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‘Allegiance’ Announces Canadian Film Screening, 2/19

January 19th, 2017 Comments off
Lea Salonga and George Takei in 'Allegiance' (photo: Matthew Murphy via The Broadway Blog.)

Lea Salonga and George Takei in ‘Allegiance’ (photo: Matthew Murphy via The Broadway Blog.)

After a successful North-American premiere, Cineplex Events brings George Takei’s (Star Trek, Heroes) Broadway musical Allegiance back to Canadian theatres for an encore on Sunday, February 19 at 6:30 p.m. local time. This date is the 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066, known as the Day of Remembrance, which marked the beginning of the forced relocation and internment of 120,000 Japanese Americans during WWII.

“George Takei’s Allegiance: The Broadway Musical On The Big Screen” will begin with an exclusive introduction from Takei and immediately move into the musical’s presentation. After the feature, audiences will also be treated to behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with George Takei and the rest of the cast and creative team.

Participating Theatres:

  • Toronto – Cineplex Cinemas Yonge-Dundas and VIP
  • Vancouver – The Park Theatre
  • Halifax – Cineplex Cinemas Park Lane
  • Ottawa – Cineplex Odeon South Keys Cinemas
  • Calgary – Cineplex Odeon Eau Claire Market Cinemas
Telly Leung (center) and the cast of 'Allegiance' (photo: Matthew Murphy via The Broadway Blog.)

Telly Leung (center) and the cast of ‘Allegiance’ (photo: Matthew Murphy via The Broadway Blog.)

“At a time when echoes of the interment ring once again far too loud in our political discourse, there’s never been a better moment for the story of Allegiance to find new audiences,” said star Takei. “It is a true testament to the power and the relevance of this story that so many people attended its premiere in December, and it is only appropriate that even more people will be able to witness it on such an important day as February 19, 2017. The Day of Remembrance is a day of commemoration, of reflection, and of learning, and I hope Allegiance can play an important role in its celebration, this year, and for many years to come.”

Allegiance illuminates one of American history’s lesser known chapters as it tells the story of Sam Kimura (Takei), transported back nearly six decades to when his younger self (Telly Leung, Godspell, Glee) and his sister Kei (Tony Award-winner Lea Salonga, Miss SaigonMulan) fought to stay connected to their heritage, their family and themselves after Japanese Americans were wrongfully imprisoned during World War II.

“The response from the audience who attended the premiere has been overwhelming. While its Broadway run may have been cut short, the story of Allegiance truly speaks to audiences everywhere and we are honored that its legacy continues, through this encore with Fathom Events and beyond,” said Allegiance producer Lorenzo Thione. “Moreover, we are excited that the story, music and message of Allegiance will expand its reach to more people, cities, and even countries, continuing to move, educate and inspire, truly fulfilling George’s legacy.”

Tickets are now on sale for “George Takei’s Allegiance: The Broadway Musical On The Big Screen” and can be purchased online by visiting Cineplex.com/Events or at participating theatre box offices.

For more information visit www.AllegianceMusical.com/movie.

 

 

 

Last Chance: ‘Allegiance’ Announces Feb. 14 Closing Date

January 7th, 2016 Comments off
Telly Leung (center) and the cast of 'Allegiance' (photo: Matthew Murphy via The Broadway Blog.)

Telly Leung (center) and the cast of ‘Allegiance’ (photo: Matthew Murphy via The Broadway Blog.)

It’s the end of the road for Allegiance, the new musical inspired by George Takei’s experience in a Japanese internment camp during World War II. The production will play its final performance on Broadway on Sunday, February 14, 2016. Performances began at the Longacre Theatre (220 West 48th Street) on October 6, 2015 and the production officially opened on November 8, 2015. At the time of its closing it will have played 37 previews and 113 regular performances. Producers also announced a national tour and international productions are in the works. Allegiance had its world premiere in a record-breaking engagement at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego in 2012.

In a statement, producers for Allegiance said: “Bringing Allegiance to Broadway was not only a labor of love for our entire creative team and this company of extraordinary artists, but it was also a work with deep commitment to social relevance and impact. We are so proud to have brought George Takei’s very personal family history to the stage and – in the process – to have surfaced a chapter of history that was painfully unknown to so many.”

