By Lia Chang
AsAmNews Arts and Entertainment Reporter
A star-studded gathering to celebrate the official Broadway debut of Allegiance was held immediately after Sunday’s opening night performance at the Longacre Theatre.
The new American musical Allegiance stars Tony and Olivier Award winner Lea Salonga (Miss Saigon, Les Miserables) in her long-awaited return to Broadway, Star Trek icon George Takei in his Broadway debut at age 78, Broadway and Glee star Telly Leung and Michael K. Lee. Inspired by Takei’s real-life experience as a Japanese American during World War II, Allegiance is the story of one family’s resilience in the face of seemingly-insurmountable odds.
Allegiance features a book by Marc Acito, Jay Kuo, and Lorenzo Thione with music and lyrics by Jay Kuo. Olivier Award nominee Stafford Arima directs, with Andrew Palermo as choreographer.
Check out all of the festive party pictures at the Bryant Park Grill below.
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 (Leung) and his sister Kei (Salonga) fought to stay connected to their heritage, their family, and themselves after Japanese Americans were wrongfully imprisoned during World War II. An epic story told with great intimacy, Allegiance explores the ties that bind us, the struggle to persevere, and the overwhelming power of forgiveness and, most especially, love.
The cast features George Takei as Sam Kimura/Ojii San; Lea Salonga as Kei Kimura; Telly Leung as Sammy Kimura; Katie Rose Clarke as Hannah Campbell, Michael K. Lee as Frankie Suzuki, Christópheren Nomura as Tatsuo Kimura; and Greg Watanabe as Mike Masaoka. The ensemble will feature Aaron J. Albano, Belinda Allyn, Marcus Choi, Janelle Dote, Dan Horn,Owen Johnston, Darren Lee, Manna Nichols, Rumi Oyama, Catherine Ricafort, Momoko Sugai,Kevin Munhall, Elena Wang, Scott Watanabe, Sam Tanabe and Tony winner Scott Wise.
It was a reunion for Jodi Long, Kim Varhola, Telly Leung and Lea Salonga, who all appeared in David Henry Hwang’s revisal of Flower Drum Song on Broadway in 2002.
Allegiance has implemented a digital lottery for $39 seats available each day via allegiancemusical.com/lottery. Entries can be submitted the day of the preferred performance, either by 11AM for matinees or 3PM for evening performances. Winners will be notified via email or text, depending on what they select during the entry process, and winners may purchase up to 2 tickets which will be held at the box office. Allegiance will also offer a limited number of $39 rush tickets for patrons 35 years old and under for each performance beginning at the opening of the box office each day. There will be a limit of 2 tickets per customer. Cash or credit cards will be accepted for all lottery and rush tickets, and seat locations will vary depending on availability.
Lia Chang is an award-winning filmmaker, a Best Actress nominee, a photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in FebOne1960.com Blog, Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.