Edit ModuleShow Tags

I Pledge Allegiance

Saluting quality actors landing on the local stage


George Takei and Lea Solanga

George Takei and Lea Solanga

It’s very cool that people like George Takei (Star Trek icon) and Lea Solanga (Disney and Broadway songstress extraordinaire) come to our city to do theater.

Both actors are currently starring in the Old Globe’s world premiere of Allegiance: A New American Musical, along with Glee alum Telly Leung (hello, Warblers!) and local talents like Allie Trimm (Hannah) and Geno Carr (you've seen him play Papa Who in Old Globe's Grinch). Allegiance was directed by Stafford Arima, with music and lyrics by Jay Kuo.

The story follows a Japanese American family forced into an internment camp in the aftermath of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Generations are torn, the younger drawn to fight for America and prove patriotism, the elder tied to the honor of their Japanese ancestors (and the middle generation protesting the draft, on principle). A young Sammy (Leung), just elected to student council, has the world at his feet. But everything changes when his father has to sell their Salinas farm (for ten cents on the dollar) before they are sent to Heart Mountain Internment Camp in Wyoming.

The subject matter bears personal significance as Takei himself was incarcerated at Camp Rohwer and Camp Tule Lake, and fellow Allegiance actor Paul Nakauchi is a child of camp survivors.

Lea Solanga and another actor

It’s an intense and very tragic historical account. The woman in the seat next to me was especially tearful, and there were several sniffles in the house.

The story of the internment camps is one that needs to be told, although the medium (musical theater) was an interesting choice. It was very heavy—a swing dance number and jitterbug choreography almost seemed jarring. Plus, I was a little starstruck.

Readers might have to be theater geeks to fully appreciate this, but Lea Salonga, who plays Kei Kimura, is best known for her vocal performance as princess Jasmine in Disney’s Aladdin (A whole new world!), her Tony-award winning portrayal as Kim in Miss Saigon, and her turn as Eponine in Les Miserables.

Salonga really carries the show. Give the girl a powerhouse ballad and she’ll take it from there. Just hearing her sing, takes me back to the late ‘90s, belting “Now That I’ve Seen Her" in the shower.

And George. The veteran. I think he was a little underutilized in this production. But he performs which such joy, it’s hard not to smile while watching him.

The 75-year-old really comes through in the end, delivering a moving monologue in the final moments of the show.

Again, I just think it’s cool that San Diego is a theater town, and that people get excited about new productions.

Show your allegiance to theater and new ventures like this one, now on the Shiley Stage through October 21.


Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Related Stories

Behind the Scenes Video: Making the October issue

Go inside the action at Water Grill as Chef Fabrice Poigin whips up dishes for this month's restaurant review

Brittany Segal: “I’m stuck in San Diego for the rest of my life”

We talked to the 26-year-old artist about her passion for animals, her first solo show in San Diego, and why she’ll never leave her hometown

How-To: The San Diego Film Festival

Festival Producer Stephanie Inscoe lets us in on her best tips for the 14th year of “Binge Watching for Film Lovers”
Edit Module
Edit Module

Subscribe to the Blog

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags


Local News Updates And Things To Do In San Diego

About This Blog

San Diego Magazine's editorial staff (Erin Chambers Smith + Erin Meanley + Kimberly Cunningham + a handful of smart, thoughtful contributors)  and web designer (Sanna Coates) blog everything from restaurants and bars to behind the scenes gossip to the best events happening this weekend. Looking for foodie and restaurant guru Troy Johnson? He's got his own blog here.

Recent Posts



Atom Feed Subscribe to the Cityfiles Feed »

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags


Everything is Just Two Wheels Away

Get ready to GO by BIKE!

Go Ahead... Ask McMillin!

At McMillin Realty, we are encouraging you to bring us your real estate questions. We will answer these questions….. for free.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. Secret San Diego
    Here are some of the city’s most hush-hush spots, from hidden ocean caves to off-menu, must-try bites
  2. Best of San Diego in Pictures
    A look at the stories behind 15 of our favorite images
  3. FIRST LOOK: Bracero
    The hottest thing in San Diego food right now is Mexico. And there is no chef more primed to show what Baja can do than Javier Plascencia. Take a first look at his new spot in San Diego, Bracero Cocina De Raiz.
  4. FIRST LOOK: Cafe Gratitude
    Healthy gourmet is the future. L.A.'s Cafe Gratitude has become one of the breakout stars of the movement. They open their first San Diego location in Little Italy this week. San Diego Mag unveils the first photos...
  5. Best of San Diego 2015
    137 of our favorite things to see, sip, taste, and love
  6. Health Food Is Terrible
    Food critic Troy Johnson explains why health food deserves its bad rap, and why it's the future of dining out. Plus a pocket guide to eating healthy food that doesn't suck in San Diego.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module