The Tony Awards dominated the cultural news in New York this week, but it turned out they weren’t the only red-carpet game in town.
On Monday night, Manhattan’s landmark Stella Adler Studio of Acting hosted its annual Stella By Starlight Gala, attended by such famous names as Liza Minnelli, Bernadette Peters, Alec Baldwin, James Gandolfini and Harold Prince.
George Takei has taken to heart the saying made famous by his “Star Trek” co-star Leonard Nimoy. The 76-year-old’s storied life has led him down a long, winding road.
From being imprisoned in a Japanese-American internment camp for part of his childhood to becoming a science-fiction icon as Lt. Hikaru Sulu to being an outspoken activist for gay rights and historical preservation, his experiences have shaped his life — a gift he wholeheartedly embraces.
Imagine being five years old and waking up one morning to see two soldiers with bayonets at your front door, forcing your family out of the only home you’ve ever known. Imagine then spending three years as a prisoner in your own country, just because of the way you look.
That’s what happened to George Takei, in 1942, right here in the United States. He, his family and over 110,000 other American citizens were forced from their homes to live in internment camps for the crime of, in Takei’s words, “looking like the people who bombed Pearl Harbor.”
Tony Award winner Lea Salonga, George Takei and Telly Leung were part of a May 20 New York City industry presentation of Allegiance, the award-winning new musical by Jay Kuo, Marc Acito and Lorenzo Thione.
Allegiance is planning to arrive on Broadway in spring 2014, representatives for the musical confirmed to Playbill.com. The May 20 readings were the latest step toward that goal.
At 76, George Takei is in the prime of his life: The Star Trek actor and L.A. native is now a social media maven, a theatrical producer and, with his husband, the former Brad Altman (now Takei), a poster child for marriage equality.
That doesn’t mean everyone knows how to pronounce his name properly. It’s Ta-KAY, he says, not Ta-KAI — as in “Ta-KAY is gay,” he quips.
Takei’s dry wit and deadpan style have made him one of the Internet’s most beloved celebrities. But it’s a dark episode from his childhood that shaped his world.
In March, it was announced that Allegiance: A New American Musical, would be getting a developmental lab staging in New York in April and May of this year. The musical, which tackles the often-overlooked topic of the Japanese internment camps that existed in the United States during World War II and the effects that they had on the people whose lives they touched, originally opened at the Old Globe theatre in San Diego in 2012 and now has its eyes set on Broadway.
MCGEHEE, Ark. — The McGehee Industrial Foundation announces the opening of the WWII Japanese American Internment Museum on Tuesday, April 16, with actor/activist George Takei as special guest.
It will house the exhibit “Against Their Will,” interpreting the history during World War II when the Japanese American population was moved from the West Coast to ten internment camps across the country, forced to leave behind their homes and jobs.
Two of those camps, Jerome and Rohwer, were located in southeast Arkansas. They were home to more than 17,000 Japanese Americans.
George Takei, best known as Captain Sulu of Star Trek, says it’s been his “lifelong dream” to make it to Broadway. He came close in 1960 when he was invited to audition for a show. But he did not get the part.
“It was a body blow,” says Takei. “Suddenly, New York turned into a cold, heartless city.”
Tony winner Lea Salonga is getting ready to lead the cast of the Lincoln Center concert of Ragtime, which will bow on February 18 and feature a cast of Broadway showstoppers like Norm Lewis, Tyne Daly, Patina Miller, Kerry Butler, Matt Cavenaugh and more. In prepping for the concert, the former Miss Saigon star gave Broadway.com the scoop on the starry lineup for the anticipated event.