemble).
Allegiance is a Broadway Global and Theatre Chat must see pick, now playing at Longacre Theatre located at 220 W 48th Street New York, NY. For tickets visit www.AllegianceMusical.com. Allegiance is the global musical of the century. The story and musical leaves a legacy for eternity. George Takei was destined, to take us on a Star Trek into the future and beyond. The musical does not need to share George Takei’s acting career, but his life leaves a message that is relevant, powerful, inspiring and explosive.