NEW YORK — Producers Lorenzo Thione and Andrew Treagus announced Feb. 4 that “Allegiance,” a new American musical, will open on Broadway next season at the Longacre Theatre.
Previews are set to begin on Oct. 6, with opening night on Nov. 8.
Television and film actor George Takei will star in the musical, which had its world premiere in 2012 at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, where it was that theater’s highest-grossing production in its 77-year history.
Lea Salonga (“Miss Saigon,” “Les Miserables,” “Flower Drum Song”) and Telly Leung (“Glee,” “Rent,” “Godspell”) will reprise their roles as Kei Kimura and Sam Kimura. Takei will play Ojii-san and an older Sam Kimura.
“Allegiance” has a book by Marc Acito with music and lyrics by Jay Kuo. Helming the production is Olivier Award nominee Stafford Arima (London’s “Ragtime,” Off-Broadway’s “Bare,” “Carrie,” “Altar Boyz”).
Takei, the original and beloved Mr. Sulu from “Star Trek” as well as an activist and social media icon, will make his Broadway debut in the production, which was inspired by his real-life childhood. He was interned as a child at the Rohwer camp in Arkansas and Tule Lake in Northern California.
Director Arima also has a personal connection to the story — his father was interned in Canada.
“Allegiance” is an epic story about one family’s love, courage and heroism, set during the internment of Japanese Americans in World War II.
Producer Thione says, “‘Allegiance’ takes audiences on an uplifting and emotional journey set in a too-often overlooked moment in American history. Filled with romance, music and humor, it is a life-affirming tribute to the power of family and the resilience of the human spirit. After seeing how audiences embrace this show in San Diego, we knew it belonged on Broadway.”
Takei said it has taken years to get to Broadway because the theaters were booked up and many other productions were waiting for an opening.
Takei, who also wrote about his internment experience in his autobiography, “To the Stars,” describes “Allegiance” as his legacy project as well as a tribute to his parents. Although several plays have been written about the Japanese American wartime experience, this is believed to be the first time that a Broadway show has addressed this topic.
Long before the opening date was announced, the “Allegiance” website (www.allegiancemusical.com) began offering the Allegiance Priority Access Pass. Pass-holders will receive reserved, numbered spots in line to buy the best seats available at the performance of their choice, before they become available to the general public. Each pass is valid for up to two tickets; larger groups can purchase multiple passes.
In the weeks prior to the opening of the box office to the general public, all priority pass holders will be sent a code (in the order of their reservation number) that will allow them to go online and buy any available ticket, before anyone else holding a later reservation number.
Purchasers of tickets to “Allegiance” will receive a free download of the full “Allegiance” cast album upon its release.