ALLEGIANCE – A NEW AMERICAN MUSICAL
WILL OPEN THE OLD GLOBE’S 2012-13 WINTER SEASON
Tony Award Winner Lea Salonga, Television Icon George Takei and
Godspell’s Telly Leung to Star in the World Premiere Musical
SAN DIEGO (Dec. 16, 2011)—The Old Globe will open its 2012-13 Winter Season with the World Premiere of Allegiance – A New American Musical. Created by Jay Kuo and Lorenzo Thione with music and lyrics by Kuo, the original musical tells the story of a Japanese American family forced into an internment camp during World War II. Directed by Stafford Arima (Carrie, Altar Boyz, West End premiere of Ragtime), the production features musical direction and arrangements by Lynne Shankel (Cry-Baby, Company) and choreography by Christopher Gattelli (Newsies, Godspell, South Pacific). Tony Award-winning actress Lea Salonga (Miss Saigon, Les Misérables), television and film icon George Takei (“Star Trek,” “Heroes”) and Telly Leung (Godspell, Rent) will star. The complete cast and additional 2102-13 Winter Season selections will be announced at a later date. The musical will run on the Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage in the Old Globe Theatre, part of the Globe’s Conrad Prebys Theatre Center, Sept. 6 – Oct. 21, 2012. Preview performances run Sept. 7 – Sept. 18. Opening night is Wednesday, Sept. 19 at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are currently available by subscription only. Tickets can be purchased online at www.TheOldGlobe.org, by phone at (619) 23-GLOBE or by visiting the Box Office at 1363 Old Globe Way in Balboa Park.
Allegiance – A New American Musical is an epic story of love, war and heroism set during the Japanese American internment of World War II. Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Kimura family is relocated from their home in Salinas, California to the Heart Mountain internment camp in the wastelands of Wyoming. Their story reflects a conflicted nation and people divided. Father Tatsuo, a successful store owner, resists their internment; mother Kimiko fears for their future, resigned to their fate; older son James volunteers in an all-Japanese American army regiment; and younger son Sam yearns for acceptance in America. Coinciding with the 70th anniversary of the authorization and implementation of the internment camps, Allegiance sheds new light upon a dark chapter of American history. With its moving score, Allegiance connects the audience with universal themes of love, family and redemption.
The creative team includes Donyale Werle (Scenic Design), David Zinn (Costume Design), Ben Stanton (Lighting Design) and Peter Hylenski (Sound Design).
Allegiance is Jay Kuo’s fourth musical. His composing career began at Stanford, where he wrote and produced Upwardly Mobile, a story of five friends coming of age. Kuo’s second musical, Insignificant Others, played from 2006-2008 in San Francisco at New Conservatory Theatre Center, Zeum and Theatre 39 and won a Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award for Best Original Script. His third work, Worlds Apart, about star-crossed lovers in a cultural divide, performed in concert at San Francisco's Magic Theatre in late 2006 and in New York City at New World Stages in 2008. Allegiance held its first staged reading in Los Angeles in July 2009 and two further readings in New York City in 2010. In addition to composing, Kuo is a Broadway producer (Catch Me If You Can, American Idiot, Slava’s Snowshow). Kuo is also a graduate of the Boalt Hall School of Law at UC Berkeley and a member of the California Bar.
Lorenzo Thione is a serial entrepreneur, theater producer and community activist. After having been part of the producing team of shows such as Catch Me If You Can and American Idiot, he began working on Allegiance in 2008 alongside friend and composer Jay Kuo following an encounter with George Takei, whose experience in the internment camps inspired them to write a musical about this dark and mostly unknown chapter of American history. Prior to his work in theater, Thione was also the co-founder of Powerset, Inc., an internet search company acquired by Microsoft in 2008, and whose technology was subsequently relaunched as part of Bing. Thione has also co-founded and helped grow StartOut, a national non-profit organization dedicated to fostering and developing the next generation of entrepreneurs and business leaders within the LGBT community. Thione serves on the board of trustees of the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco and of several companies in the U.S. and abroad. A native of Milan, Italy, Thione is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin. He is a named inventor on over 30 patents in the U.S. and worldwide.
Stafford Arima was nominated for an Olivier Award for his direction of the West End premiere of the musical Ragtime. He also directed the critically acclaimed musical Altar Boyz, which received the Outstanding Off Broadway Musical Outer Critics Circle Award, was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Musical and ran over 2,000 performances Off-Broadway. His upcoming credits include Carrie (MCC Theater). His other credits include The Tin Pan Alley Rag (nominated for an Outer Critics Circle Award as Outstanding Off Broadway Musical, Roundabout Theatre Company), Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris (Stratford Shakespeare Festival), Candide (San Francisco Symphony), The Secret Garden (World AIDS Day concert), A Tribute to Stephen Sondheim (Boston Pops), Guys and Dolls (Paper Mill Playhouse), Abyssinia (Goodspeed Musicals), Ace (The Old Globe), The Princess and the Black-Eyed Pea (San Diego Repertory Theatre), Bowfire (PBS television special) and Children’s Letters to God (Off Broadway). His projects in development include A Separate Peace (based on John Knowles’ novel), bare and Somewhere in Time (based on the film and novel by Richard Matheson). Arima graduated from York University in Toronto where he was the recipient of the Dean’s Prize for Excellence in Creative Work.
