East West Players (EWP) and Japanese American Cultural & Community Center (JACCC) are pleased to announce that for the Los Angeles premiere of the Broadway musical “Allegiance,” stage and screen star George Takei will be joined by Broadway cast members Elena Wang as Kei Kimura, Greg Watanabe as Mike Masaoka, Scott Watanabe as Tatsuo Kimura, and Janelle Dote as Hanako.
They will be joined by Ethan Le Phong as Sammy Kimura, Eymard Cabling as Frankie Suzuki, and Natalie Holt MacDonald as Hannah Campbell. The ensemble includes Cesar Cipriano, Jordan Goodsell, Sharline Liu, Miyuki Miyagi, Glenn Shiroma, Chad Takeda, and Grace Yoo.
“Allegiance” will be performed at JACCC’s Aratani Theatre, 244 S. San Pedro St. in Little Tokyo, from Feb. 21 to April 1, 2018. Opening night is Feb. 28. This new production will be directed by EWP Producing Artistic Director Snehal Desai. Marc Macalintal is the music director and Rumi Oyama is the choreographer.
“Allegiance” in Los Angeles will be co-produced by EWP and JACCC by special arrangement with Sing Out, Louise! Productions and ATA.
Takei, known for his founding role as Mr. Sulu in the acclaimed television series “Star Trek” and as an influential social media icon, will be performing the roles of Sam Kimura and Ojii-Chan that he originated on Broadway. “Allegiance” is inspired by Takei’s childhood experiences.
With music and lyrics by Jay Kuo and a book by Kuro, Marc Acito, and Lorenzo Thione, “Allegiance” tells the story of the Kimura family, whose lives are upended when they and 120,000 other Japanese Americans are forced to leave their homes following Pearl Harbor. Sam Kimura seeks to prove his patriotism by fighting for his country in the war, but his sister, Kei, fiercely protests the government’s treatment of her people. An uplifting testament to the power of the human spirit, “Allegiance” follows the Kimuras as they fight between duty and defiance, custom and change, family bonds and forbidden loves.
Director Snehal Desai says, “It’s an incredible honor to be able to direct the first production of ‘Allegiance’ since its Broadway debut. There could not be a more vital and important time to be bringing ‘Allegiance’ home to Los Angeles and Little Tokyo, where so many still remember the day when the government forced their families to leave their communities and homes. This powerful and moving musical sheds light on this dark chapter of U.S. history with grace and humor. I am humbled to be leading this supremely talented company.”
Alison De La Cruz, JACCC director of performing arts and community engagement and executive producer of “Allegiance,” says, “We are thrilled to have Snehal and this award-winning design team helm this landmark production. We are pleased to have the opportunity to showcase such amazing Asian American talent on our stage and to welcome new audiences to our community’s premier venue and to the Little Tokyo neighborhood.”
The creative team includes Se Hyun Oh (scenic design), Karyn Lawrence (lighting design), Halei Parker (costume design), Cricket Myers (sound design), Adam Flemming (projection design), Glenn Michael Baker (property design), Cesar Cipriano (fight choreographer), and Janelle Dote (assistant choreographer).
Previews are Feb. 21 to 25 with 8 p.m. shows from Wednesday to Saturday, and a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday. Regular performances run from Wednesday to Sunday, with 8 p.m. shows from Wednesday to Saturday, and 2 p.m. matinees on Saturday and Sunday. Opening night is Wednesday, Feb. 28, at 8 p.m. The production runs until April 1.
For tickets and information, visit http://AllegianceMusical.com.