Allegiance – A New American Musical is created by Jay Kuo and Lorenzo Thione, with music and lyrics by Kuo. The original musical tells the story of a Japanese American family forced into an internment camp on American soil during World War II. (Takei's real-life history includes such internment.) Directed by Stafford Arima (Carrie, Altar Boyz, West End premiere of Ragtime), the production will feature musical direction and arrangements by Lynne Shankel (Cry-Baby, Company) and choreography by Christopher Gattelli (Newsies, Godspell, South Pacific).
Salonga won the Best Actress Tony for playing the title role in Miss Saigon, and later appeared on Broadway in Les Misérables and a revision of the musical Flower Drum Song. Takei created the role of Mr. Sulu on TV's "Star Trek," and in subsequent films.
The musical will run in the Old Globe Theatre, part of the Globe's Conrad Prebys Theatre Center, Sept. 6-Oct. 20, 2012. Opening night is Sept. 16.
Tickets are currently available by subscription only. Tickets can be purchased online at www.TheOldGlobe.org, by phone at (619) 23-GLOBE or by visiting the Box Office at 1363 Old Globe Way in Balboa Park. Here's how the producers bill the musical: "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 American army regiment; and younger son Sam yearns for acceptance in America. Coinciding with the 70th anniversary of the authorization and implementation of the internment camps, 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 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.
Thione is a theatre producer and community activist. After having been part of the producing team of shows such as Catch Me If You Can and American Idiot, he 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," according to production notes.