Last night, Two-time Tony nominee André De Shields stopped by the Longacre Theatre, his old stomping grounds, to see the Broadway production of Allegiance. De Shields, who is headed to Broadway in the Fall in Gotta Dance, starred in Ain’t Misbehavin’ in 1978 and Prymate in 2004 at the Longacre. After the show, De Shields visited with the cast and creative team onstage. Check out the photos below.
The new American musical Allegiance starring Tony® and Olivier® award winner Lea Salonga (Miss Saigon, Les Miserables), “Star Trek” icon George Takei in his Broadway debut at age 78, and Broadway and “Glee” star Telly Leung, 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, Allegiance 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.
“I come away from the “Allegiance” experience having learned how to move a mountain, stone by stone,” said De Shields. “For your closing night, I wish you bouquets of Gaman.”
Sing Out, Louise! Productions and ATA, 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.”
Allegiance is the vibrant and unforgettable story of one family’s resilience in the face of seemingly-insurmountable odds, inspired by Takei’s real-life experience as a Japanese American during World War II.
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, in his Broadway debut. Andrew Palermo serves as choreographer.
The cast is as follows: 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 Toyomi Dote, Dan Horn, Owen Johnston, Darren Lee, Kevin Munhall, Manna Nichols, Rumi Oyama, Shea Renne, Momoko Sugai, Sam Tanabe, Elena Wang, Scott Watanabe and Tony winner Scott Wise.
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 Allegiance original cast album, which features music & lyrics by Jay Kuo, was recorded in December at MSR Studios and can be purchased here.
The recording is produced by Lynne Shankel & Joel Moss for Sing Out, Louise! Productions. Allegiance cast members Lea Salonga, George Takei, Telly Leung, Katie Rose Clarke and Michael K. Lee are joined by the entire company for the studio session, which includes original recordings of tracks such as “Wishes on the Wind,” “What Makes a Man,” “With You,” “Stronger Than Before,” and Salonga’s Act One showstopper “Higher,” among many others.
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 Examiner.com, Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.
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