The wife and I were fortunate to attend an "in previews" showing of the new musical, Allegiance, from George Takei. While nobody would accuse me of being a theater groupie, I had a real desire to see and support this event for several reasons. A U.S. president sending in the American military to deprive life, liberty, and property of American citizens is a particularly resonating issue for me. As Takei makes clear in the video above, this dark time where all three branches of the federal government made war on innocent Americans is a very prescient topic. This is American history that Americans need to understand, and if recent events are any indication, it would appear that Americans have to date failed to learn this important lesson.
I attended the show with no real expectations, other than to experience an important look into our national past. Allegiance the performance, however, blew me away. The power of the musical to humanize and impart this real American experience was overwhelming and incredibly emotional, and yet it was still able to brilliantly express hope and even humor at times. The character development was far richer and deeper than I would have anticipated. Issues like what it means to be a man in our nation, the relationship between father and son, and the play between duty and dissent were on full and vibrant display.
Allegiance phenomenally demonstrated the tension within the imprisoned community, and perhaps of most value, in my opinion, was its presentation of the irony between assimilation into America's society as compared to the actual American assimilation into America's values. The two characters, Sammy and Frankie, personified this struggle as it compared the experiences of one young man who joined the military and even accused those who dissented as committing treason, and the experience of Frankie who refused to join the military while Americans were imprisoned without due process, and who took a principled stand for America's founding principles and rule of law.
I expected merely an important history lesson, but instead the cast of Allegiance provided a powerful experience.
Mr. Takei's Broadway musical is an incredible personal accomplishment and a real service to our nation. I highly recommend this performance to all, but most especially to those of us in the military who must learn from the experiences of our neighbors of the past, if we are to truly defend freedom in America.