Lea Salonga, George Takei Lead ALLEGIANCE Workshop; Begins Today
Executive Producer Lou Spisto previously announced The Old Globe's presentation of a developmental workshop of Allegiance - A New American Musical. Created by Jay Kuo (music, lyrics and book) and Lorenzo Thione (book), the original musical tells the story of a Japanese American family forced into an internment camp during World War II. Directed by Stafford Arima (Altar Boyz, West End premiere of Ragtime) with musical direction and arrangements by Lynne Shankel (Cry-Baby, Company) and choreography by Christopher Gattelli (South Pacific, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown), the industry-only workshop will take place in New York City on July 27 and 28. Tony Award-winning actress Lea Salonga (Miss Saigon, Les Misérables), television and film icon George Takei ("Star Trek," "Heroes") and Telly Leung ("Glee," Rent) have all participated in past workshops and are expected to return to their roles in July. The creative team includes Donyale Werle (scenic design) and David Zinn (costume design).
Spisto commented, "I am particularly excited to be working with this talented creative team as we join forces to continue the process of developing this important musical. This is certainly a story that should be seen in San Diego and will have special resonance with our audiences and all Californians. We are aiming for a production in the 2012 season."
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.
Allegiance - A New American Musical is produced by special arrangement with Sing Out, Louise! Productions. For more information about Allegiance, visit www.allegiancemusical.com.
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 has been a part of the producing team of numerous productions on and off Broadway, which include SLAVA'S SNOWSHOW (Tony Award nomination), American Idiot (Tony Award nomination), Elling and this season's Catch Me If You Can. As the producer for Allegiance, Thione brings a fresh and creative perspective to the challenges of theater production, drawing from his experience as startup entrepreneur and social media and marketing expert. Thione is the cofounder of Powerset, Inc., an innovative search startup founded in 2005 with the vision of bringing to consumers a more natural and effective type of internet search than conventional keyword search. Microsoft Corp. acquired Powerset in 2008 to complement and innovate its own search engine, LiveSearch, and subsequently relaunched it as Bing. A dedicated community activist, having cofounded and helped grow StartOut, a national non-profit organization dedicated to fostering and developing entrepreneurship within the LGBT community, Thione serves also on the board of trustees of American Conservatory Theater and of Reason To Party, a non-profit dedicated to improving the lives of underserved Bay Area residents by raising money for charity groups through events held in collaboration with local businesses. 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.
Stafford Arima was nominated for an Olivier Award for his direction of the West End premiere of the musical Ragtime. His production received eight nominations including Best New Musical. He also directed the critically acclaimed musical Altar Boyz, which received the Outstanding Off Broadway Musical Outer Critics Circle Award, was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Musical and ran over 2,000 performances Off Broadway. His other credits include 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), A Tribute to Sondheim (Boston Pops), Guys and Dolls (Paper Mill Playhouse), Bowfire (PBS television special), Abyssinia (Goodspeed Musicals), Chef's Theater (The Supper Club), Ace (The Old Globe), The Princess and the Black-Eyed Pea (San Diego Repertory Theatre) and Children's Letters to God (Off Broadway). Arima is currently developing the musicals Carrie (book by Lawrence D. Cohen, music by Michael Gore, lyrics by Dean Pitchford), A Separate Peace, based on John Knowles' novel (book by Warren Leight, score by Todd Almond) and Somewhere in Time, based on the film and novel by Richard Matheson. Arima's Broadway credits as Associate Director include A Class Act and Seussical. He graduated from York University in Toronto where he was the recipient of the Dean's Prize for Excellence in Creative Work.
Lynne Shankel has written orchestrations and arrangements for the San Francisco Symphony (featuring Bonnie Raitt), Dallas Opera Orchestra (featuring George Hearn) and for 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-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 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 Musicals), 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).
Choreographer Christopher Gattelli was nominated for a Tony Award for his work on musical staging for the Lincoln Center Theater revival of South Pacific, for which he also received an Outer Critics Circle Award nomination. His other Broadway credits include Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Sunday in the Park with George, 13, The Ritz, Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me and High Fidelity. Gattelli's West End/London credits include Silence! The Musical, Sunday in the Park with George and tick, tick... BOOM! His Off Broadway credits include Altar Boyz (Lucille Lortel and Joe A. Callaway Awards, Drama Desk Award nomination), Bat Boy: The Musical (Lucille Lortel Award), tick, tick... BOOM!, 10 Million Miles, Adrift in Macao and I Love You Because. Gattelli's regional credits include Jim Henson's Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas and Radio Girl (director/choreographer, Goodspeed Musicals) and The Baker's Wife (Paper Mill Playhouse). His additional credits include the Chess concert with Josh Groban, Hair concert with Jennifer Hudson and "The Rosie O'Donnell Show" (resident choreographer for three seasons). Gattelli is currently working on the La Jolla Playhouse world premiere of Little Miss Sunshine.
