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Premiere of Allegiance Musical feat. Salonga, Leung & Takei

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musicaltheater1
Broadway Legend
joined:10/19/05
Update:

Subscription tickets for The Old Globe which includes the world premiere of Allegiance - A New Musical are now on sale. Call the box office.

Single tickets will go on sale in July.
http://www.theoldglobe.org/tickets/production.aspx?performanceNumber=9748

"ALLEGIANCE, A NEW BROADWAY MUSICAL" - Jay Kuo & Lorenzo Thione's brand new musical feat. Lea Salonga, George Takei & Telly Leung (additional cast be announced)

The Old Globe Theatre at Balboa Park, San Diego, CA
Preview performances: Sept. 6 – Sept. 15; Opening night: Sunday, Sept. 16 at 7 PM

Musical's website: http://www.allegiancemusical.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/allegiancemusical



"I love acting. It is so much more real than life." Oscar Wilde
"After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music." Aldous Huxley
Updated On: 3/27/12 at 02:36 AM
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LizzieCurry
Broadway Legend
joined:3/7/05
"Don't patronize me, alright?" - BroadwayStar4
ChildrenwillListen
Featured Actor
joined:3/12/12
The allegiance website is not working
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LizzieCurry
Broadway Legend
joined:3/7/05
"Don't patronize me, alright?" - BroadwayStar4
amelourdes
Swing
joined:11/14/11
Anyone buy tickets? Just want to know how much it is or if they're ever going to put them online or if they're forcing you to call their box office. Thanks!
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musicaltheater1
Broadway Legend
joined:10/19/05
I apologize about the links above. Everytime I copy these things to this board, those "?" show up. I fixed it.

The end of July is the estimate date for single seat ticket sale. The group tickets are currently on sale.

Estimate prices for single seats: +- $45 to $103
"I love acting. It is so much more real than life." Oscar Wilde
"After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music." Aldous Huxley
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Wildcard
Broadway Legend
joined:6/21/06
Previews begin tomorrow. Is anyone here seeing it? I have tickets to see it in a couple of weeks. Based on the songs from their website, it seems promising. Thoughts?
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PositivelyEmerald
Stand-by
joined:7/24/11
I'm seeing it tomorrow! Very excited! I will post my thoughts after.

Ticket wise, mine was only 20$ for row H of the orchestra since I bought it thorough the old globes 20under30 deal. Anyone under 30 will pay only pay 20$, you then have to show an ID with proof of age to pick up your tickets before the show
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PositivelyEmerald
Stand-by
joined:7/24/11

Just got back from seeing it. All I can say is WOW. It was brilliant. Takei, Salonga, and Leung were fantastic. I also thought whoever played the father (his name escapes me now) was brilliant. One of the best ensembles of a show i've ever seen. The techinical aspect was very interesting, brillant really. I would not be surprised if this show/actors racks up some Tony's!


As a side note, so many Evita people there! I just happened to wear an Evita shirt, and a whole family of performers who were in the original broadway cast, and tours chatted with me, as well as one of the producers of the current revival.


P.S
for the Evita fans, the producer said Ricky is contracted though January.

AlfieByrne
Stand-by
joined:8/12/09
Unfortunately, I was pretty disappointed overall. The show started about 20 minutes late due to technical difficulties, but once it started, it seemed to go on without any major glitches.

As typical with any show dealing with "history," it features George Takei (as old Sammy) meeting a young woman who looks familiar to him. And he tells the story of his family's struggle during the period of Japanese/Japanese-American internment.

I really don't know how if the budget is affected by the fact that it's produced at the Old Globe, but it seems like they don't believe in having many physical sets. The projection design was heavily used in the first half of the show (the train departing to Wyoming, etc.) The lighting design was pretty standard, while there seemed to be times when the orchestra overwhelms the performers.

The music is pretty good. The orchestration adds a tinge of that "Oriental" sound without being too blatant like Miss Saigon. I was surprised how lush the orchestra sounded.

