Takei Beaming to U.K. for London Premiere of ‘Allegiance’

George Takei

Getty George Takei stars in "Allegiance"

George Takei is set to return to the stage in a U.K. production of “George Takei’s Allegiance,” the musical drama inspired by the “Star Trek” legend’s childhood experiences as a Japanese-American child during World War II. According to BroadwayWorld.com, Takei — who is known around the world for his “Star Trek” role as Sulu — will make his London stage debut in the U.K. premiere of “Allegiance,” which will run at the Charing Cross Theatre on the Off West End from January 7, 2023, through April 8, 2023. Takei first performed the show in 2012 at the Old Globe theater in San Diego, California. A sold-out run led to a Broadway staging that ran from 2015-2106.

The official “Allegiance” site describes the story as follows: “Their loyalty was questioned, their freedom taken away, but their spirit could never be broken. Inspired by the true events surrounding its star George Takei, ‘Allegiance’ is 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 the events of 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. Legendary performer George Takei stars alongside Broadway star Telly Leung in this enthralling and epic new musical conceived just for the U.K.”

The ‘Star Trek’ Icon First Performed in ‘Allegiance’ in 2012

Tara Overfield Wilkinson will direct and choreograph “Allegiance,” while Andrew Hilton and Charlie Ingles will handle musical supervision and orchestrations. Nic Farman is the lighting designer, joined by Chris Whybrow as sound designer, and Sarah Leung Casting in charge of casting. According to the show’s official site, additional casting and crew information will be announced in the near future. Among the key casting still to be revealed is the actress who will play Sam’s sister, a role originated by Lea Salonga.

Takei, in a 2015 interview with StarTrek.com, described “Allegiance” as a commentary on resilience or, to use the Japanese word, gaman. “And part of resilience is the strength, the ability to find joy under harsh circumstances,” he said. “They indeed find joy and love, though it’s a dangerous love. Young Sam falls in love with an Army nurse, a white woman, in an internment camp during the War. So, it’s a forbidden love, and a dangerous one. And the sister also finds love, but it’s with a young law student who is yanked out of school and imprisoned. He stands on fundamental principles. After a year of imprisonment, the draft comes down – and people are outraged. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, young Japanese-Americans, like all young Americans, rushed to their recruitment centers to volunteer to fight for this country. This act of patriotism on the part of Japanese-Americans was answered with a slap in the face. They were denied military service and categorized as enemy non-aliens. It was outrageous to call people who are acting on patriotism the enemy. And then to compound that word with non-alien? What is that? It’s the word citizen defined in the negative.

‘Allegiance’ Opened on Broadway in 2015

George Takei

GettyGeorge Takei during the curtain call for “Allegiance” on Broadway.

“And then they imprisoned us,” Takei continued. “A year into the imprisonment, they realized there’s a wartime manpower shortage and they came down with the draft. And the young law student says ‘I will fight for my country as an American, but I will not go as an internee. If I can report to my hometown draft board with my family back home, I will fight for my country, but I will not go as an internee, leaving my family in imprisonment.’ It’s a gutsy and principled and very American posture to take. And, for that, he’s tried for draft evasion and thrown into a federal penitentiary. So, (the sister) takes over the leadership of the resistors and her brother goes off to fight in a segregated all-Japanese unit. And it’s that fracture that symbolizes the fracture within the whole Japanese-American community. But they ultimately come back together.”

Tickets for the 13-week run of “George Takei’s Allegiance” are available now at allegiancemusical.com.

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