Star Trek's George Takei and Aladdin's Telly Leung make their London stage debuts in the U.K. premiere of the 2015 Broadway musical Allegiance—based on events in Takei's family during World War II—officially opening January 17 at the Charing Cross Theatre.
The intimate production, conceived specifically for the Off-West End space, is directed and choreographed by Tara Overfield Wilkinson. Now titled George Takei's Allegiance, the production began previews January 7 and will continue through April 8.
Takei and Leung re-create the roles of Sam Kimura and his younger self, Sammy, that they originated on Broadway.
The two actors are joined by Aynrand Ferrer (Kim in Miss Saigon in Vienna), also making her London debut as Kei, with Iroy Abesamis, Mark Anderson, Masashi Fujimoto, Megan Gardiner, Raiko Gohara, Eu Jin Hwang, Hana Ichijo, Misa Koide, Patrick Munday, Rachel Jayne Picar, Sario Solomon, Joy Tan, and Iverson Yabut.
Allegiance, which has a book by Marc Acito, Jay Kuo, and Lorenzo Thione with music and lyrics by Kuo, tells the story of Sam Kimura (Takei) as he is transported back nearly six decades to when his younger self (Leung) and his sister Kei (Ferrer) fought to stay connected to their heritage, their family, and themselves after Japanese Americans were wrongfully imprisoned during World War II.
Takei said in an earlier statement, “Allegiance is a story from America’s past, but it has great relevance today. Once again, fascism is on the march, and whole communities are under attack. Again, the freedoms so many take for granted are gravely imperiled. Allegiance is my legacy. We must learn the lessons of our past so that we may never repeat them. That’s why we tell our story. That’s why I’ve dedicated my life to ensuring we collectively honor the commitment, ‘Never again’.”
The newly reconceived U.K. production also features musical supervision and orchestrations by Andrew Hilton and Charlie Ingles, set and costume design by Mayou Trikerioti, lighting design by Nic Farman, sound design by Chris Whybrow, casting by Sarah Leung Casting, musical direction by Amy Hsu, associate direction by Kirsty Malpass, associate choreography by Misa Koide, and assistant musical direction by Beth Jerem.
The musical officially opened on Broadway November 8, 2015, following previews that began October 6 at the Longacre Theatre. At closing, the production played 37 previews and 113 regular performances. Olivier Award nominee Stafford Arima directed the Broadway bow, which also starred Tony winner Lea Salonga. Andrew Palermo served as choreographer. Allegiance was filmed and subsequently shown in movie theatres and also streamed.
Sing Out, Louise! Productions produces the London engagement with production management by New Wolf Productions and general management by Something for the Weekend.