Allegiance, the Broadway show inspired by the real-life experience of Star Trek legend George Takei, opened last night at the Longacre Theatre. Takei makes his Broadway debut in the musical drama, and StarTrek.com was on hand for the festivities, first for red carpet interviews and then to experience the show. Everyone then beamed over to the Bryant Park Grill for an after-party.
Among those turning out to show their support for Allegiance were Howard Stern, Lance Bass, Wayne Brady, Rita Moreno, Gary Dell'Abate, Leanne Cope, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Patina Miller, Robin Quivers, Jackie Hoffman, Kate McKinnon, Sarah Stiles and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine's Nana Visitor, who attended with her husband, Matthew Rimmer. Also walking the red carpet was Allegiance director Stafford Arima.
StarTrek.com grabbed a few moments of interview time from several of the names above, and here's what they had to say about Allegiance and Takei.
Nana Visitor: "Here's the funny thing. They asked us, years ago, at some convention, to do a musical event. We all did something musical. George came out and did this song. He started from off stage and started singing it and he continued to sing it as he got on stage. It was a song from the period when he was in the interment camps. Then he started talking about it. It was information I had no idea about. It was so revelatory. That was the seed, and it was obvious that it needed to become this, that it needed to become Allegiance. And if there's anyone who deserves recognition like this, for what he and his family went through, for who and what he is, it's George. I'm thrilled to be here and to watch him do this. I wish we (the larger Star Trek family) were all here, but they're probably at conventions!"
Howard Stern: "He's our unofficial announcer on the radio show. He'll come in and he just opens up about everything. He's such a great, clever guy. And I have to tell you, I did say to George when he first said to me that he was putting together a Broadway show, 'This is never going to work.' Meanwhile, the show has done well. It's getting great reviews. And good for George. I think he's a terrific human being."
Photo credit: WALTER MCBRIDE/WIREIMAGE
Lance Bass -- "I love George to death. We're always seeing each other at different events over the past few years, especially both being a part of the LGBT community. He's just a lovely, lovely man. And I love Star Trek, of course. I wasn't an uber-Trekkie. My mom was a huge Trekkie. I'm excited for George. I've known George and (producer) Lorenzo (Thione) since they thought of the show years ago, so I've been kind of watching their progress. And it's nice to see it finally come to Broadway. This is their baby, and it's so nice to see their baby born here."
Robin Quivers -- "I'm amazed it's finally happening. When I hear people talk about things before they ever happen, I kind of do a lot of, 'Sure, sure, sure.' And you're really thinking, 'Yeah, it's never gonna happen.' But George was so determined to do this. It was a dream of his, and he's made it come true. That's always exciting to see. And I'm so happy for George. He's the sweetest, warmest, most lovable, most outspoken, most outgoing person you could ever want to met. George is who I want to be when I grow up."
Photo Credit: PLAYBILL.COM
Stafford Arima -- "I always knew at the core of George Takei that there was an actor there, a theater-trained actor. So, for me, I was incredibly excited about the opportunity of getting into a room with him. Then, when I got into a room with him I realized that this man is fearless. There's never a 'No.' It's always a 'Yes' or a 'Let's try it. Let's explore it.' He really impressed me. He plays two characters in this piece, two very different characters, and he brings them to life with specificity and originality."
Wayne Brady -- "I am a Star Trek fan. I'm not a Trekkie. And there is a fine line. I'm a Star Trek fan, though I'm really more of a fan of sci-fi. But I was a Sulu fan because he reminded me, when I was a kid, of Bruce Lee. And I always thought he was the coolest thing in the world. So now that I've gotten to know George, I love him even more. And this show is an amazing work of art. I saw it twice on the West Coast. It's real. It's real, and he gets to live his dream. We don't always get the chance to do that, and so I'm so happy for him."