NEW AND HISTORIC: There are many interesting things to spotlight where "Allegiance," a production that debuted at San Diego's Old Globe Theatre on Wednesday, Sept. 19, is concerned. It's a new musical, which is a marvelous thing, given the fact that the form doesn't get as much play as it deserves (and we'll add a bravo for those artists who continually back it). And it has a star who has been a huge voice for the production, to the tune of bringing thousands of social media fans into its sphere (but we'll get to that in a moment). Let's start with its subject matter, one many Californians can relate to in a very emotional, visceral way: the Japanese-American internment camps of World War II. We say Californians can relate to it -- many Americans of Japanese descent were relocated to camps like Manzanar in the Owens Valley during much of WWII -- but let's make that a wider circle: Every person everywhere, and not simply Golden State residents who were impacted, should know the stories and what happened with the camps. So many thanks, "Allegiance," for telling important tales via song and story.
NOW, ABOUT THAT STAR: It's hard to find any single person who is more popular than George Takei on Facebook these days; his witty asides and observations instantly garner thousands of likes. The "Star Trek" actor is one of the leads of "Allegiance," and when he told the producers he could get a lot of fans to like the show, he made good on his promise and then some: Over 252,000 people now like the musical as of this typing. It's a bit of a phenomenon, truly, in social media, but we couldn't think of a better purpose: It is the support of the arts and the stage, of course, but perhaps more people will learn about what happened Stateside during the war. Education is key, of course, and when presented in song? Emotional. It's a combo that can't be beat.
"ALLEGIANCE" DATES: The musical, which is set to head for Broadway, is on now at The Old Globe in San Diego through Sunday, Oct. 28.