Full casting announced for the UK premiere of the uplifting
Broadway musical ‘George Takei’s Allegiance’
The 16-strong cast of ‘George Takei’s Allegiance’ are today revealed.
Starring alongside the previously announced legendary TV and film star George Takei and Broadway and TV star Telly Leung is Aynrand Ferrer, who has just played the alternate Kim in ‘Miss Saigon’ in Vienna. All three are making their London stage debuts.
The multi-national cast also features Iroy Abesamis, Mark Anderson, Masashi Fujimoto, Megan Gardiner, Raiko Gohara, Eu Jin Hwang, Hana Ichijo, Misa Koide, Patrick Munday, Rachel Jayne Picar, Sario Solomon, Joy Tan, Iverson Yabut.
Creative team: Book Marc Acito, Jay Kuo & Lorenzo Thione, Music & Lyrics Jay Kuo, Director and Choreographer Tara Overfield Wilkinson, Musical Supervisors and Orchestrations Andrew Hilton and Charlie Ingles, Set and Costume Designer Mayou Trikerioti, Lighting Designer Nic Farman, Sound Designer Chris Whybrow, Casting Director Sarah Leung CDG, Musical Director Amy Hsu, Associate Director Kirsty Malpass, Associate Choreographer Misa Koide, Assistant Musical Director Beth Jerem, Production Management New Wolf Productions, General Management Something for the Weekend, Producers Sing Out, Louise! Productions.
Charing Cross Theatre
Saturday 7 January to Saturday 8 April, 2023
Iroy Abesamis was Marcel, Bloody Mary’s assistant in ‘South Pacific’ at Chichester Festival Theatre, Sadler’s Wells and on UK tour. His other stage musicals include ‘The King & I’ and ‘Miss Saigon’ (UK and international tours).
Mark Anderson’s West End musicals include ‘School of Rock’, ‘Book of Mormon’ and ‘The Grinning Man’. He played the lead role of Melvin Ferd the Third/Toxie in ‘The Toxic Avenger’ (Southwark Playhouse and Arts Theatre transfer). He has just finished the UK premiere tour of Disney’s ‘Bedknobs and Broomsticks’.
Aynrand Ferrer was 1st cover Kim in ‘Miss Saigon’ on a UK and international tour in 2017/18 and has recently played alternate Kim in ‘Miss Saigon’ in Vienna. She graduated from the UST Conservatory of Music in the Philippines in 2016 with a degree in Musical Theatre. She also appeared on stage in the lead role of Carrie White in ‘Carrie: the Musical’.
Masashi Fujimoto, born in Hiroshima, Japan, trained in Tokyo (BA in Music), and studied opera and musical theatre in Milan and London. He made his first major UK and US TV appearance in ‘Banzai’. His stage roles include ‘The King and I’ and ‘Insein The Opera’. He is also the composer of ‘Hexwood the Musical’ and ‘Santa’s Magical Gift’.
Megan Gardiner most recently covered and played Cosette in the UK tour of ‘Les Miserables’. She was also cover Dorothy in ‘The Wizard of Oz’ at Cork Opera House.
Raiko Gohara was most recently in ‘Red Rose’ (BBC). ‘Allegiance’ is his professional stage debut.
Eu Jin Hwang was recently in the Broadway transfer of ‘Anything Goes’ at the Barbican and on UK tour, and in the UK and international tour of ‘The King & I’.
Hana Ichijo was June in ‘Anyone Can Whistle’ (Southwark Playhouse) and Meg March in ‘Little Women’ (Park Theatre).
Misa Koide was in the West End production of ‘The King And I’ and ‘Amadigi’ for Garsington Opera. On film she is in the upcoming ‘Wonka’ and Disney’s live action ‘Snow White’.
Telly Leung transfers to London from the 2015 Broadway production of Allegiance. Best known to UK audiences as Wes, the Warbler on TV’s ‘Glee’ and to Broadway audiences for the title role in ‘Aladdin’, his other Broadway and US national touring credits include ‘Flower Drum Song’, ‘Pacific Overtures’, ‘Wicked’ (Boq, original Chicago company) and Angel in ‘Rent’ at the Hollywood Bowl, directed by Neil Patrick Harris.
