05.05.17Telly Leung Will take a Magic Carpet Ride in ALADDIN in June
By BWW News Desk
It's official! As BroadwayWorld reported earlier this year, Disney's Aladdin, the hit Broadway musical, will welcome Broadway vet Telly Leung as the title character beginning Tuesday, June 13, 2017.
Recently on Broadway, Leung has starred in the musicals Allegiance and In Transit. He also appeared on Broadway in Flower Drum Song and Pacific Overtures and was part of the final Broadway company of the hit musical Rent. He originated Boq in the Chicago production of Wicked and played Dalton Academy Warbler Wes on Fox's smash television series "Glee."
Leung succeeds original Broadway cast member Adam Jacobs, who left the company earlier this year to lead the North American tour of Aladdin, currently playing Chicago's Cadillac Palace Theatre through September 10, 2017.
Telly Leung most recently starred in Broadway's first acapella musical, In Transit, at the Circle in the Square Theatre. Last season, he starred opposite Lea Salonga and George Takei in Allegiance. He made his Broadway debut in the 2002 revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Flower Drum Song, followed by the Roundabout Theater Company revival of Pacific Overtures. Telly starred in the final Broadway cast of the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical Rent, which was filmed for DVD release, and also appeared on Broadway in the 2011 revival of Godspell. Telly originated the role of Boq in the Chicago production of the smash hit Wicked and, under the direction of Neil Patrick Harris, recreated his portrayal of Angel in Rent at the Hollywood Bowl. His concert and regional credits include: Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, the Hippodrome in London, Birdland Jazz Club, 54 Below, Paper Mill Playhouse, Philadelphia Theater Company, Ford's Theater, The Shakespeare Theater, Sacramento Music Circus, The St. Louis MUNY and more. On Fox TV's "Glee," Leung was featured as Wes of the Dalton Academy Warblers opposite Darren Criss. Other television credits include "Law and Order: Criminal Intent," Hulu's "Deadbeat," Bravo's "Odd Mom Out" and the PBS documentary series "Broadway or Bust," where he can be seen coaching the next generation of Broadway talent during the annual Jimmy Awards. Telly can be heard on numerous original Broadway cast albums and has two solo albums on the Yellow Sound Label, Songs for You (2012) and I'll Cover You (2016). For more information, please visit www.tellyleung.com.
Aladdin opened to critical acclaim on March 20th, 2014 and quickly established itself as one of the biggest new blockbusters in recent years; last year only the smash musical Wicked was seen by more people on Broadway. Since its opening, Aladdin has set 12 New Amsterdam Theatre house records and welcomed over 4 million people worldwide. Its global footprint has expanded to include productions in Tokyo, Hamburg, London and Melbourne, along with a North American tour. NBC-TV raves, "Aladdin is exactly what you wished for!" New York Magazine calls it "Musical comedy wish-fulfillment!" while The New York Times hails the show as "Fabulous... Extravagant! It defies expectations," and the Daily News declares, "Seriously, it's amazing!"
Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions, the show features music by Tony Award® and eight-time Oscar® winner Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast, Newsies, Sister Act), lyrics by two-time Oscar winner Howard Ashman (Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid), three-time Tony Award and three-time Oscar winner Tim Rice (Evita, Aida) and four-time Tony Award nomineeChad Beguelin (The Wedding Singer), with a book by Beguelin, and is directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Casey Nicholaw (The Book of Mormon).
The cast of Aladdin currently features Jacob Dickey in the title role, Courtney Reed (In the Heights, Mamma Mia) as Jasmine,Major Attaway in his Broadway debut as Genie, and, as Jafar, Tony Award nominee Jonathan Freeman (Mary Poppins, The Producers, She Loves Me) brings to the stage the role he indelibly created in the animated film. The show also features Steel Burkhardt, Brian Gonzales and Brad Weinstock as Aladdin's sidekicks Kassim, Babkak and Omar, Clifton Davis as Sultan andDon Darryl Rivera as Iago. Juwan Crawley, James Moye and Deonté L. Warren stand by for several principals.
