"I'm 100% Gonna Fan Girl Her" — Exciting Casting On the Road to Allegiance's Broadway Bow

News   "I'm 100% Gonna Fan Girl Her" — Exciting Casting On the Road to Allegiance's Broadway Bow
 
As the book writer of Allegiance, a new musical starting previews Oct. 6 at the Longacre Theatre, Playbill contributor Marc Acito will provide a first-hand look into the process of bringing a new show to Broadway.
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I was at 54 Below when Katie Rose Clarke (Wicked, A Light in the Piazza) announced she has joined the cast of Allegiance and met internet icon and sci-fi legend George Takei.

"I'm George Takei," George said, stating the obvious while offering his hand to Katie, "You fall in love with the younger version of me."

Takei was describing a plot point in Allegiance but from the awed expression on Katie's face (a typical response to the Power of Takei), she was already smitten with the real thing. I'm kicking myself for not taking a picture of the moment, though it was captured for the upcoming Allegiance web documentary, premiering next month.

In the meantime, here's me with George and his husband Brad, along with Katie and her new leading man, Telly Leung (Godspell, Pacific Overtures). If you mix the two pics together you get the idea.

Marc Acito with Brad and George Takei
Marc Acito with Brad and George Takei
Telly Leung and Katie Rose Clarke
Telly Leung and Katie Rose Clarke

The occasion was the Group Sales event, held at 54 Below where we introduced Allegiance to a full house of sales agents, to whom we served wine at 3:30 in the afternoon. If it felt a bit like a wedding reception perhaps it's because our lead producer Lorenzo Thione was married at 54 Below just six months ago. George officiated at that ceremony and exercised great restraint by refraining from offering "Live Long and Prosper" as a benediction.

"This is huge for me," Katie said, "It's the first time I've originated a role on Broadway." Having been part of the casting team, I can report that she got the role of Hannah, an army nurse assigned to a Japanese-American internment camp, because of her palpable chemistry with Telly (a/k/a "the younger version of George"). The pair brought out something very sexy in one another, despite only having met once before when they were introduced by Lindsay Mendez, who co-starred in Godspell with Telly and played Elphaba to Katie's Glinda in Wicked.

Telly sang his big number, "What Makes a Man," and brought down the house. That's what he does best, but it was a video of our leading lady Lea Salonga singing "Higher" that made Katie cry.

"The first cast album I ever owned was Miss Saigon," she told me. "I sang along with every song. I even sang Kim's farewell to her son in my first voice recital."

"And now you get to sing with Lea Salonga onstage," I reminded her.

An expression similar to the one she had when she met George crossed her face. "I'm 100% gonna fan girl her," she said.

I promise to get a picture of that when it happens.

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