Go For Broke National Education Center on Thursday announced that George Takei, international star of stage, film and television, and Lauren Hanako Kinkade, vocalist and recording artist, will present songs from the Broadway musical “Allegiance” at GFBNEC’s 16th annual Evening of Aloha Gala Dinner on Sept. 23 at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites in Downtown Los Angeles.
“Allegiance,” inspired by Takei’s early life in World War II concentration camps, will come to the Aratani Theatre stage in Little Tokyo in 2018. Takei will reprise his lead roles as old Nisei Sam Kimura, who was incarcerated along with his family, and Ojii-chan, Kimura’s beloved grandfather. The show, with music and lyrics by Jay Kuo, co-produced by East West Players and the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center, is scheduled to run from Feb. 21 to April 1, 2018.
Evening of Aloha, presented by American Honda Motor Co. Inc., is the annual signature fundraiser for GFBNEC, a nonprofit that educates the public on the valor of Japanese American World War II veterans and their contributions to democracy. The event will feature a gourmet meal presented by celebrity chefs Roy Yamaguchi, founder of Roy’s Restaurants Worldwide; Akira Hirose, owner of Maison Akira in Pasadena; and Scott Smith, of King’s Hawaiian Bakery & Restaurant. David Ono, co-anchor of KABC7 Eyewitness News, will serve as master of ceremonies.
The evening’s highlights will include an opportunity drawing for a 2017 Honda CR-V EX-L AWD with navigation, proudly donated by American Honda Motor Co., Inc. Tickets are one for $25, five for $100 or 15 for $250 and can be purchased by contacting GFBNEC at (310) 328-0907. GFBNEC will honor Takei with the Defining Courage Award and Bill Seki of Seki, Nishimura & Watase, LLP will be honored with the Go For Broke Award.
During the cocktail hour, guests may bid on a host of live and silent auction items ranging from artwork to weekend getaways, fine-dining experiences, collectibles and event tickets. Ernie Doizaki, chairman of Kansas Marine, and George Henning, president and CEO of Pacific Global Investment Management Co., are serving as co-chairmen of the 2017 gala. For sponsorship and advertising opportunities, tickets or general information, contact Jeff Henson at (310) 328-0907 or [email protected]
“I’m honored to bring ‘Allegiance’ to my hometown of Los Angeles, and to share highlights with our Nisei veterans, their families, friends and supporters at Evening of Aloha,” Takei said. “The characters of Sam Kimura and Ojii-chan reflect the values of our Japanese American heritage —loyalty to the United States; personal sacrifice for the greater good; commitment to equal rights and due process; and duty to our families and our traditions.”
Kinkade noted, “I’m honored to be invited to perform with George Takei, and to highlight such an important part of our Japanese American history in the excerpts from ‘Allegiance.’ As a fourth-generation Japanese American Yonsei, I’m dedicated to supporting our Japanese American community, and am so proud to support our Nisei veterans through Go For Broke National Education Center.”
Dr. Mitchell T. Maki, GFBNEC’s president and CEO, said, “We’re excited to have George Takei and Lauren Kinkade bring their amazing talents to Evening of Aloha. ‘Allegiance’ is a powerful American story of wartime prejudice, family, forgiveness and love, beautifully told. It brings the story of our World War II Nisei veterans to a huge new audience of Americans, and celebrates their legacy of loyalty and sacrifice in a memorable way.
“We deeply value George Takei’s heartfelt commitment to telling the story of our World War II soldiers. We also welcome the ongoing support of Lauren Kinkade, a gifted Yonsei vocalist who has thrilled our guests in previous years with her artistry.”