Broadway-Bound ALLEGIANCE Ends Extended Run at the Old Globe Today, 10/28
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by BWW News Desk
The Old Globe's World Premiere of Allegiance – A New American Musical ends its extended run today, October 28.
The production, originally set to close on October 21, stars television and film icon George Takei, Tony Award-winning actress Lea Salonga and Broadway favorite Telly Leung. Allegiance features music and lyrics by Jay Kuo, book by Marc Acito, Kuo and Lorenzo Thione, direction by Stafford Arima, choreography by Andrew Palermo and music supervision, arrangements and orchestrations by Lynne Shankel.
Sixty years after the attack on Pearl Harbor, a chance meeting forces WWII veteran Sam Kimura 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 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 plays 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 appears as Kei Kimura, a young internee who falls in with a group of activists. 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 plays 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.
The Cast also features Michael K. Lee (Frankie Suzuki), Paolo Montalban (Mike Masaoka), 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 Laura Bergquist (Music Direction), 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).
Allegiance – A New American Musical is supported in part through gifts from Production Sponsors Conrad Prebys and Debbie Turner, Mary Beth Adderley and Elizabeth and Ryan Williams, The Family of Elaine Lipinsky and HME.
The Old Globe is presenting a variety of supplemental seminars and exhibits during the run of Allegiance that explore the history and significance of the Japanese American internment.
Marc Acito (Book) wrote the book and additional lyrics for the Globe's world premiere production of A Room with a View. Acito's play Birds of a Feather, which tells the true story of the nationwide controversy caused by gay penguins in the Central Park Zoo, won the Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding New Play or Musical for its world premiere at The Hub Theatre. Birds of a Feather will appear next at Diversionary Theatre. Acito will also return to the Hub to create a stage monologue adaptation of his first novel, How I Paid for College: A Novel of Sex, Theft, Friendship and Musical Theater, which won the Ken Kesey Award for Fiction, was Editors' Choice by The New York Times and was a Top Teen Pick by the American Library Association. Translated into five languages, it also inspired a sequel, Attack of the Theater People. A former professional opera singer, Acito regularly performs "singing commentaries" on National Public Radio's "All Things Considered" and has written about theater for The New York Times, Playbill and American Theatre.
Jay Kuo (Music, Lyrics and Book) marks his fourth musical with Allegiance. His composing career began at Stanford where he wrote and produced Upwardly Mobile, a coming of age story. Kuo's second musical comedy, Insignificant Others, played from 2006-2008 in San Francisco at the New Conservatory Theatre Center, Zeum and Theatre 39 and won the Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award for Best Original Script. His third work, Worlds Apart, about star-crossed lovers in the 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. Kuo has also been part of the producing teams of many Broadway shows and national tours with an emphasis on the use of social media.
Lorenzo Thione (Book) 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. Thione is also a serial entrepreneur, theater producer and community activist and was the co-founder of Powerset, Inc., an internet search company that was acquired by Microsoft in 2008 and whose technology was subsequently re-launched as part of Bing. He is the co-founder, chairman and president of Artify It, an internet-based startup that is bringing high-quality contemporary art within the reach of everyone. 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 StartOut and of several companies in the U.S. and abroad.
Stafford Arima (Director) previously directed Ace at the Globe. He was nominated for an Olivier Award for his direction of The West End premiere of Ragtime. He recently directed the first revival of the infamous Broadway musical Carrie (MCC Theater). His other work includes Altar Boyz (Outstanding Off Broadway Musical Outer Critics Circle Award and seven Drama Desk Award nominations), The Tin Pan Alley Rag (nominated for an Outer Critics Circle Award as Outstanding Off Broadway Musical, Roundabout Theatre Company), Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living In Paris (Stratford Shakespeare Festival), Candide (San Francisco Symphony), The Secret Garden (World AIDS Day concert), Bright Lights, Big City (Prince Music Theater), A Tribute to Stephen Sondheim (Boston Pops), Guys and Dolls (Paper Mill Playhouse), Abyssinia (Goodspeed Musicals), Bowfire (PBS television special), The Princess and the Black-Eyed Pea (San Diego Repertory Theatre), Children's Letters to God (Off Broadway) and Marry Me a Little (Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park). His projects in development include A Separate Peace (based on John Knowles' novel) and Bare.
Andrew Palermo (Choreography) previously choreographed the Globe production of Ace. He is the Founding Artistic Director of dre.dance, an American contemporary dance company. In addition to concert dance, Palermo's stage direction and choreography credits include Kristin Chenoweth at Carnegie Hall, The Frank Loesser Songbook with New York Philharmonic (Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts), The Mikado (Carnegie Hall), Lyrics & Lyricists (92nd Street Y), The Aluminum Show (international tour), V-Day (Urban Stages), Journey to the West (37 Arts), Great Joy (New Amsterdam Theatre), Esther Demsack (Summer Play Festival/The Public Theater), DanceBreak 2011, Ace (Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis), Bright Lights, Big City (Prince Music Theater), Vices (Theatre Aspen), Elton John and Tim Rice's Aida (Music Theatre of Wichita), Man of La Mancha (Music Circus), For the Record: Paul Thomas Anderson (Rockwell: Table & Stage), The Two Gentlemen of Verona (University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music), Hairspray (American Musical and Dramatic Academy Los Angeles), She Loves Me (Westminster Choir College) and Hair and The Wild Party (Wichita State University). He is also working on the upcoming Off Broadway production of The Other Josh Cohen.
Lynne Shankel (Music Supervision, Arrangements and Orchestrations) has written orchestrations and arrangements for San Francisco Symphony featuring Bonnie Raitt, The Dallas Opera Orchestra featuring George Hearn and Tony Bennett's famed 80th birthday celebration at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles. She was music director/arranger for the Broadway production of Cry-Baby as well as the resident music supervisor for the Tony Award-winning revival of Company, for which she conducted the Grammy Award-nominated cast album. She was music director/arranger for the Off Broadway hit Altar Boyz, for which she received a Drama Desk Award nomination for Outstanding Orchestrations. Shankel was music supervisor for the San Francisco premiere of The World of Nick Adams at (Davies Symphony Hall). Her other Broadway credits include Disney's Beauty and the Beast, You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown and The Lion King. Her Off Broadway credits include Vanities, Altar Boyz, The Thing About Men, Summer of '42 (music direction, vocal arrangements and orchestrations), The Cocoanuts and Milk and Honey. Shankel has worked regionally on Band Geeks! (Goodspeed Musicals), Pop! (Yale Repertory Theatre), Cry-Baby (La Jolla Playhouse), Party Come Here and The Opposite of Sex (Williamstown Theatre Festival), Vanities (Pasadena Playhouse, TheatreWorks), Princesses (The 5th Avenue Theatre, Goodspeed), Tom Jones (North Shore Music Theatre), Summer of '42 (Goodspeed, TheatreWorks), Twelfth Night (Long Wharf Theatre) and Rough Crossing and Camino Real (Hartford Stage). Her recordings include New York City Christmas (Sh-K-Boom Records), Betty Buckley: Heart to Heart (KO Records), Altar Boyz (Sh-K-Boom), Summer of '42 (Jay Records) and Lauren Kennedy: Here and Now (PS Classics).
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.