George Takei talks race, Broadway at 2012 SDAFF

Just a few days after the close of the extremely successful run of “Allegiance,” a musical drama about the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, one its stars, veteran actor and ubiquitous Facebook presence George Takei, walked the red carpet at the San Diego Asian Film Festival Gala.  Asked how it felt to break the record for box office take at The Old Globe theater where the play ran in San Diego, Takei smiled and said, “I think we busted some buttons over it.  I seem to be missing some from my jacket.”

Takei spoke about the meaning of “Allegiance,” and its story about the detainment of people because of their race, for audiences today.  “It’s an important American story that all Americans should know about because the United States Constitution was most egregiously violated,” he said.  “It’s particularly important for Asian Americans and new immigrants.”

Takei focused on the historical significance, but also on the change that’s happened since the 1940’s.   “It’s important to know that there’s been a progression constantly forward in equality and civil liberties.  I think the United States is probably the only nation in the world which has dealt with issues of diversity and succeeded.  You see in Europe they still have a difficult time dealing with diversity.”

“Allegiance” is being prepped to head for Broadway.  Though it’s not a done deal yet, Takei seemed confident that it will be soon.  “Because we’ve been so successful here we are very much determined to get it on the biggest, most important stage in the United States: Broadway,” he said.  “We have a substantial coffer of funds, but our budget is $11.5 million and we need just a bit more.  We’re looking at fall of 2013.”

Meniscus Magazine is a proud sponsor of the 2012 San Diego Asian Film Festival.

Video: George Takei at the Japan Society New York – Jan. 25, 2016
video by Megan Lee / Meniscus Magazine