Scenic designer Donyale Werle received the Henry Hewes Design Award and an Outer Critics Circle Award nomination for the Broadway production of Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. Her Off Broadway credits include Peter and the Starcatcher (New York Theatre Workshop), Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (The Public Theater), Broke-ology (Lincoln Center Theater), Jollyship the Whizbang (Ars Nova), Dance Dance Revolution (Les Freres Corbusier) and Lower Ninth (The Flea Theater). Her regional credits include Julliard, Magic Theatre, Marin Theatre Company, American Conservatory Theater and Two River Theater Company. She is the co-chair of Broadway Green Alliance's Pre-/Post-Production Committee.
Costume designer David Zinn's Broadway credits include Good People, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, In the Next Room or the vibrator play (Tony and Drama Desk Award nominations), Xanadu and A Tale of Two Cities. His Off Broadway credits include costumes for Other Desert Cities (Lincoln Center Theater), Kin (Playwrights Horizons), sets for The Pride (MCC Theater), The Coward (LCT3) and The Sound and the Fury (Elevator Repair Service, New York Theatre Workshop) and sets and costumes for Middletown (Vineyard Theatre), Circle Mirror Transformation (Playwrights Horizons) and The Four of Us, The Face and Back Back Back (Manhattan Theatre Club). Recent theater and opera credits include sets and costumes at American Repertory Theater, Arena Stage, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, A Contemporary Theatre, Guthrie Theater, Intiman Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, Mark Taper Forum, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Yale Repertory Theatre, Curtis Institute of Music, The Glimmerglass Festival, LA Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Santa Fe Opera, New York City Opera and Washington National Opera. Zinn has been nominated for Lortel, Hewes and Helen Hayes Awards and received the 2008 Obie Award for Sustained Achievement of Costume and Set Design.
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.
Telly Leung's Broadway credits include Flower Drum Song (2002 revival, starring Lea Salonga), Stephen Sondheim's Pacific Overtures (2005 revival) and the final company of Rent. He originated the role of Boq in the Chicago company of Wicked. His other favorite credits include Angel in Rent at the Hollywood Bowl (directed by Neil Patrick Harris), Song Liling in M. Butterfly (Philadelphia Theatre Company), Godspell (Paper Mill Playhouse), Bernstein: Mass (Baltimore Symphony, Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall), Give It Up! by Douglas Carter Beane (Dallas Theater Center, world premiere), Harold Bride in Titanic and Barnaby in Hello, Dolly! (The Muny), Simon in Jesus Christ Superstar (Music Circus, directed by Stafford Arima), Thuy in Miss Saigon (Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera) and Lun Tha in The King and I with Lou Diamond Philips (North Carolina Theatre). Leung has been featured on the recordings for Flower Drum Song (DRG Records), Pacific Overtures (PS Classics), Wall to Wall Sondheim (Live from Symphony Space), Dear Edwina (PS Classics) and the Grammy-nominated Bernstein: Mass with Marin Alsop (Sony/Naxos). His television and film credits include "Glee" (Wes, Dalton Academy Warblers), "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" and Rent: Filmed Live on Broadway. Leung holds a B.F.A. from the Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama.
LOCATION: 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.
CALENDAR: Rafta, Rafta... (3/19-4/24), Groundswell (3/12-4/17), August: Osage County (5/7-6/12), Life of Riley (4/30-6/5), Much Ado About Nothing (5/29-9/24), The Tempest (6/5-9/25), Amadeus (6/12-9/22), Hershey Felder in Maestro: The Art of Leonard Bernstein (7/15-8/28), Engaging Shaw (7/29-9/4).
The Tony Award-winning Old Globe is one of the country's leading professional regional theaters and has stood as San Diego's flagship arts institution for 75 years. Under the direction of Executive Producer Louis G. Spisto, The Old Globe produces a year-round season of 15 productions of classic, contemporary and new works on its three Balboa Park stages: the 600-seat Old Globe Theatre and the 250-seat Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre, which are both part of The Old Globe's Conrad Prebys Theatre Center, and the 612-seat outdoor Lowell Davies Festival Theatre, home of its internationally renowned Shakespeare Festival. More than 250,000 people attend Globe productions annually and participate in the theater's education and community programs. Numerous world premieres such as The Full Monty, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, A Catered Affair, and the annual holiday musical, Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, have been developed at The Old Globe and have gone on to enjoy highly successful runs on Broadway and at regional theaters across the country.