George Takei's internment musical Allegiance returns to Canadian movie theatres

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      Human-rights activist George Takei has warned that the proposed U.S. Muslim registry mirrors the events that led up to the internment of Japanese Americans (and Japanese Canadians) during the Second World War.

      The National Association of Japanese Canadians have also decried the rise of Islamophobia and racism in the wake of the election of Donald Trump.

      Takei, who was among those interned, has devoted much of his time and efforts to raising awareness about the Japanese American internment, on a mission to prevent the same thing from happening again in the U.S.

      But with the presidential inauguration of Donald Trump, will Takei's efforts have been in vain?

      As part of Takei's efforts, he also created the Broadway musical Allegiance about the internment.

      The theatrical performance was filmed and screened in select Canadian theatres on December 13.

      After the success of that premiere, the film will return to Canadian theatres for an encore screening at 6:30 p.m. on February 19.

      The date has specific significance as it is the 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066. Known as the Day of Remembrance, the date marked the commencement of the forced relocation and internment of 120,000 Japanese Americans during the Second World War.

      The musical recounts the history of Sam Kimura (Takei) when he was young, played by Telly Leung (Glee) and his sister Kei, played by Lea Salonga (Miss Saigon, Mulan) and his family faced internment after the bombing of Pearl Harbour.

      Lea Salonga in Allegiance

      The film begins with an introduction from Takei. After the musical performance, behind-the-scene footage and interviews with Takei and his cast and crew will also be shown.

      “At a time when echoes of the interment ring once again far too loud in our political discourse, there’s never been a better moment for the story of Allegiance to find new audiences,” Takei stated in a news release. “It is a true testament to the power and the relevance of this story that so many people attended its premiere in December, and it is only appropriate that even more people will be able to witness it on such an important day as February 19, 2017. The Day of Remembrance is a day of commemoration, of reflection, and of learning, and I hope Allegiance can play an important role in its celebration, this year, and for many years to come.”

      The film will be shown in Halifax, Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary, and Vancouver. In Vancouver, it'll be shown at the Park Theatre.

      Tickets and details will be available at the Cineplex Events webpage.

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook