ALLEGIANCE

  1. this season has been an innovative and meaningful one for musical theater
  2. HAMILTON is obviously amazing and important and clearly I am obsessed with it
  3. but HAMILTON is not the only important and amazing show I am obsessed with
  4. and unlike any mass media, NY theater is truly a supportive community where people are CONSTANTLY inspiring and collaborating with each other
  5. HAMILTON has ties to ALLEGIANCE in that the writers were empowered to tell this story from watching IN THE HEIGHTS
    In The Heights was the first musical of Lin Manuel Miranda, who wrote and stars in Hamilton. It is about the struggles of a community in Washington Heights, largely made up of Latino/a immigrants, as the area is gentrifying.
  6. I want to signal blast ALLEGIANCE forever and ever
  7. this show closed far too soon
  8. Asian representation in musicals is notoriously HORRIBLE-- Miss Saigon, The King and I, Flower Drum Song-- all feature extreme white-centricism and stereotype the other as one-dimesional stock tropes
  9. this is sad because there are SO MANY incredibly talented Asian performers who have played those roles amazingly, bringing humanity and relatability to lazily, and quite frankly, racistly written characters
  10. and ALLEGIANCE is an opportunity for these performers LEA SALONGA, TELLY LEUNG, GEORGE TAKEI and more to play fully fleshed-out people, with nuance and agency in the narrative
  11. even more than that it TELLS A STORY that is not brought up nearly enough: during World War II, here in the United States, Japanese-Americans were forced into internment camps, on absolutely no legitimate basis. This was unconstitutional and inhumane.
  12. EVERYBODY NEEDS TO KNOW that this happened, nobody wants to repeat this attrocity, but the islamaphobic and anti-immigration ideas of certain presidential candidates sound dangerously close.
  13. and I'm not going to lie to you, ALLEGIANCE's lack of success makes me scared
  14. critics giving it negative reviews reinforces to me that white privilege means that you can dismiss a show as MOVING and CATHARTIC as this one as simply "too sad" because you live in a reality where you have never had to face any kind of VERY REAL bias and hardship because of your race
  15. and, to be blunt, the fact that HAMILTON is so much more successful than this show tells me a few things about people:
  16. you are not ready to support our whole identities--
  17. you're accepting of non-traditional casting for historically White heroes, but not for representation of historically Asian heroes
  18. you are not ready to look back at yourself and admit you were wrong, White America
  19. HAMILTON is still a show about the positive opportunity and ultimate triumph America can offer immigrants if they work hard.
  20. ALLEGIANCE is a show about how no matter what you do or say, the default power in this country is White and people of color are an Other, and that alone is enough to mean that we are allowed to be treated as somehow simultaneously worthless and a great threat.
  21. and the fact that it FAILED financially and critically SCARES THE HELL OUT OF ME
    after all, when Magaret Cho's All-American Girl, the first Asian-American sitcom, was CANCELLED in 1995, it literally took us TWENTY YEARS to get Fresh Off The Boat and Master of None
  22. but, it DOESN'T SURPRISE ME