Better Americans In A Greater America
Telly Leung & Paolo Montalban
In early 2011, Paolo Montalban and Telly Leung performed an early version of Better Americans from Allegiance, at Jim Caruso’s Cast Party, at Birdland.Better Americans has been a part of the score of Allegiance since the February 2010 NYC reading, as a dream sequence for Young Sam Omura, who is skillfully lured by a vaudevillian Mike Masaoka to his point of view.
In subsequent incarnations, Better Americans would become the moment when Young Sam’s political views solidify, and he finds a platform, through the Heart Mountain Sentinel, ftp call upon other internees to show patriotism, shed their Japanese-ness, and become Better Americans.
In the July 2011 Old Globe workshop, Better Americans was performed as a splashy ensemble production number. The version in this video – recorded at Cast Party several months prior – captures the original version of the song between the impressionable Young Sam Omura and a scheming Masaoka.
Music & Lyrics by Jay Kuo