Telly Leung

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Telly Leung
Telly Leung.jpg
Born (1980-01-03) January 3, 1980 (age 43)
EducationCarnegie Mellon University (BFA)
  • Actor
  • singer
  • songwriter
James Babcock
(m. 2016)

Telly Leung is an American actor, director, singer and songwriter. He is known for his work in musical theatre on Broadway and for his role as Wes, a member of the Dalton Academy Warblers on the Fox comedy-drama series Glee. In 2011, he starred in the Broadway revival of Godspell at the Circle in the Square Theatre.

Leung was named one of 12 Faces to Watch in 2012: Dance, Theater, Architecture, and Art by the Los Angeles Times.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Leung was born and raised in New York City. He grew up in a traditional Chinese home in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.[2] He gained admission into New York's prestigious Stuyvesant High School, from which he graduated in 1998,[3] alongside fellow actor Malcolm Barrett. It was at Stuyvesant that Leung seriously pursued theater, performing in high school productions of Pippin, Guys & Dolls, and West Side Story. His first professional job was as a featured performer in THE WB-TEAM 11, doing live and television promotional work for the WB Channel 11. After high school, Leung was accepted into Carnegie Mellon University's School of Drama.[4]

Acting career[edit]

During the summers off from college, Leung earned his Equity Card performing at the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera and The MUNY in St. Louis. He worked with directors and choreographers including Tony Award winner Thommie Walsh, Larry Fuller, and Lee Roy Reams. It was also at CMU that he met fellow Broadway performer Billy Porter, who returned to his alma mater to direct the main stage production of Stephen Sondheim's Company. After casting Leung as Bobby in Company, Porter telephoned colleagues involved in the Broadway revival of Flower Drum Song and landed Leung an audition.

Leung performing in the 2011 Broadway Revival of Godspell

In the fall of 2002, Leung made his Broadway debut in the revival of Flower Drum Song, starring Lea Salonga, as a member of the ensemble and an understudy for Wang Ta.[5] He later worked on Broadway with Sondheim in Roundabout Theatre's revival of Pacific Overtures in 2005. After Pacific Overtures, Leung originated the role of Boq in the Chicago company of the Stephen Schwartz musical Wicked. He moved back to New York in 2006 to take part in the Paper Mill Playhouse production of Godspell.[6] He then returned to Broadway and performed as an ensemble member in the final run of Rent.

In 2007, he guest starred in an episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent. Leung was a member of the final company of Rent – and made his film debut as part of the ensemble in Rent: Filmed Live on Broadway. He had a recurring role in the musical comedy-drama series Glee from 2010 to 2011, portraying the role of Wes, a member of the Dalton Academy Warblers.

Leung appeared in the Broadway revival of Godspell at the Circle in the Square Theatre. He reprised his role from the Paper Mill production as the "All Good Gifts" soloist. He was a featured performer in the world premiere of the musical Allegiance at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego. The production premiered in September 2012, with Lea Salonga and George Takei also in the cast.[7] In 2014, Leung appeared in the play The World of Extreme Happiness at Goodman Theatre in Chicago. He went on to star in the co-production at the Manhattan Theatre Club in February 2015.

In October 2015, Leung returned to Broadway in the musical Allegiance at the Longacre Theatre alongside co-stars George Takei and Lea Salonga.[8] He then went on to perform in the acapella musical In Transit.[9] Leung played the titular character of the Broadway production of Aladdin, having started his run on June 13, 2017.[10]

In 2022, Telly directed Theatre Raleigh's production of Yellow Face. [11]

Music career[edit]

In 2005, Leung released an original EP titled Getaway on Mopptopp Records.[12] His first solo LP, I'll Cover You, was released on December 4, 2012 through Yellow Sound.[13] Leung is a featured performer on the cast recordings of Godspell, Flower Drum Song, Pacific Overtures, Dear Edwina, and Wall to Wall Sondheim.

