By Marivir R. Montebon
New York City — Lea Salonga, along with George Takei, were warmly welcomed by well-wishers in the Philippine House on 5th Avenue for the musical Allegiance, set to open on Broadway in the fall of this year.
Sporting a short hair and cool in her dark blue print dress, Lea was happy to meet old colleagues in the theaters of the Big Apple. George, meanwhile, remarked how Allegiance is relevant to this date, for it is about the real life story of his parents who went through racial persecution in the US right after the bombing of the Pearl Harbor.
Pretty much a resonance of the impact of the 9/11 bombings, when Arab Americans felt a reprisal of sorts, the actor for Star Trek and Heroes said.
How the Japanese people in the US at that time handled this critical moment is one thing that Allegiance imparts, and is thus a must-see. Allegiance will be shown at the Longacre Theatre on 48th Street from October 2015 to June 2016.
Lea plays Kei in Allegiance, which stars Takei (as Sam Kimura) and Telly Leung (of the Godspell and Glee fame, as the young Sam). The Kimura family is wrongfully detained during World War II and this has caused their breaking apart, as their loyalties and allegiance have been in question.
Allegiance is Lea’s come-back to Broadway, 26 years later after she played Kim in Miss Saigon that earned her a Lawrence Olivier award as best actress.
Amb. Mario de Leon, Philippine consul general to New York, said the Filipino community in New York is eagerly awaiting for Lea’s comeback. Interestingly, De Leon served as Consul-general to New York when Lea was in Miss Saigon, and in 2015, when she returns on Broadway. “It is like coming full circle, in 26 years. Wow,” the ambassador said.