NEW YORK, New York (The Adobo Chronicles) – Hundreds of unarmed Japanese Americans took over the Longacre Theater beginning midnight today to protest the impending closure of the Broadway Musical Allegiance.
The musical will end its run on February 14, after only 37 previews and 113 performances.
Allegiance, starring Tony Award-winning actress Lea Salonga and George Takei, tackles the issue of the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.
The protesters stormed the theater and occupied every seat — every single one of the 1,091 seats.
A spokesperson for the protesters said they got the idea from the recent occupation by an armed militia group of the headquarters of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon.
Neither the New York Police Department nor the Federal Bureau of Investigation has acted on the Broadway occupation, saying they considered it a peaceful protest and definitely not an act of terrorism.
The Japanese American protesters said they will continue to occupy the theater until the producers agree to extend the run of the musical indefinitely. “The musical is a once-in-lifetime opportunity for Americans and others to be educated about the internment of our friends and relatives during the war,” they said.
The protesters also set up an online crowdsourcing page in order to raise funds to pay for a daily full house at the theater for a long time.
In the meantime, the protesters are requesting the public and supporters to send them enough supply of SPAM sushi and sake to keep them nourished during their sit-in protest.