Thursday, November 29, 2018

Review: Allegiance: Original Broadway Cast Recording

Allegiance: Original Broadway Cast Recording
by George Takei (and others) [Compact Disc 782.14 All]

Star Trek actor George “Mr. Sulu” Takei has crafted a particularly influential persona for himself in recent years as an internet activist. His online presence, which started with tongue-in-cheek humor, gradually expanded to allow Takei to embrace and promote some of the issues near-and-dear to his heart. One of those causes, which he has tried to educate the public about for decades, is the shameful chapter in American history in which close to 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry were imprisoned in internment camps in the United States during World War II — including Takei and his family.
That experience, and the experiences of so many other Japanese-Americans that Takei knew, serves as the inspiration for this stage musical, which premiered in San Diego in 2012 and then was produced on Broadway in 2015. Takei even starred in both productions.

Allegiance features music and lyrics by Jay Kuo, with a book by Marc Acito, Kuo and Lorenzo Thione. Performers on this soundtrack album include Takei, Lea Salonga, Telly Leung, Michael K. Lee and more. The songs range from incredibly emotional to humorous to catchy. Even without the full script in front of you, listening to the music on this soundtrack will still give you a strong feeling for the tone and messages of the full musical. And if you ever have the chance to see the filmed version of Allegiance (which played a few times in our local theaters), I highly encourage you to take the opportunity. The actors/singers were all superb. And the light this musical shines on a dark corner of American history may help us to think carefully before future such human rights violations are allowed to occur again in the future.

[ official Allegiance Musical web site ]

Recommended by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library

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