In a cast of 36, Aladdin also features Kathryn Allison, Tia Altinay, Netanel Bellaishe, Mike Cannon, Andrew Cao, Damian Chambers, Alicia Charles, Lauryn Ciardullo, Joshua Dela Cruz, Josh Drake, Tiffany Evariste, Daisy Hobbs, Adam Hyndman,Donald Jones, Jr., Nathan Lucrezio, Stanley Martin, Michael Mindlin, Amber Owens, Bobby Pestka, Ariel Reid, Trent Saunders, Angelo Soriano, Dennis Stowe and Kathryn Terza.
Aladdin, adapted from the Disney film and centuries-old folktales including "One Thousand and One Nights," is brought to fresh theatrical life in this bold new musical. Aladdin's journey sweeps audiences into an exotic world of daring adventure, classic comedy and timeless romance. This new production features a full score, including the five cherished songs from the Academy Award-winning soundtrack and more written especially for the stage.
The animated film Aladdin was released by Disney in 1992 and was a critical and box office smash, grossing over $500 million worldwide (not adjusted for inflation) and becoming the highest-grossing film of the year.
The film won the Oscar for Best Original Score and introduced the hit song "A Whole New World," which won the second of the film's two Academy Awards as Best Original Song. The Peabo Bryson/Regina Belle recording of the tune soared to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Aladdin is designed by seven-time Tony-winning scenic designer Bob Crowley, six-time Tony-winning lighting designerNatasha Katz, two-time Tony-winning costume designer Gregg Barnes and sound designer Ken Travis.
The production team also includes illusion designer Jim Steinmeyer, hair designer Josh Marquette and makeup designerMilagros Medina-Cerdeira. The music team is headed by music supervisor and music director Michael Kosarin, who also created the vocal and incidental music arrangements, joined by orchestrator Danny Troob and dance music arranger Glen Kelly.
11.16.15What the critics have said about TELLY LEUNG as Sammy in ALLEGIANCE
The Kimura family has a spirited son named Sammy, beautifully played and powerfully sung by handsome, and awesomely talented Telly Leung (Rex Reed, The Observer)
Telly Leung performs with breakout power. (Linda Winer, Newsday)
A star turn by lead Telly Leung, a “Glee" actor who carries a great burden as Sammy Kimura
(Robert Kahn, NBC NY)
Leung, in his fifth role on Broadway but his first principal lead, firmly establishes himself as a leading man, dashing and dexterously navigating the various moods and tones.
(DC Theater Scene)
The free-spirited younger Sam is played by the engaging and energetic Telly Leung ... Leung shines in his passionate and committed performance (Michael Dale, BroadwayWorld)
Telly Leung radiates natural appeal as Sammy; a young man ends up going to war to prove his loyalty.
(David Cote, NY1)
Leung (a Glee regular) sings in a beautiful clear tenor and has an appealing presence as a young man who inherited his father's stubbornness (David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter)
We follow Sammy Kimura - a charismatic Telly Leung, a strong-jawed, all-American boy.
(Isabella Biedenharn, Entertainment Weekly)
Strong performance (Joe Dziemianowicz, Daily News)
Sammy, played by the affable, robust-voiced Telly Leung (Elysa Gardner, USA Today)
The incomparable Lea Salonga and the talented Telly Leung play siblings in the show and having them back on Broadway is a treat. (Mark Kennedy, Associated Press)
The handsome Leung, who recently starred in "Glee," highlights his character's heated emotional transformation. (Matt Windman, AM New York)
Lovely tenor (Marilyn Stasio, Variety)
It is Leung who is the breakout star with his vocal power and strong presence. I expect Tony nods.
(Suzanna Bowling, Times Square Chronicles)
11.09.15Telly Leung - Pre-order SONGS FOR YOU now on iTunes!
