Michael K. Lee - Allegiance Broadway Cast

Michael K. Lee

(Frankie Suzuki)

MICHAEL K. LEE was born on June 5th in Brooklyn, NY. The first of his lineage to be born in the states, he joined an already perfect family of his father Won Yub, his mother Susie, his brother Gabriel, and his sister, Julie.

Michael’s father, a surgeon, chose the small hamlet of Salamanca, NY, to begin his practice. Being the only Asian family in a small city presented its challenges, but Michael fared well, doing his best to fit in and assimilate. The adage taught to him by his father then would be something he would take with him for the rest of his life: “If you want to compete in this world, you not only have to be as good as everyone else… you have to be better.”

With that as the backbone to his learning, Michael proceeded to excel in all areas, including academics, sports, and music. This well-roundedness led him to his acceptance into Stanford University.

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Expecting to follow in his father’s and brother’s footsteps, Michael began his Stanford career as a pre-med student. Though it challenged him to new academic heights, his desire for performance continued to grow, no matter how much he tried to stifle it. To keep his sanity, in addition to his rigorous academic schedule, he became involved in student productions of musicals, and joined a sketch-comedy, a cappella group called the Stanford Fleet Street Singers.

As the years went on, the call to the Artists’ Way proved too strong. Michael surrendered to it, and explored his options away from science. After his sophomore year, he followed some of his graduating friends to Los Angeles, where they were going to delve into the entertainment industry. It was a summer to remember, as he learned a lot about himself and took steps that would change his life. During that very skinny summer, Michael enrolled in a musical theater class at East West Players to satisfy his growing passion for the arts. There, he met a friend who encouraged him to audition for “Miss Saigon”… And so it begun.

Now Michael is thrilled to be reprising the role of Frankie Suzuki, a role which won him the Craig Noel Award for Outstanding Featured Performance in a Musical for the Old Globe’s production of Allegiance. In recent years, Michael has become one of Korea’s most beloved and in-demand musical actors. He has starred in numerous productions in Seoul, including Jesus Christ Superstar (Jesus), Miss Saigon (Chris), Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (Tick), Notre Dame de Paris (Gringoire), Amour (Dusoleil), and Gone with the Wind (Ashley). Michael’s Broadway credits include Miss Saigon (Thuy), Jesus Christ Superstar (Simon Zealotes), Pacific Overtures (Kayama), and Rent.

Other international credits: Where Elephants Weep in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, They’re Playing Our Song in Manila, Philippines (opposite Lea Salonga), and A Twist of Fate in Singapore (opposite Laura Michelle Kelley). Favorite American non-traditional star turns include Tommy in The Who’s Tommy (Seattle Footlight Award for Best Actor in a Musical); Judas and Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar, Aladdin in Disney’s Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular; and Jamie Willerstein in The Last 5 Years. Michael is a proud graduate of Stanford University.

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