With a career spanning five decades, George Takei is best known for his founding role in the acclaimed television series “Star Trek” in which he played Hikaru Sulu, helmsman of the USS Enterprise. Takei starred in three seasons of “Star Trek” and later reprised his iconic role in six movies and several video games. More recently, Takei won over a new generation of fans with his recurring guest role on the sci-fi drama “Heroes” as Kaito Nakamura. Takei has participated, alongside Tony Award winner Lea Salonga, in all readings and workshops of Allegiance since 2009. Takei is part of the cast of Nickelodeon's live-action comedy series, “Supah Ninjas!,” which premiered in April 2011. He starred in the film Larry Crowne opposite Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts, which was released theatrically nationwide in July 2011 by Universal Pictures. Takei has also lent his voiceover talent to hundreds of characters in film, television, video games and commercials including Mulan, Mulan II, “The Simpsons,” “Scooby-Doo and the Samurai Sword,” “Avatar: The Last Airbender,” “The Smurfs” and “Star Wars: The Clone Wars.” Adding to his body of work, Takei has also provided narration on many projects including the 2009 PBS series “The National Parks: America's Best Idea,” the 2006 Peabody Award-winning radio documentary “Crossing East,” centered on the history of Asian American immigration to the United States, and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (cassette), which garnered the performer a 1987 Grammy Award nomination for Best Spoken Word or Non-Musical Recording.
Lea Salonga is a Filipina singer/actress best known for originating the role of Kim in the West End production of Miss Saigon and bringing it to Broadway, winning the Tony, Olivier and many other awards. She was the first Asian to play Eponine in Les Misérables on Broadway, returned to the show in 2007 as Fantine and reprised the role for the sold-out 25th anniversary concert at London's O2 Arena. Salonga wowed audiences and critics alike in 2010 in her first ever cabaret show at New York’s famed Café Carlyle and returned in the summer of 2011 for another engagement. In August 2011, she released a live version of her 2010 concert Lea Salonga: The Journey So Far, and it rose to #3 on the iTunes Jazz Charts. Honored with an appointment as a United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization Goodwill Ambassador in October of 2010, Salonga has vowed to act as advocate for the Youth and United Nations Global Alliance initiative led by the FAO. Salonga’s feature film credits include the singing voice of Princess Jasmine in Aladdin and Fa Mulan in Mulan and Mulan II. In honor of her portrayal of the beloved princesses, Disneyland bestowed upon Salonga the honor of Disney Legend in the summer of 2011.
Telly Leung is currently starring on Broadway in the revival of Godspell. His other Broadway credits include Flower Drum Song (2002 revival starring Lea Salonga), Stephen Sondheim’s Pacific Overtures (2005 revival) and the final company of Rent. He originated the role of Boq in the Chicago company of Wicked. His other favorite credits include Angel in Rent directed by Neil Patrick Harris (Hollywood Bowl), Song Liling in M. Butterfly (Philadelphia Theatre Company), Give It Up! aka Lysistrata Jones (Dallas Theater Center, World Premiere), Godspell (Paper Mill Playhouse), Bernstein: Mass (Baltimore Symphony, The Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall), Harold Bride in Titanic and Barnaby in Hello, Dolly! (The Muny), Simon in Jesus Christ Superstar (Music Circus, directed by Stafford Arima), Thuy in Miss Saigon (Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera) and Lun Tha in The King and I with Lou Diamond Philips (North Carolina Theatre). Leung has been featured on the recordings for Godspell (Sh-K-Boom Records), Flower Drum Song (DRG Records), Pacific Overtures (PS Classics), Wall to Wall Sondheim (Live from Symphony Space), Dear Edwina (PS Classics) and the Grammy Award-nominated Bernstein: Mass with Marin Alsop (Sony/Naxos). His television and film credits include “Glee” (Wes, Dalton Academy Warblers), “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” and Rent: Filmed Live on Broadway. Leung holds a B.F.A. from the Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama.
For additional bios, visit The Old Globe’s online press site: http://www.theoldglobe.org/pressphotos/allegiance.html. For further information about Allegiance, visit www.allegiancemusical.com.
TICKETS to Allegiance can be purchased online at www.TheOldGlobe.org, by phone at (619) 23-GLOBE or by visiting the Box Office at 1363 Old Globe Way in Balboa Park. Tickets are currently available by subscription only. Performances begin on Sept. 7 and continue through Oct. 21. Discounts are available for full-time students, patrons 29 years of age and under, seniors and groups of 10 or more.
LOCATION: The Old Globe is located in San Diego’s Balboa Park at 1363 Old Globe Way. There are numerous free parking lots available throughout the park. Valet parking is also available ($10). For additional parking information visit www.BalboaPark.org.
CALENDAR: Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (11/19-12/31), Some Lovers (11/26-12/31), Dividing the Estate (1/14-2/12), The Recommendation (1/21-2/26), A Room with a View (3/2-4/8), Anna Christie (3/10-4/15).
PHOTO EDITORS: Digital images of The Old Globe’s productions are available at www.TheOldGlobe.org/pressroom.
The Tony Award-winning Old Globe is one of the country’s leading professional regional theaters and has stood as San Diego’s flagship arts institution for 75 years. Under the direction of Executive Producer Louis G. Spisto, The Old Globe produces a year-round season of 15 productions of classic, contemporary and new works on its three Balboa Park stages: the Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage in the 600-seat Old Globe Theatre and the 250-seat Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre, which are both part of The Old Globe’s Conrad Prebys Theatre Center, and the 605-seat outdoor Lowell Davies Festival Theatre, home of its internationally renowned Shakespeare Festival. More than 250,000 people attend Globe productions annually and participate in the theater's education and community programs. Numerous world premieres such as The Full Monty, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, A Catered Affair, and the annual holiday musical, Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, have been developed at The Old Globe and have gone on to enjoy highly successful runs on Broadway and at regional theaters across the country.
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