CUE & A: Grease's Teen Angel Telly Leung on RuPaul, Rent and His Coffee Addiction
17 Jun 2014
Broadway favorite Telly Leung, currently playing Teen Angel in Paper Mill Playhouse's production of Grease, fills out Playbill.com's questionnaire of random facts, backstage trivia and pop-culture tidbits.
Leung has appeared on Broadway in Flower Drum Song, Rent, Pacific Overtures and Godspell. He also starred in the Old Globe's production of the Broadway-bound musical Allegiance.
Screen work includes "Glee," "Deadbeat" and "Law & Order."
Full given name:
My Chinese name is Leung Hau Tai.
Where you were born/where you were raised:
Born and raised in New York City. Bay Ridge, Brooklyn - where my parents still live today!
What your parents did/do for a living:
Mom is a seamstress and works in the fashion industry. Dad used to work in the restaurant business - but he's retired now.
I’m an only child. I think it's why I pursued a career in theater. I always wanted siblings when I was a kid. Joining a cast is instant brothers and sisters.
Current audition song/monologue:
"Being Alive" has always been a lucky "go to" song for me. Got me my first two Broadway shows.
I speak Cantonese and I play the piano.
Something you're REALLY bad at:
Where to begin? SO MANY THINGS! First one that pops into mind: any kind of skating or skateboarding.
First Broadway show you ever saw:
It was Cats. And it was magical. Got to see the incredible Laurie Beechman sing "Memory."
If you could go back in time and catch any show, what would it be?
GOSH! So many!! First one that pops to mind: I wish I could have seen Company.
Current or recent show other than your own you have been recommending to friends:
Go see Beautiful!
Favorite showtune(s) of all time:
Such a hard question. Changes all the time. Today, it's "Before the Parade Passes By" from Hello, Dolly!
Some favorite modern musicals:
Rent (of course), Into the Woods, Company, Pippin
Some favorite classic musicals:
Gypsy (in my opinion the perfect musical), West Side Story, Anything Goes
Broadway or screen stars of the past you would have most loved to perform with:
Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Billy Porter, Betty Buckley, Meryl Streep, Lea Salonga, Luciano Pavarotti, Luther Vandross, Chita Rivera
The one performance – attended - that you will never forget:
Patti LuPone's concert at the Walter Kerr in the 90's - when Act 2 was one "11 o'clock number" number after another! "Meadowlark," "Don't Cry For Me Argentina," "I Dreamed a Dream," "As Long As He Needs Me"... one after another!
Music that makes you cry, any genre:
Anything by Miles Davis. Always gets me. He play with so much pain.
MAC or PC?
Most played song on your iPod:
I never work out without music and the song that gets me going is "Step By Step" (Whitney Houston - my favorite singer)
Playbill.com - of course!
Recently, I've been obsessed with Laura Benanti's hysterical tweets. Also love reading tweets by my friend Sara Chase!
Last book you read:
"Bossypants" by Tina Fey
Must-see TV show(s):
"RuPaul's Drag Race," "Scandal," "Orange Is the New Black," "House of Cards," "Modern Family" - and of course, "Glee."
Last good movie you saw:
"Wolf of Wall Street" was fantastic.
Some films you consider classics:
"Moonstruck" (my favorite movie of all time!), "Amelie," "Sunset Boulevard," "Sound of Music," "Mary Poppins"
Pop culture guilty pleasure:
"RuPaul's Drag Race" (team Bianca del Rio!) and "Hell's Kitchen"
Three favorite cities:
New York (my hometown), London (where I dream to work on the West End one day!) and Tokyo