Telly Leung

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Telly Leung
Telly Leung.jpg
Leung in September 2010
Born (1980-01-03) January 3, 1980 (age 37)
New York City, New York
Alma mater Carnegie Mellon University
Occupation
  • Actor
  • singer
  • songwriter
Website www.tellyleung.com

Telly Leung (born January 3, 1980)[1] is an American actor, singer and songwriter. He is known for his many musical theatre roles 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 twelve "Faces to Watch in 2012: Dance, Theater, Architecture and Art" by the Los Angeles Times.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Leung was born and raised in New York City. He grew up in a traditional Chinese home in Brooklyn.[3] He gained admission into New York's prestigious Stuyvesant High School, from which he graduated in 1998,[4] 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. He is openly gay.[5]

Acting career[edit]

During the summers off from college, Leung gained 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.[6] 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.[7] 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.[8] 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 Allegiance at the Longacre Theatre, with co-stars Takei and Salonga.[9]

Music career[edit]

In 2005, Leung released an original EP titled Getaway on Mopptopp Records.[10] His first solo LP, I'll Cover You, was released on December 4, 2012 thorough Yellow Sound.[11] 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 and James Babcock were married in December 2016.[12]

Notable roles[edit]

Theater
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 Rent Ensemble Nederlander Theatre
2009–2010 Rent Angel Schunard National tour and Hollywood Bowl
2011–2012 Godspell Ensemble Circle in the Square Theatre
2012 Allegiance Young Sam Kimura Old Globe Theatre
2015–2016 Allegiance Young Sam Kimura Longacre Theatre
2016 The Secret Garden Fakir Bastiaan David Geffen Hall
2016–present In Transit Steven Circle in the Square
Film and television
Year Title Role Notes
2007 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Kenny Li Episode: "Renewal"
2008 Rent: Filmed Live on Broadway Ensemble
2009 Limelight Kevin Chang Pilot
2010 Rent at the Hollywood Bowl Angel Schunard
2010–2011 Glee Wes 7 episodes
2014 Deadbeat Hiro Tamagachi Episode: "The Hot God Contest"
2016 Odd Mom Out Richard Episode: "The High Road"

Discography[edit]

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

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Telly Leung on IMDB". Retrieved January 3, 2012. 
  2. ^ "LA Times: Faces to Watch in 2012". Retrieved January 3, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Telly Leung bio". Retrieved January 3, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Lin Speaks to the Stuyvesant Class of 2012…Just Not in Person". WNYC. May 2, 2012. Retrieved May 23, 2015. 
  5. ^ http://oasisjournals.com/2012/04/telly-leung-interview?page=0%2C3
  6. ^ "Telly Leung on IBDB". Retrieved January 3, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Playbill interviews Telly Leung". December 1, 2011. Retrieved January 3, 2012. 
  8. ^ "ALLEGIANCE – A NEW AMERICAN MUSICAL". December 16, 2011. 
  9. ^ 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
  10. ^ "Getaway at CDBaby". Retrieved January 3, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Telly Leung CD Release from Playbill". Retrieved December 19, 2012. 
  12. ^ Fierberg, Ruthie. "Telly Leung Marries Partner of 12 Years" Playbill, January 20, 2017

External links[edit]