YELLOW SOUND LABEL has announced that the new solo CD by TELLY LEUNG – who opened last night to rave reviews in the new Broadway musical Allegiance opposite George Takei and Lea Salonga – is currently available for pre-order on iTunes. Songs for You will be released on Friday, November 20. For his starring role in Allegiance, Telly was hailed as “charismatic" by Entertainment Weekly and “robust-voiced" by USA Today, and praised for his “star turn" by NBC New York, with “breakout power" by Newsday, and his “beautiful, clear tenor" and “appealing presence" by The Hollywood Reporter. Telly will celebrate the album at JOE’S PUB at The Public Theater on Monday, November 23 at 7:00 PM.
A dynamic singer and actor best known as Wes on “Glee" and his Broadway work in Godspell, Rent and Flower Drum Song, Telly was named one of last year’s Out 100 and “Faces To Watch" by The Los Angeles Times. The lead single “New York State of Mind" is currently available. Songs for You – a follow up to Telly’s acclaimed 2012 debut album I’ll Cover You – will feature familiar classic songs from the worlds of Pop, Jazz, R&B, and Broadway done with a new and innovative twist, accompanied by lush musical arrangements by Gary Adler, Mary Ann McSweeney, Jesse Vargas, and Telly himself. The album, produced by Michael Croiter, will be available on iTunes, Amazon.com and at live performances.
Songs for You features songs originally recorded by Michael Jackson (“Human Nature"), Oleta Adams (“I Just Had to Hear Your Voice"), Mama Cass Elliot (“Make Your Own Kind of Music"), John Denver (“Leaving On A Jet Plane"), Des’ree (“You Gotta Be") and more. To honor his Broadway roots, Telly also includes songs by his favorite theater composers Stephen Sondheim (“Being Alive"), Jerry Herman (“I Am What I Am") and Stephen Schwartz (“Dreamscape"), in addition to the world premiere recording of “Second Chances" from the pre-Broadway engagement of Allegiance, which opens on Broadway at the Longacre Theater on November 8.
“All of the selections from Songs for You are classics," says Telly, “and I worship at the altar of the artists that originated them. The challenge for me and my musicians: how to make them our own. We discovered that the way to truly do that was to not think of ‘the self’ at all, but to focus the sentiment and the energy of the song towards someone else. Who are we singing to? Why are we singing this song? When we found the ‘who’ in the song, we found our way in. We unearthed a deep, personal connection to the music that made these timeless songs come to life again. We hope that our listeners will feel the generosity of spirit that was intended with each track."
Telly’s debut CD I’ll Cover You is an eclectic collection that features a variety of genres. It includes songs from Broadway (“Before The Parade Passes By" from Hello, Dolly!, “Children Will Listen" from Into The Woods and the disc’s title track, which he performed in the final Broadway cast of Rent) and fresh interpretations of pop hits (“Firework" by Katy Perry, “Papa Don’t Preach" by Madonna and “Galileo" by The Indigo Girls). Other highlights include his jazzy interpretation of the Cy Coleman standard “I’m Gonna Laugh You Right Out Of My Life" and a tender rendition of Lennon & McCartney’s “In My Life" with simple guitar accompaniment. The album closes with the Whitney Houston hit “I Believe In You and Me," recorded live at Birdland Jazz Club in New York.
TELLY LEUNG made his Broadway debut in the 2002 revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Flower Drum Song opposite Lea Salonga, followed by the Roundabout Theater Company revival of Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman’s Pacific Overtures. Telly starred in the final Broadway cast of the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical Rent, which was filmed for DVD release. In the 2011 revival of Godspell, his version of “All Good Gifts" was praised as “magnificent" by New York Magazine, “superb" by The Philadelphia Inquirer, and “a standout" by Bloomberg News.
On Fox TV’s "Glee," Leung was featured as a member of the Dalton Academy Warblers opposite Darren Criss. When he recreated his portrayal of “Angel" in Rent at the Hollywood Bowl – directed by Neil Patrick Harris – he was called “vibrant" by the Los Angeles Times, “stunning" by the Orange County Register and praised for his “sweet, clear tenor" by Variety. Telly also originated the role of Boq in the Chicago production of the smash hit Wicked and has performed in concert and shows at venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Hippodrome in London, Birdland Jazz Club and 54 Below in New York, Paper Mill Playhouse, Philadelphia Theater Company, Ford’s Theater, and more.