“By its last performance Allegiance will have been seen on Broadway by approximately 120,000 people, a number that eerily echoes the number of Japanese Americans who were directly impacted by the events that inspired our musical, and whose rights were trampled in the name of pure fear and intolerance. We look forward to continuing to share this essential story — more relevant than ever, given today’s headlines — and this moving score with theatergoers across the country and around the world for many years to come. Audiences who have experienced Allegiance on Broadway have left the theater transformed, uplifted, enlightened, inspired, informed, and entertained. We remain committed to finding more ways in which the true impact of Allegiance will continue.”

It was also recently announced that Allegiance has been preserved with a Broadway cast recording produced by Lynne Shankel & Joel Moss and distributed by Broadway Records / Yellow Sound. The album is scheduled to be released worldwide on February 5, 2016, and is available for presale at BroadwayRecords.com.

Click here to read our review of Allegiance and take a sneak peek below…

Categories: The Buzz Tags: ,

Review: ‘Allegiance’

November 27th, 2015 Comments off
Telly Leung (center) and the cast of 'Allegiance' (photo: Matthew Murphy via The Broadway Blog.)

Telly Leung (center) and the cast of ‘Allegiance’ (photo: Matthew Murphy via The Broadway Blog.)

Allegiance, the new Broadway musical currently playing at the Longacre Theatre, isn’t perfect. But neither is America’s track record when it comes to minority populations. Our country is currently in heated debates over our Muslim communities, some even calling for mandatory “databases,” in response to the recent ISIS attacks in Paris.

“The sense we get now is that it’s not only worse for Arabs and Muslims,” said Abed Ayoub, national policy director at the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, in a recent article on CNN. “The sense we get now is that it’s worse for all immigrant and brown communities as a whole.”

This fearful temperament shows that, yes, history has the potential to repeat itself. Two months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt issued an executive order that would relocate “all persons of Japanese ancestry, both citizens and aliens, inland, outside of the Pacific military zone. The objectives of the order were to prevent espionage and to protect persons of Japanese descent from harm at the hands of Americans who had strong anti-Japanese attitudes,” according to the National Archives.

Lea Salonga and George Takei in 'Allegiance' (photo: Matthew Murphy via The Broadway Blog.)

Lea Salonga and George Takei in ‘Allegiance’ (photo: Matthew Murphy via The Broadway Blog.)

This dark stain in American history, and the personal experiences of George Takei, serve as inspiration for Allegiance, which follows the journey of siblings Kei (Lea Salonga) and Sammy (Telly Leung) Kimura, as they are forced, along with their father Tatsuo (Christòpheren Nomura) and grandfather Ojii-chan (George Takei) to move to the Heart Mountain Relocation Center in northwest Wyoming.

During their confinement, Mike Masaoka (Greg Watanabe), an executive with the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) attempts to leverage the rights of Japanese Americans through various recommendations, including segregating troublemakers such as Frankie Suzuki (Michael K. Lee) and others enraged by the government’s actions. Within the camp, there are varying degrees of animosity and compassion, including nurse Hannah Campbell (Katie Rose Clarke), who falls under Sammy’s convincing spell after a number of visits to the infirmary in his quest to obtain medication for this grandfather. Another love interest develops between Kei and Frankie during the course of their internment, and the two storylines weave throughout broader historical happenings, which include the valiant efforts of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team—a segregated unit of Japanese-Americans assigned on a mission to the Vosges Mountains of France.

With a book by Marc Acito, Jay Kuo and Lorenzo Thione, and music by Jay Kuo, Allegiance is both intimate and sweeping in scope. Director Stafford Arima (Broadway debut) keeps the action moving at a swift pace with the help of scenic (Donyale Werle) and projection (Darrel Maloney) designs that seamlessly transform from one locale to the next.

Unfortunately, other elements have needlessly been polished to a Broadway shine, which undermines the story’s truthfulness. Costumes by Alejo Vietti are crisp, vibrant, and period specific, but too picture-perfect for those living under such harsh conditions. Andrew Palermo’s choreography, too, unnecessarily dazzles in several flashy production numbers (“Get in the Game” feels like it was lifted from the short-lived TV series, Smash). And while the show’s book manages to encapsulate multiple storylines, it unfolds in a linear and literal manner that occasionally lacks dramatic tension.

The acting ensemble led by the deep-voiced and endearing Takei, is clearly dedicated to the piece. Along with Takei; Salonga, Leung, and Lee appeared in the production’s 2012 world premiere at the Old Globe Theatre. Allegiance, above all, has heart. And though it sometimes feels as though it’s been molded to fit a preconceived idea of what a Broadway show “should” look like, the musical’s relevance is a haunting reminder of how fragile and fleeting our freedom can be.