My main problem is with the book. Everything is happy-go-lucky until the Pearl Harbor attack. There is an interesting song "Gaman" about diligence and patience as they are on the train to Wyoming; but there was no sign (or emphasis, I should say) on how much they truly had to give up. No indication of the really ugly racism that the Japanese people faced, either, besides the occasional callous treatment by the U.S. guards at the station/camp. Even the 10-minute prologue for Les Mis that attempts to cover the first few hundred pages of Hugo's novel probably did more justice than in Allegiance.


My other problem was in regards to the characterization. It was all black-and-white. Sammy, the son of the Kimura family (played handsomely by Telly Leung) was cardboard cutout of how an "ideal" patriotic American should act, despite their placement in the internment camps. He was clear from the beginning that he showed absolute no interest in siding with his Japanese heritage. He was unconditionally an American. His father (played by Paul Nakauchi; he was one of the stronger performer in the cast) was quite the opposite. The bipolarity of this family dynamic was way too simplistic for me to find believable. Question 27 and 28 on the Loyalty Questionnaire wasn't something people answered instantly. Those questions created so much fear and uncertainty of their future; none of which is present in the show.

In reality, the internees essentially took the initiative and started to run their own cafeteria, schools, and other trades in response to the absolute poor condition of the camp. They even managed to start farming in the barren, dry wasteland. They seemed to hint at this incredible communal lifestyle that the Japanese have created for themselves with the baseball number, but it essentially becomes a meaningless big production number to showcase Telly Leung.

***SPOILER*****

The most dramatic moment comes when Sammy decides to leave the family after coming back from the war. But either that scene is poorly written with cliched phrases or poorly acted/shouted that it made me cringe. I found the ending with the older Sammy (George Takei) receiving his Purple Heart back from his niece to be a nice way to end, fortunately.


****END SPOILER****


All in all, I don't think the writers of the show truly understands what it meant to be a racial/ethnic minority living in the United States back then. They get caught up with creating a false drama made out of caricature roles along with an unnecessary love story that doesn't even fully develop by the end. (Of course you need a "nice white girl" role in the story when you're dealing with race...)

Lea Salonga sings beautifully, as expected. She should've refrained from speaking words on stage, however. (I'm hoping her acting will get better as the run goes on). She had a solo number in the first act that received rapturous applause. That gave me goosebumps.

George Takei's role is pretty minor. He is adorable and likable. But that's about it.

The ensemble was fantastic, actually.

Hopefully, the book can change drastically by the time it opens on Broadway.
moncruzz
Chorus Member
joined:10/20/09
OMG please don't be another Flower Drum Song.... I still have high hopes for this show. I've been postponing a New York trip until this opens on Bway
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musicaltheater1
Broadway Legend
joined:10/19/05
The score was beautiful and the cast amazing. Allegiance has potentials to be a good musical. That was just a preview so I'm sure it'll still go through changes.

I quite enjoyed the preview and thought it was a powerful and emotional production but needs a few tweaks to make it tighter.

1. The relationship between Sammy and Hannah just quickly dissipated. Seems to be a waste of the build up. Their songs were beautiful. The duet was way better than the workshop's.

2. Sammy and Tatsuo's character should be resolved at the end!!

3. Kei Kimura's character was a tad too vanilla. It needs some "umph".

4. The baseball dance scene needs to be improved. Too cliche perhaps?

5. It needs a longer overture!

6. "Higher" is a beautiful song but the it needs something better to lead into it.







"I love acting. It is so much more real than life." Oscar Wilde
"After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music." Aldous Huxley
Updated On: 9/9/12 at 12:14 AM
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Wildcard
Broadway Legend
joined:6/21/06
Some scenes from Allegiance…
Allegiance highlights
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Wicked Fanatic
Broadway Star
joined:3/31/09
I saw the final preview last night and I loved it! Some of the issues that are mentioned by AlfieByrne have been or are being addressed. The score was a surprise as my friend and I both kept waiting for a bad song and it didn't happen. It's not Sondheim but I thought Jay Kuo captured the essence of the era and the Japanese musical touches within songs. Lea Salonga's I Want song, "Higher" soared and it will be a song I'm sure she'll be performing when I see her in concert at SCFTA in Costa Mesa.

Choreography by Andrew Palermo was really good. Didn't expect there to be as much as there was.