He served as producer for the short film Grind, starring Anthony Rapp (If/Then, Rent), Claire Coffee (“Grimm," “The West Wing") and Pasha Pellosie (“The Carrie Diaries"). The movie, which won honors at film festivals around the country, is available to stream at GrindShortFilm.com. The soundtrack is available on Yellow Sound Label. Telly is also the co-producer of the touring concert series “Broadway Back Together," a reunion of major headliners who have performed on Broadway together, sharing an evening of personal backstage anecdotes and show-stopping music. For more information, please visit www.TellyLeung.com.
TELLY LEUNG will celebrate the new album Songs for You at JOE’S PUB at The Public Theater on Monday, November 23 at 7:00 PM. The venue is located at 425 Lafayette Street (between East 4th and Astor Place) NYC, adjacent to The Public Theater. For tickets – which cost $30 – call (212) 967-7555 or visit joespub.com, or visit in person at The Public Theater Box Office from 1pm to 6pm Joe’s Pub from 6pm to 10pm (Both located at 425 Lafayette St. For table reservations, call (212) 539-8778.
ABOUT JOE’S PUB AT THE PUBLIC Named for Public Theater founder Joe Papp, Joe’s Pub at The Public opened in 1998 and plays a vital role in The Public’s mission of supporting young artists while providing established artists with an intimate space to perform and develop new work. Joe’s Pub consistently presents the best in live music and performance nightly, continuing its commitment to diversity, production values, community and artistic freedom. The organization also offers unique opportunities like New York Voices, an artist commissioning program that provides musicians the resources and tools needed to develop original theater works. Commissioned artists have included Ethan Lipton, Toshi Reagon, Bridget Everett, Allen Toussaint and more. In 2011, the Pub received a top-to-bottom renovation, leading to improved sightlines, expanded seating capacity and a new menu from acclaimed Chef Andrew Carmellini. With its intimate atmosphere and superior acoustics, Joe’s Pub presents talent from all over the world as part of The Public’s programming downtown at its Astor Place home, hosting approximately 800 shows and serving over 100,000 audience members annually.
“SONGS FOR YOU" TRACK LIST
1) Human Nature
2) New York State of Mind
3) I (Am What I Am) Have Nothing (from the musical La Cage Aux Folles / originally performed by Whitney Houston)
4) Being Alive (from the musical Company)
5) Leaving On A Jet Plane
6) I Just Had to Hear Your Voice
7) Second Chances (from the musical Allegiance)
8) (Send Me) On My Way (Originally performed by Rusted Root / from the musical Violet)
9) You Gotta Be
11) Make Your Own Kind of Music
12) A Song for You
Yellow Sound Label is a Grammy Award-nominated, cutting-edge record company that produces both established performers and up-and-coming artists. The boutique label takes a hands-on approach in nurturing and producing passionate, focused performers and composers who create quality, noteworthy recordings. The label has featured the best of Broadway (Matilda, Big Fish, First Date), Off Broadway (Heathers – The Musical, The Burnt Part Boys, Murder Ballad, The Shaggs), theater luminaries (Chita Rivera, Alan Cumming, Telly Leung, Christopher Jackson), and rising songwriter/composers (Marcy & Zina, Kerrigan & Lowdermilk, Lance Horne, Michael Patrick Walker). www.YellowSoundLabel.com.
11.02.15Telly Leung on the Three-Week Rule That Keeps His Relationship Strong
Michael Musto, OUT Magazine
Telly Leung made a splash as Wes in Glee, while also establishing himself as a go-to Broadway performer, having appeared in Flower Drum Song, Godspell, and now Allegiance (a musical about Japanese-American internment camps, based on George Takei's experiences and costarring Takei). And the New York City-born entertainer records music too, with an imminent CD called Songs For You. Mixing pop, jazz, R&B, and Broadway standards, he croons songs recorded by people like Michael Jackson and Mama Cass and written by legends like Sondheim and Jerry Herman. I talked to Telly about his life, his music, and his love.
