The Old Globe will open its 2012-13 Winter Season with the World Premiere of Allegiance – A New American Musical. Created by Jay Kuo and Lorenzo Thione with music and lyrics by Kuo, the original musical tells the story of a Japanese American family forced into an internment camp during World War II. Directed by Stafford Arima (Carrie, Altar Boyz, West End premiere of Ragtime), the production features musical direction and arrangements by Lynne Shankel (Cry-Baby, Company) and choreography by Christopher Gattelli (Newsies, Godspell, South Pacific). Tony Award-winning actress Lea Salonga (Miss Saigon, Les Misérables), television and film icon George Takei ("Star Trek," "Heroes") and Telly Leung (Godspell, Rent) will star.
The complete cast and additional 2102-13 Winter Season selections will be announced at a later date.
Allegiance – A New American Musical is an epic story of love, war and heroism set during the Japanese American internment of World War II. Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Omura family is relocated from their home in Salinas, California to the Heart Mountain internment camp in the wastelands of Wyoming. Their story reflects a conflicted nation and people divided. Father Tatsuo, a successful store owner, resists their internment; mother Kimiko fears for their future, resigned to their fate; older son James volunteers in an all-Japanese American army regiment; and younger son Sam yearns for acceptance in America. Coinciding with the 70th anniversary of the authorization and implementation of the internment camps, Allegiance sheds new light upon a dark chapter of American history. With its moving score, Allegiance connects the audience with universal themes of love, family and redemption.
The creative team includes Donyale Werle (Scenic Design), David Zinn (Costume Design), Ben Stanton (Lighting Design) and Peter Hylenski (Sound Design).
The musical will run in the Old Globe Theatre, part of the Globe's Conrad Prebys Theatre Center, Sept. 6 – Oct. 20, 2012. Preview performances run Sept. 6 – Sept. 15. Opening night is Sunday, Sept. 16 at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are currently available by subscription only. 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.
Allegiance is Jay Kuo's fourth musical. His composing career began at Stanford, where he wrote and produced Upwardly Mobile, a story of five friends coming of age. Kuo's second musical, Insignificant Others, played from 2006-2008 in San Francisco at New Conservatory Theatre Center, Zeum and Theatre 39 and won a Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award for Best Original Script. His third work, Worlds Apart, about star-crossed lovers in a cultural divide, performed in concert at San Francisco's Magic Theatre in late 2006 and in New York City at New World Stages in 2008. Allegiance held its first staged reading in Los Angeles in July 2009 and two further readings in New York City in 2010. In addition to composing, Kuo is a Broadway producer (Catch Me If You Can, American Idiot, Slava's Snowshow). Kuo is also a graduate of the Boalt Hall School of Law at UC Berkeley and a member of the California Bar.
Lorenzo Thione is a serial entrepreneur, theater producer and community activist. After having been part of the producing team of shows such as Catch Me If You Can and American Idiot, he began working on Allegiance in 2008 alongside friend and composer Jay Kuo following an encounter with George Takei, whose experience in the internment camps inspired them to write a musical about this dark and mostly unknown chapter of American history. Prior to his work in theater, Thione was also the co-founder of Powerset, Inc., an internet search company acquired by Microsoft in 2008, and whose technology was subsequently relaunched as part of Bing. Thione has also co-founded and helped grow StartOut, a national non-profit organization dedicated to fostering and developing the next generation of entrepreneurs and business leaders within the LGBT community. Thione serves on the board of trustees of the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco and of several companies in the U.S. and abroad. A native of Milan, Italy, Thione is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin. He is a named inventor on over 30 patents in the U.S. and worldwide.