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"Allegiance" (2012) - Jay Kuo's Broadway Musical Starring George Takei and Lea Solonga Closing Feb 14, 2016

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Saw Allegiance last night partially out of obligation as a Japanese American. The musical tells the story of the JA experience during WWII in the concentration camps and the struggle to prove the patriotism and allegiance of various individuals to the ideals of this country. It follows primarily one family which has the father as a no-no (responses of no to willingness to serve in the army, and no to forswear allegiance to Japan, which for many who were barred from US citizenship would have left them without citizenship) and the son becomes a war hero serving in the 442nd. The daughter/sister in the family falls in love with another man who refuses the draft until his family is released from the camps and is sent to prison.

For a 2.5 hour performance, it packs a lot in with regard to Japanese American cultural influences and how it shapes the evolution of the various attitudes towards what is patriotic and what ideals different actors were standing up for.

If you have a chance to see it, I highly recommend going to this in the next two weeks. The music was surprisingly strong, and I think they built it around the strength of Lea Salonga  as the lead singer.

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Saw Allegiance last night partially out of obligation as a Japanese American. The musical tells the story of the JA experience during WWII in the concentration camps and the struggle to prove the patriotism and allegiance of various individuals to the ideals of this country. It follows primarily one family which has the father as a no-no (responses of no to willingness to serve in the army, and no to forswear allegiance to Japan, which for many who were barred from US citizenship would have left them without citizenship) and the son becomes a war hero serving in the 442nd. The daughter/sister in the family falls in love with another man who refuses the draft until his family is released from the camps and is sent to prison.

For a 2.5 hour performance, it packs a lot in with regard to Japanese American cultural influences and how it shapes the evolution of the various attitudes towards what is patriotic and what ideals different actors were standing up for.

If you have a chance to see it, I highly recommend going to this in the next two weeks. The music was surprisingly strong, and I think they built it around the strength of Lea Salonga  as the lead singer.

post-2-0-64344700-1454296923_thumb.png

Darn it, I'm going to New York the first week in March, and I would have loved to see this (if anyone else has any Broadway recommendations, please offer them up [and forgive me if I move them into other threads]). "Allegiance" opened in 2012 in San Diego before premiering on Broadway Nov 8, 2015, so it had a very short run - still, the subject matter intrigues me, and the fact that you saw it makes me interested in discussing it - I read here that a national tour is in the works:

01/06/16 - "New Broadway Musical 'Allegiance,' Starring Lea Salonga and George Takei, Posts Closing Notice" by Andrew Gans on playbill.com

Going full circle, you might (or you might not) want to watch The Twlight Zone episode, "The Encounter," starring Guess Who?

The-Twilight-Zone-The-Encounter-Taro-3.j

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I have heard that the script was altered pretty significantly from the original that played in San Diego. The original was more harsh towards the role of the Japanese American Citizen's League as apologists and selling out the Japanese Americans by voluntarily agreeing to be put in the camps in the first place. The current version shows a more conflicted JACL leadership that is trying to do what he thinks is right, though it still comes with quite a bit of arrogance. There remains a lot of bitterness between different sides of how members of the community responded to the war and internment as to who was truly being patriotic and standing up to or for American ideals. Who was a traitor to the country vs traitor to their community.

I am curious as to how some of this is perceived by someone seeing the musical without all that historical knowledge. I feel that I benefit somewhat by the fact my father immigrated long after the war, so I don't have the perspective of having had my own family interned and it is more of the community understanding of what happened that I carry. I feel it is my responsibility as a Japanese American to make sure that we don't forget what happened with the internment, but I don't have the emotional tie to take a side of which was better, to serve in the army willingly and enthusiastically or fight back at the inherent injustice of the camps and being asked to serve a country that had stripped all human rights and dignity.

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I have heard that the script was altered pretty significantly from the original that played in San Diego. The original was more harsh towards the role of the Japanese American Citizen's League as apologists and selling out the Japanese Americans by voluntarily agreeing to be put in the camps in the first place. The current version shows a more conflicted JACL leadership that is trying to do what he thinks is right, though it still comes with quite a bit of arrogance. There remains a lot of bitterness between different sides of how members of the community responded to the war and internment as to who was truly being patriotic and standing up to or for American ideals. Who was a traitor to the country vs traitor to their community.

I am curious as to how some of this is perceived by someone seeing the musical without all that historical knowledge. I feel that I benefit somewhat by the fact my father immigrated long after the war, so I don't have the perspective of having had my own family interned and it is more of the community understanding of what happened that I carry. I feel it is my responsibility as a Japanese American to make sure that we don't forget what happened with the internment, but I don't have the emotional tie to take a side of which was better, to serve in the army willingly and enthusiastically or fight back at the inherent injustice of the camps and being asked to serve a country that had stripped all human rights and dignity.

The baited line has been (forgive the (forgive the play on words ...) "play" on words ...) "cast."

Can you tell I'm a wicked-good Lisp programmer?

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Saw Allegiance last night partially out of obligation as a Japanese American. The musical tells the story of the JA experience during WWII in the concentration camps and the struggle to prove the patriotism and allegiance of various individuals to the ideals of this country. It follows primarily one family which has the father as a no-no (responses of no to willingness to serve in the army, and no to forswear allegiance to Japan, which for many who were barred from US citizenship would have left them without citizenship) and the son becomes a war hero serving in the 442nd. The daughter/sister in the family falls in love with another man who refuses the draft until his family is released from the camps and is sent to prison.

For a 2.5 hour performance, it packs a lot in with regard to Japanese American cultural influences and how it shapes the evolution of the various attitudes towards what is patriotic and what ideals different actors were standing up for.

If you have a chance to see it, I highly recommend going to this in the next two weeks. The music was surprisingly strong, and I think they built it around the strength of Lea Salonga  as the lead singer.

I'm intrigued by that production, probably because of the history.  I'm a child of the WWII generation and had two friends who had a parent who was interred in those camps.  I knew nothing about it nor ever heard about it in depth from those friends or their parents.

Surprising history to me, and a dark mark in America's past as I read up on the camps.  Amazingly 99% of the Japanese American population in Hawaii was not interred, yet the vast majority on the West Coast were.  My one quick read of some of this history was revealing...all on a subject on which I knew virtually nothing, even while being a bit exposed to some of the victims.

I won't be in NY before the play closes.  If it comes to this area I'd be interested in seeing it.

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