Musto: Hi, Telly. I’m not always crazy about “New York State of Mind," but I loved what you did with it as the single off your CD.
Telly Leung: Thanks. As an ‘80s kid, I grew up on Billy Joel, who was one of my dad’s favorite artists. We always had Billy playing in house and that song became an unofficial anthem of New York City.
I detect a distinct R&B flavor in your version.
Part of why I Iove doing my own music is I have wonderful musicians behind me. A trio consisting of Gary Adler (cowriter of Altar Boys), Michael Croiter, and Mary Ann McSweeney, who did this arrangement. We love R&B music and Miles Davis and thought, “How do we fuse those worlds? What if Miles had arranged ‘New York State of Mind’ and it was a little more contemporary and fresh?" I want to spark memories, but I want listeners to hear it for the first time as well, our way. The album is called Songs For You because each song has a special dedication in my heart. I love being an actor, but I love doing club acts because it’s just Telly as Telly. When I share a personal dedication, it takes on a whole new life. As a Brooklynite, that song is for all my friends I grew up with.
So the CD will specify who each song is dedicated to?
We’re going to make it part of the CD packaging. “Being Alive" is dedicated to Billy Porter, who was a teacher of mine at Carnegie Mellon and a guest director of mine and was very much responsible for my first Broadway break in Flower Drum Song. He put me on a Greyhound bus and sent me on my first audition. I had no agent, just a phone call from Billy. He stuck his neck out for me.
Which song is dedicated to your partner?
“Leaving On A Jet Plane." He’s somebody that’s not in the business. He’s a civilian and has a 9-to-5 job. His name is Jimmy, but he hates having his name in articles. He’s so shy when it comes to that. But as a gypsy, I’m always packing suitcases and traveling somewhere to bring home the bacon. One phone call and I’m off to somewhere else. But absence does make the heart grow fonder, and it makes us work really hard on the relationship.
My friends who have been career-touring actors taught me an unspoken rule of tour life—what they call a three-week rule. No matter how expensive the ticket or short the trip—and Jimmy and I have had one-hour meetings in O’Hare—you have to see each other in person once every three weeks. In 11 years, we’ve only broken that rule once. I was working in Asia at the time and there was no way to do it.
And you don’t bring your new boyfriend to the meeting, right? Kidding.
Tell me about the experience of Allegiance, your new Broadway show.
It’s based on the experience of George Takei during WWII during the Japanese- American internment. George was only five years old when he and his family were interned. But all the events are inspired by events that happened to George’s family—so many families. It’s based on his life, but it’s still a musical. There’s still artistic freedom that’s taken, to talk about this history that hasn’t been addressed in this way.
Is your character gay?
No. We share a character. [Telly plays the young version of George’s character, and George also plays grandpa.] The musical starts in 2001. He’s at his sister’s funeral [played by Lea Salonga]. They’ve been estranged. The ghost of our sister brings us back to the ‘40s.
How has the show changed through the years?
I’ve been with the show for five years. Lea, I think almost seven. And it’s gone through so many changes. She was my Japanese teacher, then my sister-in-law, then my sister! They killed my brother and they killed my mother! But this is what happens with a new musical.
But now it’s frozen, right?
Not frozen at all. Last week, they added two new numbers and were reconceiving another. What I love about the team of Allegiance is they hold nothing sacred. They are willing to kill the artistic baby—that song they slaved hours over. If it’s not working, they’re not afraid to cut it. I now have a number based on a real event. Many of the people in Heart Mountain, the internment camp, started their own baseball team. They reconceived a number that’s about that—they all come together and find joy and a way to pass the time. They find baseball. And there really was a Heart Mountain All Stars team.
So suddenly it becomes Damn Yankees?
There’s a little bit of Damn Yankees in our show.
What is the legacy of having appeared on Glee?
At first, I didn’t realize what an impact that show would have. As an ‘80s kid, I didn’t have a Glee. The closest thing was maybe Fame, but that’s a little before my time. This generation is lucky to have had a show like Glee that’s introducing them to all this music that they otherwise wouldn’t get. You could download the music right after you watched the episode. Also, there’s the fact that Glee celebrates the underdog, and it was one of the first bold tellings of a teenage gay love story. I think people, especially young kids trying to come out, really connected to that. It represented this acceptance and the fact that it was OK to be who you are at Dalton Academy.
