"But we've been waiting more than a year," Takei says. "We've been trying to find the right theater, but there has been an overabundance of plays. Now we are like vultures perched on Times Square looking down on the weak ones. I'm optimistic that 2014 is going to be the year of 'Allegiance.' "

Takei is also hopeful about seeing further advances in the area of marriage equality this year, an issue particularly close to him.

He and Brad Altman, who changed his surname to Takei, have been together for more than 25 years. They were married in 2008 at the Democracy Forum of the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles before 200 guests who included U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye of Hawaii and two "Star Trek" veterans — Walter Koenig, who played Chekov, as best man; and Nichelle Nichols, who played Uhura, as "best lady."

These days, Takei is particularly concerned about the situation in Utah, where a judicial ruling paved the way for gay marriages — more than 1,000 couples quickly married — before a higher court called a halt.

"After the stay by the court, the governor took the stay one step further and said these lawful marriages won't be recognized," Takei says. "It's like George Wallace standing in the schoolhouse doorway. This is government by hysteria, like the kind of hysteria that sent Japanese-Americans to internment camps."

Despite setbacks, Takei expects gay marriage to continue expanding among the states.

"I look at the big historic picture," he says. "When this nation was founded, women had no equality. Today, we have had three women secretaries of state, and women lead teams of astronauts. So I'm always upbeat. If you don't see the bright side, you can't get things done."

tim.smith@baltsun.com

If you go

The BSO's Sci-Fi Spectacular with George Takei will be performed at 8 p.m. Thursday at the Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, Bethesda; 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. Feb. 23 at Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Catheral St. Tickets are $44 to $109. Call 410-783-8000 or go to bsomusic.org.