Lea Salonga in talks on taking role in 'Allegiance'
Teresa Cerojano (The Philippine Star) - March 3, 2015 - 1:26pm

MANILA, Philippines  — Tony award winner Lea Salonga says talks have not yet been finalized on her joining the cast of George Takei's musical "Allegiance" on Broadway, but added it is a show she wants to be part of.

The Broadway veteran played the lead female role Kei Kimura when the musical made its sold-out premiere in 2012 at the Old Globe in San Diego, California,

"Star Trek" actor Takei's personal and heartfelt show about Japanese-Americans imprisoned during World War II goes to Broadway this fall with him in a starring role.

"Of course I'd like to be a part of it, if only to be part of something that's very important in Broadway history," Salongatold The Associated Press in a telephone interview late Monday.

But she said things were still being discussed by her agent and the show producers, so she could not say if she will be part of the musical.

"Allegiance" is multigenerational tale with two love stories that's framed by a Japanese-American war veteran looking back on his family's time in a Wyoming internment camp. Previews begin Oct. 6. It will mark the first Asian-led cast of a musical on Broadway in more than a decade, since "Flower Drum Song."

The story of "Allegiance" covers an important part of American history, when tens of thousands of Asian-Americans were put in camps just because they looked like the enemy, said Salonga. "This kind of prejudice and bigotry is actually still happening," added the 44-year-old Salonga. "It's still relevant and that's the sad and scary part of it." She said with very few Asian-led musicals on Broadway, "Allegiance" is "a big, big deal" and also excites her because it will be another milestone for Takei.

The actor famous for playing Hikaru Sulu in "Star Trek" turned his childhood memories in an internment camp into the musical. "George Takei who is almost 80 years old is going to make his Broadway debut which is really, really exciting for me as a friend of his and as one who worked with him and he's somebody I used to watch on TV when I was a kid," she added. Takei turns 78 next month.

Salonga — the original "Miss Saigon" in London and New York who also starred in the Broadway revival of "Flower Drum Song" in 2002 — will have a concert on March 14 at the Town Hall in New York. She has also been busy as a coach in "The Voice of the Philippines" singing contest that ended its second season Sunday. She continues as coach in the next season of the kid's edition of the contest. Salonga said she loves grooming the next generation of artists in the Philippine music industry. "It's something I would like to do even off camera, even when I'm not in front of an audience," she said.

BROADWAY DRUM SONG GEORGE TAKEI HIKARU SULU KEI KIMURA LONDON AND NEW YORK SALONGA STAR TREK TAKEI
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