THEIR FAVORITE THINGS: Allegiance, Godspell and "Glee" Star Telly Leung Shares His Theatregoing Experiences

By Andrew Gans
October 3, 2012

Playbill.com's new feature series, Their Favorite Things, asks members of the theatre community to share the Broadway performances that most affected them as part of the audience.

This week we spotlight the choices of Broadway singing actor Telly Leung, the Godspell and "Glee" star who is currently appearing in The Old Globe's world premiere of Allegiance – A New American Musical, which was recently extended through Oct. 28 in San Diego, CA.



(Clicking on a name bolded in blue will take readers to that actor or show's entry in the Playbill Vault.)

 

Joe Mantello in The Normal Heart

 

"Got to work with Joe as a director in Wicked, and I knew he was a genius behind the table. But, this heart-breaking performance left me shattered at the end of the play. That's the kind of actor I want to be!"

 

 

Patti LuPone on Broadway (at the Walter Kerr).

 

"I remember watching this concert in awe of that string of 11-o'clock numbers in the second act! 'Don't Cry for Me Argentina,' 'I Dreamed a Dream,' 'Meadowlark,' 'As Long as He Needs Me,' 'As If We Never Said Goodbye'... all in a row. I am a singer, and that was a master class in stamina and true star-quality."

 

 

Betty Buckley in Sunset Boulevard.

 

"I saw every 'Norma' on Broadway, and when I saw Betty Buckley do this role, I was convinced it was written for her. Norma can be larger-than-life, and that's why she's such a great character to be musicalized, but Betty found the humanity and the pathos in this woman. Her 'As If We Never Said Goodbye' was tragically beautiful."

Carol Channing in Hello, Dolly! 

 

"This Broadway revival was one of the stops on Ms. Channing's last tour, and it was a surreal moment to see her light up the stage. I felt like I was transported back in time, and watching a true legend at work. I was in high school, and got a ticket for a Wednesday matinee, after I took the SATs that morning, as a reward to myself - and I sat mesmerized by this living legend."

 

 

Cristin Milioti in Once.

 

"She has a great directness and simplicity to her work - an honesty that was both refreshing and touching. Her performance in Once was tour-de-force, and so deserving of a Tony nomination."

 

 

Patti LuPone in Master Class

 

"She's so stellar, she makes my list twice! I never got to see Zoe Caldwell play Maria Callas in Master Class, but I did make a point to see Patti... twice! The role requires that you completely hold the stage, and no one holds a stage like Ms. LuPone."

 

 

Lindsay Mendez in Dogfight.

 

"I'm a little biased, since she's one of my dearest friends and colleagues (we worked on Godspell together), but she was absolutely heart-breaking as Rose. I've known Lindsay for a long time, and everyone knows her for her big impressive voice, a flawless instrument able to belt to the rafters. In Dogfight, she also proved to be an honest, simple actress who not only sang beautifully, but used her voice to capture the subtlety and shyness in her character. Her performance snuck up on me and totally won me over."

 

Lea Salonga in Miss Saigon.

 

"I never got to see Lea perform the role when she originally did it, but I was able to see her in the final months of the production on Broadway, when she came back to close the show. A true Tony-winning performance. A few years later, in 2002, I'd find myself working side by side with her on Flower Drum Song on Broadway - and we've become friends. Actually, more like family... and now she's playing my sister in Allegiance. Now I get the best seat in the house when she sings: either on stage with her, or in the wings! Full circle moment, indeed."

 

Rondi Reed in August: Osage County.

 

"Rondi and I got to do the Chicago production of Wicked together (she was Morrible, and I was Boq), and we are good pals. I was absolutely blown away by her performance as Mattie Fae. The night she won her Tony, I was also backstage (waiting to go on with the cast of Rent), and I got to jump up and down and cry with her minutes after she won. An unforgettable performance, and also an unforgettable personal moment that I'll never forget."

 

 

Anthony Rapp and Adam Pascal in Rent.

 

"I was in high school when Rent came out, and I was a big RENThead! This show changed my life, and I think it inspired a whole generation of performers to pursue their Broadway dreams. It was a big 'pinch me' moment when I got to join the company of Rent in 2006, and another big 'pinch me' moment when Adam and Anthony returned to Rent on Broadway. Then, I got to tour the country (and the world) with them in Rent - the Broadway tour. These two boys are the real deal: sweet-as-can-be, down-to-earth, show-stopping stars."