Patrick Munday is currently appearing in ‘But I’m A Cheerleader’ at the Turbine Theatre. He was in ‘The Show Must Go On! Live at the Palace Theatre’ in the West End and ‘The Sorcerer’s Apprentice’ at Northern Stage.
Rachel Jayne Picar was recently Connie Wong in ‘A Chorus Line’ at Curve, Leicester. She was in ‘South Pacific’ at Chichester Festival Theatre and was Swing and Dance Captain in ‘The King & I’ at the London Palladium and on tour.
Sario Solomon was in the original cast of ‘The Band’ in the West End and on tour – cast by winning the BBC 1 programme ‘Let It Shine’. He was Cover Lucas and Lurch in ‘The Addams Family’ on tour and is currently playing Joey in ‘Friendsical the Musical’ on tour.
Joy Tan is currently in ‘The Crucible’ at the National Theatre. They were in ‘A-Typical Rainbow’ (Turbine Theatre) and are part of the ‘Showstopper! The Improvised Musical’ cast of improvisers.
Iverson Yabut is a recent graduate from Mountview making his professional stage debut.
George Takei is best known for his portrayal of Mr. Sulu in the acclaimed television and film series ‘Star Trek’. He is an actor, civil rights activist, social media mega-power, New York Times bestselling author, he originated the role of Sam Kimura and Ojii-chan in the Broadway musical Allegiance and was subject of ‘To Be Takei’, a documentary on his life and career.
Takei’s acting career has spanned more than six decades, with more than 40 feature films and hundreds of TV guest-starring roles to his credit. He is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Actors’ Equity Association and Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.
A community activist, Takei is Chairman Emeritus and a member of the Japanese American National Museum’s Board of Trustees. In recognition of his contribution to the Japan-United States relationship, in 2004, Takei was conferred with the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette, by His Majesty, the Emperor of Japan. Takei formerly served as chair of the council of governors of East West Players, the foremost Asian Pacific American theatre in the United States. He was a member of the US Japan Bridging Foundation Board of Directors; and he served on the Board of the Japan-United States
Friendship Commission under President Bill Clinton.
With Takei’s expansion into social media, interest in his personal life grew. In January 2014, ‘To Be Takei’, a Jennifer M. Kroot documentary on George’s life and career, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival that January, and was later released in select cinemas across North America.
Among his many accomplishments is a Grammy nomination Takei shared with Leonard Nimoy, in 1987, in the Best Spoken Word or Non-Musical Recording category. He received a star on Hollywood Boulevard’s Walk of Fame in 1986. And in 1991, Takei left his signature and hand print, in cement, in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.
In addition to the Broadway musical Allegiance, George’s theatrical credits include ‘Undertow’, winner of the Scotsman First Award at the Edinburgh Festival, and ‘The Wash’, written by Philip Kan Gotanda and presented in New York at the Manhattan Theater Club and in Los Angeles at the Mark Taper Forum. He performed in ‘Year of the Dragon’ at the American Place Theater in New York and in ‘Fly Blackbird’ at the Billy Rose Theater in New York and the Metro Theater in Los Angeles. In the UK, George played in a musical version of’ Snow White’ at the Dome Theatre, Brighton, he was the genie in ‘Aladdin’ at the Hexagon Theatre, Reading, and he was the Emperor of China in ‘Aladdin’ at the Central Theatre, Chatham. In 2017, Takei starred in a revival of Stephen Sondheim’s ‘Pacific Overtures’ directed by John Doyle at Classic Stage Company in New York City.
Takei is well known to longtime fans of ITV’s ‘I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!’ Takei participated in the eighth season of the series, entering camp on the 16th of November, 2008, and coming out 21 days later in third place, losing to runner-up Martina Navratilova and winner Joe Swash.
As an author, Takei’s first book, his autobiography, ‘To the Stars’, was published in 1994; and in 2012 and 2013 he published his second and third books, ‘Oh Myyy! There Goes The Internet’, and its sequel, ‘Lions And Tigers And Bears: The Internet Strikes Back’. The latter two books explored his forays on social media and the Internet, earning placement on the Amazon e-book and paperback best-seller lists in 2012 and 2013, respectively. His fifth book, the Eisner Award winning and New York Times bestselling graphic memoir ‘They Called Us Enemy’, was released in July 2019.
