January always brings bad news for Broadway’s faltering shows, as the tourist crowds recede and ticket sales plummet from their holiday highs. Allegiance, which recounted the experience of actor George Takei as a young man whose Japanese-American family was removed to internment camps when the U.S. entered World War II, will close on Valentine’s Day, February 14, after 37 previews and 113 performances at the Shubert Organization-owned Longacre Theatre.
Don’t blame the Star Trek hero his or co-stars Lea Salonga and Telly Leung for the disappointing run. Both were indefatigable advocates for the show on social media and in making the rounds of late-night and mid-morning talk shows following the show’s debut at San Diego’s Old Globe Theatre.
But it’s a time-honored rule of Broadway that good intentions do not a good show make, and critics were underwhelmed by the somewhat clunky script and generic songs (the book is by Marc Acito, Jay Kuo, and Lorenzo Thione, the score by Kuo). Similarly, few patrons left the Longacre burning with desire to spread the word about the show — and without strong word-of-mouth, that most old-fashioned of social media, Allegiance was doomed. While other musicals had banner grosses during the week between Christmas and New Year’s, Allegiance brought in $552,238, less than 60% of its gross potential.
The show is produced by Sing Out, Louise! Productions and ATA with Mark Mugiishi/Hawaii HUI, Hunter Arnold, Ken Davenport, Elliott Masie, Sandi Moran, Mabuhay Productions, Barbara Freitag/Eric & Marsi Gardiner, Valiant Ventures, Wendy Gillespie, David Hiatt Kraft, Norm & Diane Blumenthal, M. Bradley Calobrace, Karen Tanz, Gregory Rae/Mike Karns in association with Jas Grewal, Peter Landin and Rob Polson.
With producers lined up with shows looking for homes, the Longacre will not be dark for long.