Lea Salonga, George Takei Led ALLEGIANCE Headed for Broadway?
With music and lyrics by Jay Kuo (Insignificant Others, Worlds Apart) and book by Kuo and Thione, "Allegiance" is a family drama that explores love, loss and heroism during the Japanese American confinement in 1942 of approximately 110,000 Japanese nationals and Japanese Americans in no more than 465 cramped barracks in Wyoming.
The musical received a staged reading in February 2010, and according to The Philippine Star's Funfare, eyes heading to Broadway in the near future. The cast will feature Lea Salonga and George Takei, reprising the roles that they created. Also reportedly joining the cast are Paolo Montalban and Alan Ariano.
With a career spanning five decades, George Takei is best known for his founding role in the acclaimed television series "Star Trek," in which he played Hikaru Sulu, helmsman of the USS Enterprise. Takei starred in three seasons of "Star Trek" and later reprised his iconic role in six movies and several video games. More recently, Takei won over a new generation of fans with his recurring guest role on the sci-fi drama "Heroes" as Kaito Nakamura, the father of time traveler Hiro Nakamura. In July 2009 and February and October 2010, Takei and Tony Award winner Lea Salonga participated in readings of Allegiance in Los Angeles and New York. Takei has joined the cast of Nickelodeon's brand-new live-action comedy series, "Supah Ninjas!," premiering in April 2011. He will star next in the new film Larry Crowne opposite Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts, which will be released theatrically nationwide in July 2011 by Universal Pictures. Takei has also lent his voiceover talent to hundreds of characters in film, television, video games and commercials including Mulan, Mulan II, "The Simpsons," "Scooby-Doo and the Samurai Sword," "Avatar: The Last Airbender," "The Smurfs" and "Star Wars: The Clone Wars." Adding to his body of work, Takei has also provided narration on many projects including the 2009 PBS series "The National Parks: America's Best Idea," the 2006 Peabody Award-winning radio documentary "Crossing East," centered on the history of Asian American immigration to the United States, and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (cassette), which garnered the performer a 1987 Grammy Award nomination for Best Spoken Word or Non-Musical Recording.
Lea Salonga is a Filipina singer/actress best known for originating the role of Kim in the West End production of Miss Saigon and bringing it to Broadway, winning the Tony Award, Olivier Award and many 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 at London's O2 Arena (recently released on DVD and Blu-ray.) Honored with an appointment as a United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization Goodwill Ambassador in October 2010, Salonga has vowed to act as an advocate for the Youth and United Nations Global Alliance initiative led by the FAO. Salonga wowed audiences and critics alike in 2010 in her first ever cabaret show at New York's famed Café Carlyle and will return in the summer of 2011 for another engagement. Salonga also shined in Rodgers and Hammerstein's Flower Drum Song, which received multiple award nominations and wins. Her feature film credits include the singing voice of Princess Jasmine in Aladdin and Fa Mulan in Mulan and Mulan II.
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 army regiment; and younger son Sam yearns for acceptance in America. 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. For more information about Allegiance, visit www.allegiancemusical.com.