I used to tell all my potential first-time nightlife industry employees a little ditty before they actually agreed to come aboard. If you are a regular reader (well, you must be quite irregular for that) you have heard this before… and now you’ll here it again: I told the people working for me to have an exit strategy. The money is good. The people, the celebrities, the action can be an addiction – but the life, except for a few, has an expiration date. When it’s over, you have to have a way to support yourself. It ends when you need a change but no one will hire you because they want younger, or you just can’t put in the hours anymore, or the "distractions" of the night become a real problem. I would tell them nightlife is like a rollercoaster…you pay a little money to get on and the first thing you do is go up a great hill and from there at the top it seems like you can see forever, when in reality you are seeing just a bit more. Then its a fast ride down and around, thrills spill treacherous curves, some screams, some fear, some exhilaration, and when it’s over you end up basically where you started, spent a little time, had some fun. Many creatures of the night are putting themselves through school or are actors or artists or dancers. They are pursuing dreams in a place built on them. They often service stars, people who were just like them a decade ago. Failure and shattered hopes often are a heavy burden as time goes on. Breaking out is hard to do. The odds are stacked against them. Emily Lazar left NY behind to chase her dreams on the left coast. She used to work with me. She’s a rock star trying to let the world realize that.
The stage has always served as a powerful medium for exploring and disseminating dark times in history. Allegiance, a new musical premiering tomorrow at San Diego’s Old Globe Theatre, explores one of America’s darkest and frequently hidden histories, that of the relocation of thousands of Japanese-American families in internment camps during the Second World War, and does so with an emotional family story, an original score and an all-star cast, including Mr. Sulu himself.
The musical follows several generations of the Kimura family, who, following the Pearl Harbor attacks, are relocated from their California farm to the Heart Mountain internment camp in Wyoming. Each member of the Kimura family has a struggle to deal with: youngest son Sammy Kimura, played by Telly Leung (Wicked, Glee, the Hollywood Bowl cast of Rent), tries to assert his patriotism and loyalty to America, as well as his love for Hannah, a Quaker volunteer at the camp; his older sister Kei, played by Broadway all-star Lea Salonga, is far more critical of the Americans’ policies as well as the council within the camp serving as spokespeople for the Japanese-American internees. The family’s narrative is threaded by the words of Old Sam, or Oiji-San (George Takei!). Jay Kuo composed the music for Allegiance, and Kuo, Lorenzo Thione and Marc Acito (How I Paid for College) wrote the book and Stafford Arima directs.
Following the premiere run in San Diego, Allegiance will move to Broadway at a theatre to be determined for the 2012-2013 Tony season, where, hopefully, George Takei will be put on the path towards an EGOT and eventual global domination. In the clips below, watch the cast and the crew talk about the project, and, just because a video of it exists, watch a Broadway-hungry Takei don a habit and join the cast of Sister Act.
PrepKitchen Little Italy – Little Italy hot spot turns out California-style comfort food.
Gingham (Eastern San Diego) – Top Chef contestant Brian Malarky’s meat and seafood-centric, "urban cowboy" restaurant.
Snooze, an A.M. Eatery (Hillcrest)- Made-from-scratch, farm-raised, local dishes. Breakfast and lunch worth getting up for.
- Ted Baker London (Fashion Valley) – Classic British fashion with an edge.
- Twisted Vine Bistro and Wine Bar (Carmel Valley)- Wine and dine, looking fine in suburbia.
- UnderBelly (Little Italy)- Say Amen to Ramen.
Baltimore: The Daydreams + Nightmares Aerial Theatre (nicknamed DNA) are putting on a giant big-tent show called “Spectacle Obscura” at the Maryland Institute College of Art, complete with flying trapezes, contortionists, and circus acts — but with a slightly naughty twist for the all-adult crowd. October 13-16.
San Diego: The FoodNerdz Oktoberfest Tasting Challenge is a blind beer tasting of local beers with souvenir tasting glass, appetizers, and scorecard included. Go with a group and do the VIP Restaurant Tour around the city to enhance your buzz. October 15.
Seattle: Gang Gang Dance made a splash at the Pitchfork Music Festival this past summer, where their epic trippy techno/house jams packed in a crowd that could have danced for hours. Catch them at Neumos, one of Seattle’s hottest music venues. October 14.
Chicago: Corn Productions’ October bonanza has a variety of horror-themed improv performances, but Death Toll: A Drinking Game Performance features our kind of audience participation — BYOB, and drink every time someone dies. October 14 and 15.
Miami: If you can’t get tickets to Adele’s Friday night performance at American Airlines Arena, dance it out on Biscayne Boulevard at the DWNTWN Miami Concert Series at a free concert with food trucks, drinks and music under the stars. October 14.