‘Allegiance’ and the Persistence of Little Tokyo

Scott Watanabe as Tatsuo Kimura, George Takei as Ojii-chan, Jordan Goodsell as Hakujin, Elena Wang as Kei Kimura, and Ethan Le Phong as Sammy Kimura in the Los Angeles premiere of Allegiance starring George Takei at the Aratani Theatre, co-produced by East West Players and Japanese American Cultural & Community Center. (Photo by Michael Lamont)

Last opportunity to see the musical as it finishes its Los Angeles run this weekend.

Published on March 29, 2018



“How many times have you seen it?” Alison de la Cruz, “Allegiance” executive producer, asked me brightly as I walked through the lobby of the Aratani Theatre.

“Allegiance” is finishing its Little Tokyo run this weekend and if you haven’t seen it yet, this might be a good time to call the Aratani box office. Since 2012, the musical has gone from San Diego to Broadway and somehow ended up here where it was meant to be, in the heart of a changing, vibrant J-Town.

Judging by Alison’s question, a lot of JAs are coming more than once to experience this collective moment of theater. It was wonderful to feel the energy and excitement in the Aratani: to hear the orchestra playing and the murmurings of a large audience.

It’s also remarkable to think that just blocks from the JACCC, Japanese American families assembled in 1942 to be s