I feel there’s a whole generation of young people who attach themselves so strongly to that show. It’s a combination of how music is universal and also that storyline. I went to a Glee convention in Europe and met “Gleeks" from the Netherlands and France and Germany. It took me by surprise in the most beautiful way as to how that show became instrumental in their own coming out and self acceptance. I do a mashup—which is so very Glee—of “I Have Nothing" and “I Am What I Am." That’s “for the Gleeks."
Well, thank you, Telly. You’re not only a hot singer, but you’re a great talker too. See you in three weeks, lol.
10.22.15New Single from "Glee" & Allegiance Star Telly Leung (Andrew Gans, Playbill.com)
Stage and screen star Telly Leung, who recently returned to Broadway in the new musical Allegiance, releases "New York State of Mind," the lead single from his forthcoming CD "Songs for You," Oct. 23.
The complete recording will be available Nov. 20 on the Yellow Sound label.
The singing actor will celebrate the release of his second solo recording with an evening at Joe's Pub, located within the Public Theater, Nov. 23 at 7 PM. For tickets, priced $30, call (212) 967-7555 or visit joespub.com.
Featuring classic songs from the worlds of pop, jazz, R&B and Broadway with innovative twists, the new recording has musical arrangements by Gary Adler, Mary Ann McSweeney, Jesse Vargas and Leung. The complete album, produced by Michael Croiter, will be available on iTunes, Amazon.com and at live performances.
"All of the selections from 'Songs for You' are classics," said Leung in an earlier statement, "and I worship at the altar of the artists that originated them. The challenge for me and my musicians: how to make them our own. We discovered that the way to truly do that was to not think of ‘the self’ at all, but to focus the sentiment and the energy of the song towards someone else. Who are we singing to? Why are we singing this song? When we found the ‘who’ in the song, we found our way in. We unearthed a deep, personal connection to the music that made these timeless songs come to life again. We hope that our listeners will feel the generosity of spirit that was intended with each track."
The complete track listing follows:
1) Human Nature
2) New York State of Mind
3) I (Am What I Am) Have Nothing (from the musical La Cage aux Folles / originally performed by Whitney Houston)
4) Being Alive (from the musical Company)
5) Leaving On A Jet Plane
6) I Just Had to Hear Your Voice
7) Second Chances (from the musical Allegiance)
8) (Send Me) On My Way (Originally performed by Rusted Root / from the musical Violet)
9) You Gotta Be
11) Make Your Own Kind of Music
12) A Song for You
Leung, who played Wes on "Glee," has also been seen on Broadway in Godspell, Rent and Flower Drum Song.
For more information visit YellowSoundLabel.com.
10.21.15Broadway's Telly Leung Croons A Billy Joel Classic On His New Album (Curtis Wong, HuffPo)
Broadway and television actor Telly Leung put a fresh spin on a signature Billy Joel tune for his new album, “Songs For You," and The Huffington Post has an exclusive first listen.
Now starring alongside George Takei and Lea Salonga in the Broadway musical, “Allegiance," the 35-year-old actor says his take on “New York State of Mind" was inspired as much by the Piano Man as it was by classic jazz.
“What we decided to do was keep the heart and spirit of the original song but change the sound of it, musically," Leung told The Huffington Post. “I said, ‘What if ‘New York State of Mind’ had been written by Miles Davis?’ So that’s how we came up with this arrangement."
The tune, which will be released as a digital single Oct. 23, is just one of many hits Leung re-imagines on “Songs For You," which drops Nov. 20. Featuring music by Michael Jackson, Mama Cass Elliot, John Denver and Stephen Sondheim, the album is reflective of both Leung’s musical theater background and love of mainstream pop.
