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Podcast Episode 75: San Diego To Broadway

Steve Martin and George Takai talk about their Broadway musicals that premiered at the Globe

Edie Brickell and Steve Martin just received Tony Award nominations for the m...

Photo by Katie Schoolov

Above: Edie Brickell and Steve Martin just received Tony Award nominations for the musical "Bright Star," which had its world premiere at the Old Globe Theatre.

Episode 75: San Diego to Broadway

Take a field trip to American musical theater with a pair of interviews from artists who had world premieres of their work at the Old Globe Theatre before going to Broadway. Steve Martin just got a Tony nomination for "Bright Star," and George Takai is still on Broadway with "Allegiance."

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For today's podcast, Cinema Junkie serves up two archive interviews featuring Steve Martin and George Takai, both of whom have musicals currently on Broadway that premiered at the Old Globe Theatre.

"Allegiance" and "Bright Star" involve creative talent that filmgoers will readily recognize. They both generated a lot of buzz for Tony consideration. But when the Tony Awards nominations were announced on May 3, "Allegiance" was left out in the cold while "Bright Star" walked away with an impressive five nominations, including Best Musical.

Created by Martin and Edie Brickell, "Bright Star" had its world premiere in September 2014 at the Old Globe Theater. The musical was inspired by a true story about a woman with a secret and a young man returning from war and wanting to start a life as a writer. Hollywood, which produced a steady flow of musicals for decades, recently has seem to have forgotten how to break into song. But on stage this artifice can seem like the most natural thing — if you know how to do it right.

For Brickell, it's perfectly natural.

“Music was the food of our household," she said. "When my mom was struggling or in a mood, she’d put on music. So she always had on music 'cause she was a very hardworking woman, and I admire the energy she brought to the house when she played music and danced around and forgot her troubles.”

Newbies to the musical form, Brickell and Martin chose an unconventional style of music: bluegrass. But Barry Edelstein, the Globe's artistic director, said there’s nothing naïve going and there’s a high degree of sophistication.

I interviewed Takai as he was beginning rehearsals for "Allegiance" at the Old Globe Theatre in September 2012.

Takei, probably known to most people as Sulu in the original "Star Trek" TV series and the subsequent movies, plays two roles in "Allegiance."

The actor calls the musical his legacy project because it deals with issues close to his heart: the Japanese-American internment during World War II. He started a Facebook page to generate awareness about the musical. With now nearly 10 million followers, social media celebrity followed.

"Allegiance - A New American Musical" is the story of the Kimura family set against the Japanese-American internment during World War II. Sixty years after the attack on Pearl Harbor, a chance meeting forces World War II veteran Sam Kimura (Takei in one of his two roles) to remember his family's relocation from their California farm to the Heart Mountain internment camp.

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