NEW YORK — The full cast of “Allegiance,” a musical based on the wartime experiences of “Star Trek” actor and civil rights activist George Takei, has been announced.
The show begins Broadway previews on Tuesday, Oct. 6, at the Longacre Theatre, 220 W. 48th St.; opening night is set for Sunday, Nov. 8.
The musical will feature Takei as Sam Kimura and Ojii-san; Lea Salonga as Kei Kimura; Telly Leung as Sammy Kimura; and Michael K. Lee as Frankie Suzuki, all reprising their roles from the original production in 2012 at The Old Globe Theatre in San Diego.
Rounding out the cast are Katie Rose Clarke as Hannah Campbell; Christopheren Nomura as Tatsuo Kimura; and Greg Watanabe as Mike Masaoka.
Clarke first came to national attention for her portrayal of Clara Johnson in the Broadway production, the live PBS broadcast, and the national tour of “The Light in the Piazza” and made her Broadway debut in the same musical in 2005 at the age of 21. Her other theater credits include “Prayer for My Enemy,” “Travels With My Discontent” and “Anything Goes.”
Clarke portrayed Glinda on the first national tour of hit musical “Wicked,” playing her final performance in San Diego in 2009. She reprised the role on Broadway in 2010, returned to the national tour in 2011, and returned to Broadway in 2013. Her subsequent credits include “54 Below,” “Tenderloin,” and “The Last Five Years.”
Nomura made his professional operatic debut in the boy’s choir of the San Francisco Opera at age 6, performed his first solo role in “Die Zauberflöte” at age 11 and continues to perform in traditional and contemporary operatic roles. A recipient of many awards and honors, the baritone was the first-place winner in the International Vocal Competition Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria and a recipient of the J. William Fulbright grant to pursue musical studies and performance in Germany.
Nomura made his New York recital debut at the Tisch Center for the Arts at the 92nd Street Y and his Washington, D.C. recital debut at the Kennedy Center. Since beginning his professional career in 1988, he has given over 100 recitals in North American venues extending from the Gardner Museum in Boston to the Vancouver Recital Society. He has given recitals in France, Germany, Austria, Italy, England, Japan and Uruguay.
Watanabe is an experienced stage actor and has been nominated for an Ovation, L.A. Drama Critics Circle, and San Diego Theater Critics Circle awards. His stage credits include “Golden Child” at Signature Theatre in New York, “Extraordinary Chambers” at Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles, “Ballad of Yachiyo” at Public Theater-NYSF in New York, “The Summer Moon” at A Contemporary Theater in Seattle, and “The Happy Ones” at South Coast Repertory Theatre in Costa Mesa.
His TV credits include a regular role in the sketch comedy series “Off Limits” and a recurring role on the soap opera “Watch Over Me.” He has also appeared on such shows as “Criminal Minds,” “Reno 911,” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” On the big screen, Watanabe has been featured in “Americanese,” “Only the Brave,” and “Life Tastes Good.” He is also a member of the Asian American sketch comedy group 18 Mighty Mountain Warriors.
The ensemble will consist of Aaron J. Albano, Belinda Allyn, Marcus Choi, Janelle Dote, Dan Horn, Owen Johnston, Darren Lee, Manna Nichols, Autumn Ogawa, Rumi Oyama, Momoko Sugai, Cary Tedder, Elena Wang, Scott Watanabe and Scott Wise.
“Allegiance” has a book by Marc Acito, Jay Kuo and Lorenzo Thione, and a score by Kuo. Stafford Arima, an Olivier Award nominee, returns as director.
Takei’s incarceration as a child at Rohwer in Arkansas and Tule Lake in Northern California inspired Thione and Kuo to bring the Japanese American internment story to the stage. The actor has educated the public about the camps through various forums, from speaking engagements to his autobiography, “To the Stars,” to the recent documentary “To Be Takei.”
The play starts decades after the war with Takei as Sam Kimura, an Army veteran and former internee who revisits the ghosts of his past. In flashbacks, he plays the grandfather and pillar of strength of the Kimura family, who are forced off their family farm in California and into the Heart Mountain camp in Wyoming.
Salonga appears as Kei Kimura, a young internee who falls in love with a draft resister. A winner of Tony and Olivier awards for her portrayal of Kim in “Miss Saigon,” she was the first Asian to play Eponine in “Les Miserables” on Broadway. She provided the singing voice for Princess Jasmine in Disney’s “Aladdin” and for the title character in “Mulan” and “Mulan II.”
Lee plays Frankie Suzuki, Kei’s love interest. He played Thuy in the Broadway production of “Miss Saigon,” then was cast in the Broadway tour of “Rent” and the Broadway revival of “Jesus Christ Superstar” and “Pacific Overtures.” His regional theater credits include “Making Tracks,” “The Wedding Banquet,” “Could It Be Magic,” and “The Who’s Tommy.” He received Ovation Award nominations for “Beijing Spring” and “The Last Five Years,” both at East West Players.
Leung plays young Sammy Kimura, who is torn between fighting for his country and honoring his community – and his family. His Broadway credits include “Godspell,” “Flower Drum Song,” “Pacific Overtures” and “Rent.” He was seen off-Broadway in “The World of Extreme Happiness” and also appeared in the Fox TV show “Glee.”
On Friday, June 5, at 10 a.m. (Eastern), tickets will go on sale to the general public via Telecharge.com, (212) 239-6200.
For more information, visit www.allegiancemusical.com.