Tag Archives: Lea Salonga

Coming Attractions: George Takei And Lea Salonga In Allegiance

By Arturo R. García

We generally don’t review a lot of plays here at the R, but this looks to be a marked exemption: next month will see the premiere of Allegiance, a musical starring George Takei and Tony Award-winner Lea Salonga, in my town, and I’m planning on being there.

The show will follow the Omura family, who are among the 120,000 Japanese-Americans sent to internment camps during World War II. Takei plays Sam Kimura, who is forced to confront his estrangement from his family in the decades after the war, while Salonga, in flashbacks, plays Sam’s older sister Kim, who finds herself on her own collision course with her family’s stance during their imprisonment.

Earlier this year, Takei used his online popularity to raise $150,000 for the show in an IndieGogo campaign. The show will hit the stage about a year after doing workshop performances in Los Angeles. During the production’s pre-Broadway run in San Diego, an art installation honoring internment camp residents will be on display in the theater.

The show debuts not long after another local production, The Nightingale, was criticized for going with “colorblind casting” in a play set in ancient China, leading to an audience protest during a workshop performance last month.

“Inadvertently, this kind of thing says you continue to be irrelevant,” one attendee said. “Reminds me how invisible [Asians] still are and how we are so often not invited to sit at the table. The play takes place in an Asian country and it is like a knife to the heart.”

The Friday Mixtape – 6.1.12 Edition

Starting us off this week are Portland’s own The Slants, who are giving fans an interesting incentive for pre-ordering their latest album, Slants! Slants! Revolution. The band is looking to raise $10,000 via Kickstarter to pay for a new tour bus, and, if they meet their goal, anyone who contributes $50 or more will be memorialized on the bus with their name, location and a custom message, on top of other swag like exclusive content. And as the band explains on their fundraising page, for a group that’s played more than 350 shows around the U.S. and in Europe in just four years, new wheels are definitely a priority:

We’ll be able to purchase an older shuttle bus and renovate it for the tour. This would mean that we wouldn’t need to tour with a trailer anymore, be much safer on the road, break down less often, and have a little more space on our house on wheels.

Among the group’s stops on the road thus far have been anime conventions (Spoilers: they’ll be playing a gig this July during the San Diego Comic-Con), and that gets reflected in the video for “You Make Me Alive,” where some cosplayers get to shine alongside the band.

This next track is one of those asides that makes late-night web searches worth your time: a few years back, members of Tijuana’s Nortec Collective – a group of DJs who blend beats from Northern Mexico with techno – decided to cover Depeche Mode’s “Never Let Me Down” with the backing of a brass band. The ensuing cultural collision packs a punch worthy of the original.

Speaking of collisions, here’s a mash-up from DJs From Mars pitting Rihanna’s “We Found Love” against “Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall” by Coldplay. It’s okay, Coldplay doesn’t bring the mood down this time.

Our friends at Bold As Love turned us on to this track by Brooklyn-based Maya Azucena, whose music has been featured on shows like The Wire and 30 Rock, and has performed – by request, even – at the United Nations’ Millenium Development Goals Summit in 2010. If you’re not familiar with her, “The Half” is a great introduction.

We take to the stage for our final track, what with the trailer for the new film adaptation of Les Miserables hitting the web this week, with the only voice you hear being Anne Hathaway’s take on “I Dreamed A Dream.” The film will also feature Samantha Banks as Eponine, a role that Lea Salonga brought to life on Broadway. This fall, Salonga is scheduled to star alongside George Takei in Allegiance – A New American Musical set during the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. Here’s Salonga as Eponine during the 10th Anniversary show for Les Mis, with “On My Own.”

Finally, with summer kicking off, let’s open this thing up a bit: we are now taking requests! If you’ve got a track or an artist that you want your fellow Racializens to know about, drop me a line at arturo@racialicious.com and we’ll give you some shine.