Actor, Singer and teacher, was born and raised in New York City, growing up in a traditional Chinese home in Brooklyn.
Actor, Singer and teacher Telly Leung was born and raised in New York City, growing up in a traditional Chinese home in Brooklyn.
After gaining admission into New York’s prestigious math & science specialized high school, Stuyvesant H.S., he seriously pursued theater as a break from physics and calculus, performing in high school productions of “Pippin”, “Guys & Dolls” and ‘West Side Story.”
Telly’s first professional job was as a featured performer in (N.Y.) THE WB-TEAM 11, doing live and television promotional work for the WB Channel 11. After high school, Telly was admitted to Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Drama, where he received most of his formal training in acting, singing, and dance.
It was during the summers off of his college that Telly gained his Equity card performing at the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera and The St. Louis MUNY. He had the opportunity to work with some of the nation’s top directors and choreographers like Tony-winner Thommie Walsh, Paul Blake, Larry Fuller, Mitzi Hamilton, Liza Gennaro, Lee Roy Reams, and Mercedes Ellington.
It was also at CMU that Telly met fellow CMU-alum and Broadway favorite, Billy Porter, who returned to his alma mater to direct the main stage production of Sondheim’s COMPANY. After casting Telly as Bobby in “Company”, Porter made a phone call to his colleagues who were involved in the upcoming Broadway revival of FLOWER DRUM SONG and landed Telly an audition. In the fall of 2002, Telly 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.
Telly later achieved a Broadway dream, by working with Stephen Sondheim in Roundabout’s revival of “Pacific Overtures” in 2005 at Studio 54.
Following “Pacific Overtures”, Telly got to originate the role of “Boq” in the Chicago company of the hit musical “Wicked.” Upon his return to New York City following his stint in Chicago, Telly joined the final Broadway company of the Pulitzer Prize winning Iconic musical, RENT… and making his film debut in Radical Media / Sony’s “RENT: Filmed Live on Broadway”, which is now available on DVD and Blue Ray. In 2012, Telly was one of the leading stars in the hit Broadway revival “Godspell.”
In addition to touring the country in musicals at such esteem theaters as Paper Mill Playhouse, Philadelphia Theater Company, Sacramento Music Circus, Fords Theater, North Carolina Theater. Four Seasons Theater, and North Shore Music Theater, he also performed at Carnegie Hall.
On Television, Telly was featured as WES, of the “Dalton Acadamy Warblers” on the hit FOX series “Glee.” Other TV roles include appearances on “Law and Order: Criminal Intent” and recently played Kevin in the pilot of ABC’s performing arts drama, “Limelight.”
Telly is featured in the recordings of “Flower Drum Song”, “Pacific Overtures”, “Dear Edwina”, and “Wall to Wall Sondheim.”
In 2012, Telly released his debut CD “I’ll Cover You” on the YellowSound label and premiered the CD in a live concert at 54 Below in NYC to a sold out audience.
In addition to three sold out engagements at 54 Below in the post 9 months, Telly is currently teaching theater students at NYU.
Telly co-starred with Lea Salonga and George Takei in the new musical ALLEGIANCE, aiming for a spring Broadway opening following an extended engagement at The Old Globe Theater last spring.
Photo credit – Eve Reinhardt Photography
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