Loved the curtain which is shown here. It changes projections to feature elements from the story. Yes, the set is simple but typical of the Old Globe which uses panels and many projections. Sure this will change if it goes to Broadway but it's not going yet. Talked with George Takei's husband and he said many more investors are needed before it will happen. Will be extended one more week at the end of October which hasn't been announced yet.

Cast is exceptional; no weak links!


Finally, here's what I wrote at the FB "Allegiance" website for my recommendation:

A is for AMAZING and AWESOME which is what this new American musical is.

L is for Telly LEUNG who shines brightly as Sammy Kimura.

L is for LEA Salonga whose musical artistry soars in “Higher”.

E is for the deeply EMOTIONAL impact I felt.

G is for GEORGE Takei who was GREAT as Sam Kimura and Ojii-San, but what else would you expect from him; he’s a star!

I is for INTELLIGENCE which is expressed in the superb book by Marc Acito, Jay Kuo and Lorenzo Thione.

A is for ALLIE Trimm, a musical theatre star on the rise.

N is for Paul NAKAUCHI who gave Tatsuo Kimura dignity and honor.

C is for the entire CAST who gave me a ***** night of musical theatre magic.

E is for EVERYONE ELSE at the Old Globe who helped put this magnificent show together which hopefully will find its way to Broadway!

BREAK A LEG ON OPENING NIGHT!
Dessie
Understudy
joined:7/4/12
Just curious
Does Old Globe put up a big percent for shows done there?
grumpyoptimist
Featured Actor
joined:2/26/11
Dessie,

Here's a really good story on what happened on Allegiance funding

AN ENTERPRISING WAY TO RAISE FUNDS FOR MUSICAL
BWNUT
Stand-by
joined:9/26/07
Saw first preview and I agree. It's a good show and with a little more tweaking it can be Broadway-worthy. The tech values (lighting, set, costumes, pacing, etch) were topnotch. Although, not sure if if it's the sound system, but I had a hard time understanding some of the spoken dialogue. Good acting all around but, as mentioned here, character development can be sharper. It held my attention and kept me engaged throughout. As a previous poster commented, ""Lea Salonga sings beautifully, as expected. She should've refrained from speaking words on stage, however. (I'm hoping her acting will get better as the run goes on)..." Maybe due to first night jitters, she seemed to have a nervous energy that made her line delivery tense, over excited and unnaturally high-pitched. She tended to yell in emotional scenes. I'm sure she'll get better as she settles in for the show's run. Her solo number was well-sung though and could very well be the 11 o'clock number of the show. The show's pace was fluid with no awkward transition from spoken dialogue to song numbers (my pet peeve for musicals). Music was lovely with no clunker. All in all, a good night of theater and well worth the time and money.



Updated On: 9/20/12 at 12:37 AM
Dessie
Understudy
joined:7/4/12
Thanks for link!
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Wicked Fanatic
Broadway Star
joined:3/31/09
Ditto from me for the really good article about funding. Had no idea George Takei did initial funding with IndieGoGo and amazed at what he collected. Looks like major funding is also coming from Sing Out Louise Productions which is run by the book/composer, Jay Kuo and his business partner Lorenzo Thione who also worked on the book. See SOLP is based in San Francisco. Maybe they'll take it there for another tryout as happened with last year's "The Scottsboro Boys" which opened at the Old Globe and then went to ACT in San Francisco.
Dessie
Understudy
joined:7/4/12
I'm just a bit surprised/naive that Old Globe wants so much enhancement money to stage something. It would make it difficult for anyone but a deep pocketed producer to do anything- and yet so many great shows have emerged from there.
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Wicked Fanatic
Broadway Star
joined:3/31/09
First review from the North County Times is in and it's spot on, exactly how I felt seeing this. Points out the many strong elements and those that need work. Still can't get the Hiroshima scene out of my head which she described perfectly in her review. Google Mike Masaoka who is the only real character in the musical played superbly by Paolo Montalban.

http://www.nctimes.com/entertainment/arts-and-theatre/theatre/theater-review-allegiance-is-moving-thought-provoking-story-of-patriotism/article_0ae3837f-ed7a-558c-ae56-216a119f339e.html


ETA the review from San Diego's leading newspaper--Applause! Applause!

http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/sep/20/allegiance/?page=1#article


Updated On: 9/20/12 at 02:23 PM
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Wildcard
Broadway Legend
joined:6/21/06
Some spoilers below

I saw the show over the weekend and thought that it was beautiful and stirring. Broadway worthy? Definitely. Not just for the talent involved but also for the story it has to tell. I also left the theater with some songs still stuck in my head. It's been rare with recent productions that they would have songs memorable enough to sing to myself afterwards. The stand-outs were "Gaman," "Higher," "The Mountain's Heart," and "Second Chances."