Fans of the actor’s stint as one of The Warblers on “Glee," alongside series regular Darren Criss, will appreciate an inspired mashup of “I Am What I Am," from the musical “La Cage Aux Folles," and Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing." That tune, Leung said, is dedicated to the “Gleeks," many of whom identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) and remained devoted to the show right up until its finale last spring.
“[The show] dealt with something that was revolutionary at the time, which was this young, gay, teenage love story on primetime TV," he said. Seeing the show's adolescent fans react to the story of Blaine (Criss) and Kurt (Chris Colfer), he said, “reminded me of who I was, as a young, confused teenager. It was a doorway for them to talk about things that aren’t easy to talk about."
The album is just one part in Leung’s creative blitz this fall. The actor says he’s thrilled to be performing alongside Takei, a Broadway novice at age 78, in “Allegiance," which is currently in previews at New York’s Longacre Theatre after a successful run in San Diego, California.
“As an actor, I was drawn to this very American story that most Americans don’t know about," Leung said of the musical, which follows a Japanese-American family thrown into an internment camp when the U.S. enters World War II. “But if you’re going to enter this business as an Asian American, George is one of those forefathers that [make] you go, ‘He did it.’ It’s because of him that I’m able to do what I’m doing."
Witnessing the “Star Trek" icon’s relationship with his husband, Brad, is also encouraging.
“I’ve been with my partner for 11 years now, so he and Brad are such an inspiration to me, as they are for a lot of gay couples," he said. “We’ve not only become great colleagues, we’ve become great friends."
Telly Leung's "Songs For You" will be released Nov. 20. He'll celebrate the release of the album with a special performance at Joe's Pub at the Public Theater in New York. Head here for more details.
03.12.15Tony Winner Lea Salonga & Glee Star Telly Leung Will Join George Takei for Allegiance
(Via Broadway.com, Ryan McPhee)
Tony winner Lea Salonga, who last appeared on Broadway in Les Miserables, and Telly Leung, a former Broadway.com vlogger for Godspell, will return to the Great White Way this fall in Allegiance. Performances will begin on October 6; opening night is set for November 8 at the Longacre Theatre. Additional cast for the Stafford Arima-helmed production will be announced shortly.
Salonga and Leung take on the roles of Kei and Young Sam, respectively, reprising their performances from the 2012 world premiere production in San Diego. They join the previously announced George Takei, whose personal experience as a child in a Japanese-American internment camp inspired the musical.
Salonga earned a Tony Award for Miss Saigon, her Broadway debut. Her additional Great White Way credits include Les Miserables (playing both Eponine and Fantine), Flower Drum Song and Something Good. On screen, her singing voice can be heard as two Disney princesses: Jasmine in Aladdin and Fa Mulan in Mulan. She recently appeared as Mother in the 2013 Avery Fisher Hall concert production of Ragtime and served as a judge on The Voice of the Philippines.
In addition to Glee and Godspell, Leung has appeared in Wicked, Pacific Overtures, Flower Drum Song and Rent. He currently stars in Manhattan Theatre Club’s The World of Extreme Happiness.
Allegiance features music and lyrics by Jay Kuo and a book by Marc Acito. A story of family, love and patriotism set during the Japanese-American internment of World War II and beyond, the show follows WWII veteran Sam Kimura and his sister Kei as they find themselves torn between loyalty to their family and allegiance to their country.
05.31.14Telly Leung stars as the Teen Angel in GREASE at Paper Mill Playhouse
Paper Mill Playhouse concludes its 75th Anniversary Season with America's favorite musical, Grease. With book, music and lyrics by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey, Grease will be directed by Daniel Goldstein with original choreography by JoAnn M. Hunter. Additional songs are by John Farrar, Barry Gibb, Scott Simon and Louis St. Louis. Grease will play the Millburn, New Jersey, theater from May 28 through June 29, 2014. The official press opening night is Sunday, June 1, at 7:00pm.
The world's #1 musical bursts on to the Paper Mill stage in an all-new production. Grease is a rock-n-roll celebration of growing up and falling in love set in the fabulous fifties. Grease strikes a universal chord with an irresistible mix of fast cars and first loves. It's Danny and Sandy, Frenchy and Kenickie, and don't forget about Rizzo. Grease is a thrilling injection of pure fun with astounding dancing and amazing songs. On Broadway, Grease won seven Tony Awards, a Drama Desk Award and a Theatre World Award.