Here’s what the other critics are saying…

“Directed in workmanlike fashion by Stafford Arima, “Allegiance” has a complicated story to unfold and to humanize. It does a reasonable job of providing a nuanced view of events, the occasional swerve into melodrama notwithstanding. Some scholars of Japanese-American history have objected to unnecessary factual inaccuracies, but the musical, which bills itself as being “inspired” by actual events (and in part by Mr. Takei’s own experience in another camp), need not be held to the standards of strict documentary.

If anything, the authors, feeling the responsibility of illuminating this shameful chapter in American history, pack the show with so much incident and information that “Allegiance” often feels more like a history lesson than a musical. A singing history lesson, yes, but a history lesson nonetheless.” ­New York Times

“Ultimately what wins you over is the heart to heart connection. That stupid simple journey of the soul to find its path and the others who will share it. You could be separated by time and space, then tossed back together without a hesitation. Some loves you win. Others you lose. It is indeed a crazy game of allegiance everywhere you look – but it is ours, and who would ever think of giving it up.” New York Theatre Guide

“The show isn’t bombastic or preachy, though some may find the well-structured book—written by Marc Acito, Jay Kuo and Lorenzo Thione—too earnest. Kuo’s serviceable score is loaded with anthems, simple melodic lines and some obvious rhymes, with a few lighthearted ’40s boogie-woogy numbers to signify Americana. Although we hear enticing Japanese flute and percussion between scenes, this more “Le Miz”-lite pop opera than a fusion of musical cultures.” Newsday

Allegiance
Longacre Theatre
228 West 48th Street
Open ended run.

Matthew Wexler is the Broadway Blog’s editor. Follow him on social media at @roodeloo

New Musical ‘Allegiance’ Partners with Inspire Change

August 22nd, 2015 Comments off

allegiance

Producers Lorenzo Thione and Andrew Treagus have announced a partnership with Inspire Change, an innovative arts program that works alongside commercial theater productions to provide students across the tri-state area with no-and-low-cost tickets paired with unique and high-impact educational programming.

Inspire Change was piloted with the Tony-winning Best Musical Memphis in 2012 and is thrilled to be back on Broadway this fall with Allegiance, a new American musical starring Tony Award winner Lea Salonga, George Takei and Telly Leung, which will open on Broadway at the Longacre Theatre (220 West 48th Street) on Sunday, November 8, 2015.  Previews begin on Tuesday, October 6, 2015.

George Takai (photo: s_bukley / Shutterstock.com_

George Takai (photo: s_bukley / Shutterstock.com_

Under the direction of Inspire Change Director of Education Matt Freeman and Allegiance Director of Education Matthew Schneider, Inspire Change will offer fully sponsored educational workshops paired with tickets to attend a performance of Allegiance and round trip transportation, all supported by generous donations. The program was established for the Broadway production of Memphis and allowed more than 10,000 students to experience the thrill of a Broadway show while learning about an important part of American history. For more information, visit www.inspirechangebroadway.org.

Allegiance producer Lorenzo Thione said in a statement: “George Takei has always wanted this story to reach as many students in as many classrooms as possible and we have decided to commit to making that a reality. We are so thrilled to collaborate with Inspire Change to bring this initiative back to Broadway with Allegiance, a musical inspired by George’s true-life experience. Through this incredible partnership, we have the opportunity to make his dream a reality as we share this untold American story with new audiences.”

Inspired by the true-life experience of its star George Takei (“Star Trek,” “Heroes”), Allegiance follows one family’s extraordinary journey in this untold American story. A mysterious envelope leads Sam Kimura (Takei) back 60 years to a time when he (played as a young man by Telly Leung — Godspell, “Glee”) and his sister Kei (Tony winner Lea Salonga — Miss Saigon, Mulan) strive to save their family from the wrongful imprisonment of Japanese Americans during World War II. Sam enlists in the army to prove the Kimura’s  loyalty, but Kei joins draft resisters fighting for the rights of their people. Their paths take them from the lush farmlands of California to the wastelands of Wyoming to the battlefields of Europe, and their divided loyalties threaten to tear them apart forever. But as long-lost memories are unlocked, Sam finds that it is never too late to forgive and to recognize the redemptive power of love.