If you’re in New York to see Alfie Boe in Les Mis you might also want to see another Broadway show and (aside from Hamilton) the newest show with a hot ticket is George Takei’s Allegiance. The show is based on the real life experiences of Japanese Americans interned following the bombing of Pearl Harbour in 1941 (Takei was himself interned) and stars, alongside Takei, Les Mis alumni Lea Salonga. Our resident New York critic, Roberta, Kappus went to see the show when it opened:
Allegiance is a powerful and moving musical starring Lea Salonga and George Takei (Star Trek) that just opened on Broadway. The story comes from the real life experience of Mr. Takei’s family in an internment camp following the bombing of Pearl Harbor during World War II. Considered a possible threat to the US, many Japanese Americans living on the west coast were rounded up and sent to camps inland. As such it deals with the despairs, the loves, the triumphs, the births and deaths of this family and others that the family touch in the internment camp.
Allegiance has an incredible cast and I would argue that the cast, alone, makes the show worth seeing. I don’t think Lea Salonga needs much explanation as many know her from the 25th Anniversary of Les Mis and she is just as outstanding in Allegiance. I do not even know how to describe her voice but it is stunningly beautiful and I could listen to her all day. George Takei who is making his Broadway debut at 78 gives a surprisingly strong performance. Despite all his years of acting I just did not expect such a remarkable performance from him. Mr. Takei and Ms Salonga are supported by an amazing cast that includes Telly Leung (Glee) and Katie Rose Clarke (Wicked) who recently recorded a Dan and Laura Curtis duet, Now You’re Here, with Chris McCarrell (Marius in Les Mis).
At the end, there is no doubt that Mr. Takei has achieved his goal of ensuring that this chapter in American history is not forgotten. You leave the theater thinking about what you have just seen and you are still thinking about it weeks later. If you are interested in a musical with a strong cast that is thought provoking then you should see Allegiance.
Thanks for the review Roberta.
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