"Paper Mill Playhouse is thrilled to breathe new life into America's most popular musical," commented Mark S. Hoebee, Paper Mill's Producing Artistic Director. "Our production will feature the iconic songs from the feature film along with your favorite tunes from the stage version. What excites us most about Grease is fulfilling Paper Mill's mission of nurturing young talent. Five members of the Grease company will receive their Actors' Equity card during the run."
Grease will be performed at Paper Mill Playhouse eight times a week, Wednesday through Sunday. Performance schedule: Wednesday at 7:00pm, Thursday at 1:30pm and 7:00pm, Friday at 7:00pm, Saturday at 1:30pm and 7:00pm and Sunday at 1:30pm and 7:00pm. Tickets are on sale now and range from $27 to $98. Tickets may be purchased by calling 973.376.4343, at the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office at 22 Brookside Drive in Millburn, or online at www.PaperMill.org. Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express accepted. Groups of 10 or more can receive up to a 40% discount on tickets and should call 973.315.1680. College students can order $20 rush tickets over the phone or in person at the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office on the day of the performance.
03.28.14Telly Leung performs at Point Foundation's Point Horizon Award Gala
Emmy nominee Lena Dunham will receive the Point Foundation's Horizon Award at the Point Honors New York Gala April 7 at the New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue.
The Point Horizon Award "recognizes a young trailblazer who has taken a leadership role as an advocate of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community showing unwavering support."
The award will be presented by Tony nominee Andrew Rannells (The Book of Mormon, "Girls").
Attendees at the gala will include Tony winners Tyne Daly (Gypsy, Mothers and Sons), Judith Light (Other Desert Cities, The Assembled Parties) and Billy Porter (Miss Saigon, Kinky Boots), as well as Mariska Hargitay, Michael Urie, BD Wong, Chris Crary, Mike Doyle, Anthony Edwards, Rachelle Lefevre and Thomas Roberts.
Dunham is the creator and star of the acclaimed HBO series "Girls." She has also written "Tiny Furniture," "Choose You" and "Best Friends."
"There is no one better at conveying the ambition of today's young adults to overcome obstacles and realize their great potential than Lena Dunham," Jorge Valencia, executive director and chief executive officer of Point Foundation, said in a statement. "Dunham uses intelligent humor and compassion to present an honest appraisal of something our Point Scholars know all too well: the struggle to be comfortable in your own skin. Thanks to Dunham and HBO, millions of young people today feel validated by seeing poignant reflections of their own lives on each episode of 'Girls.'"
The evening will also feature a performance by Telly Leung (Godspell, Pacific Overtures).
The Point Honors gala will also honor TV producer, educator and M.D. Neal Baer with the Point Leadership Award. Baer, the executive producer and showrunner for the current CBS television show "Under The Dome," will be presented with the award by Emmy and Golden Globe winner Hargitay.
Point Foundation empowers promising LGBTQ students to achieve their full academic and leadership potential to make a significant impact on society. It promotes change through scholarship funding, mentorship, leadership development and community service training. Since 2001, Point has invested more than $15 million in the education and support of Point Scholars.
Visit pointfoundation.org/NYHonors for more information.
12.17.13Telly Leung returns to 54 Below in R&H Celebration in JANUARY
Telly Leung will return to 54 Below in their monthly celebration of the music of Rodgers & Hammerstein. The January 19th show will feature Telly singing alongside Emily Skinner, Sally Wilfert and Howard McGillin. Tickets are now available by visiting www.54below.com.
12.06.13ALLEGIANCE mini-album available today on iTunes!
ALLEGIANCE (starring George Takei, Lea Salonga, and Telly Leung) has released a mini-album of five tracks from the musical. Music & Lyrics are by Jay Kuo. Orchestrations by Lynne Shakel. Telly is featured on two of the songs: "With You" and "Gaman". The mini-album is also available on amazon and Spotify.