Interment On Screen (Film Thoughts: George Takei’s Allegiance, Fathom Events)

allegiance_250x375_r2I am loving these Fathom Events screenings of Broadway productions. A couple of weeks ago they had the UK revival of ‘Miss Saigon,’ and the new Broadway revival of ‘She Loves Me.’ Tonight they had the original Broadway production of Allegiance. I have already written my thoughts on the Broadway production here,  but I wanted to see how the production was filmed, so I went tonight to the special One Night Only performance. It’s interesting that now the show is titled George Take’s Allegiance, instead of just plain Allegiance.

I liked the film transfer a lot, perhaps even more than the show itself. This story probably benefits more if ‘blown up,’ and that showed in tonight’s film. As a stage production, there were a lot of holes, but here they seem less magnified. It helped that it was filmed well, not as cinematic as the Miss Saigon transposition, but still good.  And the film seems more timely now because of recent current events (Trump threatening to have a Muslim registry is reminiscent of what transpires in this show)  The production itself has highs and lows. I have warmed up to the music more as I have listened to the cast recording numerous times by now, and it was nice to recapture a lot of the songs I now sing in my head: ‘With You’ is more romantic, ‘Higher’ becomes more the aria it was meant to be. Still, the middle part still sags, and yes, a lot of the other songs seems generic and banal. The closeups help the performances – you get to feel a little more depth in Lea Salonga’s performance, and the filming benefitted Terry Leung’s: he is more photogenic and engaging on film (He would do better in features or television) All in all, this is a great experience- a night at the movies, and at a Broadway production all at the same time. There’s more coming, I hope.

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