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Allegiance at The Old Globe


Lucky
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Opening on September 7th, and playing through October 21st is Allegiance. It stars former Star Trek member George Takei, Glee Warbler Telly Leung, and Ms. Saigon herself, Lea Salonga.

 

Allegiance – A New American Musical is an epic story of family, love and patriotism set during the Japanese American internment of World War II. On the 60th anniversary of Pearl Harbor, a meeting with a young journalist forces WWII veteran Sam Kimura (television and film icon George Takei) to remember his family’s relocation from their California farm to the Heart Mountain internment camp. As they struggle to adjust to their new home, Young Sam (Broadway favorite Telly Leung) and his sister Kei (Tony Award winner Lea Salonga) find themselves torn between loyalty to their family and allegiance to their country. With its moving score, Allegiance takes audiences on a journey into our nation’s history through the eyes of one American family.

 

The bf and I already have our tickets!

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The LA Times today saves me the task of re-writing my review as it presents a lengthy article, with pictures, on the show: http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/culture/la-et-cm-allegiance-old-globe-20120916,0,4044722.story

 

My addition would be to commend Telly Leung on his excellent performance, Lea Salonga on her excellent voice, and the supporting cast, including in particular Michael K. Lee as a very able actor who plays Salonga's love interest in the show.

No one cared, or so it seems, about the internment of Japanese-Americans during the war, so it may be a hard to task to find an audience who cares, especially if the show wants a Broadway move. It's kind of like the gay play which we all find endearing, but cannot make a hit of it without broader support. Allegiance will no doubt undergo some modifications as they figure what works best and what doesn't. For my part, the songs seemed interchangeable with the standard Broadway anthems. I walked away, not humming a tune, but thinking what a powerful voice Salonga has. Given that the show has some heavy moments, it did seem long, even though it clocked out at 2:10 with intermission. The audience gave it a standing ovation, which is more common out here than in New York.

 

One footnote: Also in the cast is Paolo Montalban, who plays the controversial figure Mike Masaoka, who was, in effect, the Japanese uncle Tom. Yet Montalban once played the Prince in a Disney movie of Cinderella, and had gay hearts swooning across America. He is still cute, but his boyish charm is now the property of Telly, who has it in spades.

 

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-EC9nxyLmHcc/T0xHrj_HKCI/AAAAAAAADEU/EhihgOgtVtU/s320/paolo+montalban.jpg Paolo Montalban

 

http://liachang.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/allegiance35_web.jpg?w=460&h=328

Telly Leung as Sammy Kimura and Lea Salonga as Kei Kimura in the World Premiere of Allegiance – A New American Musical at The Old Globe. Photo by Henry DiRocco

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