Personal life[edit]

Leung, who is gay,[4] married James Babcock in December 2016.[14]

Notable roles[edit]

Year Play Role Notes
2002–2003 Flower Drum Song Ensemble August Wilson Theatre; Understudy for Wang Ta
2004–2005 Pacific Overtures Ensemble Studio 54; Understudy for Kayama
2005 Thoroughly Modern Millie Bun Foo Regional
2005 Wicked Boq / Tin Woodman Oriental Theatre
2006-2010 Rent Ensemble Nederlander Theatre and National tour; Understudy for Angel
2010 Rent Angel Schunard Hollywood Bowl
2011–2012 Godspell Ensemble Circle in the Square Theatre
2012, 2015-2016 Allegiance Young Sam Kimura Old Globe Theatre, Longacre Theatre
2016 The Secret Garden Fakir Bastiaan David Geffen Hall
2016–2017 In Transit Steven Circle in the Square
2017-2019 Aladdin Aladdin New Amsterdam Theatre
2023 Allegiance Young Sam Kimura Charing Cross Theatre, London, United Kingdom
Film and television
Year Title Role Notes
2007 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Kenny Li Episode: "Renewal"
2008 Rent: Filmed Live on Broadway Ensemble Understudy for Angel
2009 Limelight Kevin Chang Pilot
2010 Rent at the Hollywood Bowl Angel Schunard
2010–2011 Glee Wes 7 episodes
2011 Late Show with David Letterman 'Godspell' Ensemble 1 episodes
2014 Deadbeat Hiro Tamagachi Episode: "The Hot God Contest"
2016 Odd Mom Out Richard Episode: "The High Road"
2018 Instinct (U.S. TV series) Sam Episode: "Bye Bye Birdie"
Video games
Year Title Role Notes
2005 True Crime: New York City Fei Lao / Peasant [15]


Studio albums
  • Songs for You (2015)
  • I'll Cover You (2012)
Extended plays
  • Getaway (2005)
  • "New York State of Mind" (2015)
Cast albums


  1. ^ "LA Times: Faces to Watch in 2012". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 3, 2012.
  2. ^ "Telly Leung bio". Retrieved January 3, 2012.
  3. ^ "Lin Speaks to the Stuyvesant Class of 2012…Just Not in Person". WNYC. May 2, 2012. Retrieved May 23, 2015.
  4. ^ a b "Telly Leung: Interview | Oasis Journals". Archived from the original on 2014-10-27. Retrieved 2014-09-26.
  5. ^ "Telly Leung on IBDB". Retrieved January 3, 2012.
  6. ^ "Playbill interviews Telly Leung". December 1, 2011. Archived from the original on December 6, 2011. Retrieved January 3, 2012.
  7. ^ "ALLEGIANCE – A NEW AMERICAN MUSICAL". December 16, 2011. Archived from the original on February 21, 2012.
  8. ^ Haun, Harry. "Playbill On Opening Night: How Allegiance Gave George Takei One More Chance to Tell His Father "I'm Sorry"", Playbill, November 9, 2015
  9. ^ Viagas, Robert. "Telly Leung, Justin Guarini Among Cast of A Cappella Broadway Musical 'In Transit'" Playbill, Retrieved May 5, 2017
  10. ^ BWW News Desk. "Official: Telly Leung Will Take a Magic Carpet Ride in ALADDIN Beginning in June!" Broadway World, Retrieved May 5, 2017
  11. ^ "Aladdin's Telly Leung to Direct David Henry Hwang's Yellow Face for Theatre Raleigh".Playbill, June 16,2022
  12. ^ "Getaway at CDBaby". Retrieved January 3, 2012.
  13. ^ "Telly Leung CD Release from Playbill". Archived from the original on December 5, 2012. Retrieved December 19, 2012.
  14. ^ Fierberg, Ruthie. "Telly Leung Marries Partner of 12 Years" Playbill, January 20, 2017
  15. ^ Luxoflux. True Crime: New York City. Activision. Scene: Pause menu credits, 4:29:20 in, VOICE TALENT.

External links[edit]