The sets, lighting, and costumes were just right. Scenes flowed fluidly from one to the next. The sets were understandably sparse due to the Globe's limitations but they were effective. How they handled the Hiroshima bombing was brilliant and chilling. I think they could have have added more atmosphere to the war scene in Europe. In this sense, I think "War Horse" portrayed the reality of war better. I was impressed that the story moved quickly with just the right amount of pacing.

The cast was very good except for some minor quibbles. Lea Salonga was in top form. I can understand how some people may not like her acting choices. She has a very "theatrical" manner about her acting. I personally did not find any fault with her performance. I think that should Allegiance make it to a bigger Broadway house, she'll be just fine. She acts to reach the last row of the balcony. Not in a bad way -- just not as natural one might hope to see in a small theater like the Old Globe. Then again, she’s the cast member with the Tony Award. When she is singing, she is divine. Every word is impeccably enunciated and sang. "Higher" soars.

Paul Nakauchi as the father was perfectly cast. He was stern but still lovable. Michael K Lee as Frankie has the right amount of swagger to be confident without being arrogant. You would want to be his friend. Allie Trimm as Nurse Hanna did her job well. She sang beautifully and vocally blended in her duets nicely. However, in the grander scheme of things, her character was not that important. I wish that the kisses between her and young Sam were never shown. It should have been played out as something that could have been but could never be because of segregation laws. I think that would have been more tragic than something going on between Sam and her and then never having the relationship develop further as it does now in the story. Also, in the second act when Sam wonders why he hasn't received any letters, I wish it would have been a duet between Lea's character and Hanna. They are equally important women in Sam's life and this would have avoided cluing us in to the events later on in the show even more than it does now.

Paolo Montalban as Mike Masaoka could have been better. He was vocally proficient but I did not like his portrayal of the character as a mousy fellow. I do not know much about the real Masaoka, whether he was like that in real life. His portrayal seemed more like a caricature. In the production, I would have wanted him to have been more confident and charismatic. Therefore, it wouldn't be unbelievable for someone like Sammy to believe and hold on to Mike's every word. It would have also made older Sam's discoveries about Mike later on in the play more duplicitous and tragic.

George Takei was a revelation. Initially, I believe he was only to bookend the show. Whoever thought of integrating George into the main flashback story should be congratulated. As the grandfather, he provided lightness and humor to the role. As the older Sam Kimura, he provided heart. He acted his scenes brilliantly. People were sobbing at the end due to his performance. After leaving the show, I couldn't talk about George's performance without shedding tears again. I would have never thought that an artichoke would have such an effect on the audience.

Now as to what I consider to be the show's biggest flaw… Terry Leung as young Sam. Telly is a capable performer and a good singer. I'm not the biggest fan of his voice but it's not bad. He actually didn't perform poorly. In fact he was good. I just think that he was miscast as young Sam and it could have been better. The show is his story and the one whose journey we go on. I didn't believe Telly in the leading man role. The role needed someone oozing with charm that if he told the other prisoners/soldiers to jump to their deaths, they would have done it without any questions. I’m curious how his understudy would have fared in the role, or someone like Michael K Lee or Jason Tam as Sam.

Overall, it was a very good show and would recommend others to see it. I would love to see it again, either in San Diego, in New York or in a subsequent tour.
KThaddy
Swing
joined:9/26/12
L
Updated On: 9/26/12 at 02:14 AM
Born in a Ditch
Chorus Member
joined:6/1/10
I have not seen it, but I did hear some rumblings about it moving to Broadway.
Tweed2
Swing
joined:1/11/09
The L.A. Times review is not great---unfortunately the review that matters out there...

http://latimes.com/entertainment/arts/culture/la-et-cm-old-globe-review-20120921,0,2996223.story

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