Takei’s social media dominance is best denoted by his numerous awards. Mashable.com named George a “social media superstar” on Facebook in 2012, where he currently has over 19.6 million combined fans. In 2013, Takei won the Shorty Award for Distinguished Achievement in Internet Culture. He has 3.4 million followers on Twitter, and posts on various social media platforms. He expanded his internet presence with the 2015 YouTube series, “It Takeis Two,” starring with husband, Brad Takei. The “reality” series shared the couple’s daily navigation of their world, with George’s vibrant sense of humour and Brad’s less-than-optimistic pragmatism. In 2015, Cosmopolitan Magazine named Takei “One of the Internet’s 50 Most Fascinating People.” Takei and his husband, Brad, were married at the Japanese American National Museum on September 14, 2008. The Takeis reside in Los Angeles, California.
Takei received both bachelor and master of arts degrees from UCLA (’60, ’64). In June 2019, Takei received the Distinguished Alumni Award in Theater from the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television (UCLA TFT). In June 2016, California State University, Los Angeles, presented Takei with an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters.
After the bombing of Pearl Harbor during World War II, California-born George Takei and his
family were placed behind the barbed-wire enclosures of United States’ internment camps along with 120,000 other Japanese Americans. He spent years of his childhood at Camp Rohwer in the swamps of Arkansas and at wind-swept Camp Tule Lake in northern California. At the end of the war, Takei’s family returned to their native Los Angeles.
Inspired by this difficult chapter of American history and his own true childhood experiences, Takei developed the Broadway musical Allegiance, an epic story of love and heroism in which he starred alongside Tony Award winner Lea Salonga and Telly Leung in its record-breaking world premiere at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego in 2012. The show won multiple awards and was followed by a Broadway run in 2015-2016.
Now Allegiance gets a new and more intimate production for the UK, conceived specifically for the Off West End space at Charing Cross Theatre, directed and choreographed by Tara Overfield Wilkinson (director, ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ UK tour, associate director/choreographer of ‘Come From Away’ UK).
‘George Takei’s Allegiance’ tells the moving story of Sam Kimura (Takei) as he is transported back nearly six decades to when his younger self (Leung) and his sister Kei (Ferrer) fought to stay connected to their heritage, their family and themselves after Japanese Americans were wrongfully imprisoned during World War II. A powerful story told with great resonance and intimacy, ‘George Takei’s Allegiance’ explores the ties that bind us, the struggle to persevere and the overwhelming power of forgiveness and, most especially, love.
‘George Takei’s Allegiance’ will get its UK premiere at Charing Cross Theatre, The Arches, Villiers Street, London WC2N 6NL for 13 weeks from Saturday 7 January to Saturday 8 April, 2023.
This newly reconceived UK production of ‘George Takei’s Allegiance’ has a book by Marc Acito, Jay Kuo and Lorenzo Thione with music and lyrics by Jay Kuo.
Tickets range from £20-£80 and may be purchased at AllegianceMusical.com
or by calling the Charing Cross Box Office at 0844-493-0650.
Sing Out, Louise! Productions
‘George Takei’s Allegiance’
Book by Marc Acito, Jay Kuo, and Lorenzo Thione
Music and Lyrics by Jay Kuo
Directed & Choreographed by
Tara Overfield Wilkinson
Charing Cross Theatre
London WC2N 6NL
Box office: 08444 930650
Saturday 7 January to
Saturday 8 April, 2023
Monday to Saturday evenings at 7.30pm
Wednesday and Saturday matinees
(excluding Saturday 7 January)
£20.00 – £70.00
Premium seats £80
A booking fee applies to phone and internet orders;
no booking fee to in person over the counter sales.
A restoration levy applies to all tickets
The box office is open from 2 hours before curtain time on performance days for in person sales
Facebook – @allegiancemusical
Twitter / Instagram- @allegiancebway
Website – AllegianceMusical.com