President Obama today announced that he now supports same-sex marriage, reversing his longstanding opposition amid growing pressure from the Democratic base and even his own vice president.
By Jeff Walsh
Telly Leung is a force of nature.
In Godspell, now playing at the Circle in the Square Theater on Broadway (see review), Leung has turned his role into an opportunity to showcase what seems to be almost too many talents. He acts, sings, dances, does impressions, and even when people are coming in after intermission, he's at the piano playing riffs from A Chorus Line, Wicked, Rent, and others, before launching into an Elton Johnesque reprise of "Learn Your Lessons Well" from Act One to get act two started.
When I recently ran into Stephen Schwartz, the composer of Godspell and Wicked, he had nothing but praise for Leung.
"His performance has become sort of famous. He's unbelievable, and the nice thing is he gets to show, in this particular production, the range of talents that he has," Schwartz said. "People who have seen him do one thing or another before, but here he gets to sing beautifully, he gets to be really funny, he gets to do amazing imitations, he gets to play the piano, you see a real range of just how much this guy can do. He's extraordinary in the show."
For how long Leung has been on my radar, it's amazing I'm just seeing him now. I originally planned to see him in Godspell years ago, but then the production was delayed. I planned to see him in an early version of Lysistrata Jones in Dallas, but I got delayed in Vegas instead. When the Rent tour came through the Bay Area, he had left the tour already.
So, for a while, I figured there was clearly some conspiracy at work here and I just wasn't meant to see Leung onstage. But once I moved to New York City, and he's in a show eight times a week, the odds greatly shifted in my favor, so we recently sat down in his dressing room before show time to chat about Godspell and his amazing path to Broadway (sorry Gleeks, I totally blanked on him being a Warbler during the interview):
By Jeff Walsh
Godspell is an odd mix of things that seemingly shouldn't work together: a series of parables from the Gospel of Matthew, amazing songs by Stephen Schwartz, and a lot of freedom in between on how to present both.
But somehow, the spare book, beautiful music, and lack of structure all combine to make something bigger than the sum of its parts. In its current Broadway incarnation, Godspell is a high-energy experience that barely lets you catch your breath.
Before I saw the show, in December, an elderly woman at the Patti Lupone/Mandy Patinkin show was giving me the rundown on all the new Broadway shows. When she came to Godspell, her demeanor changed and she clutched her chest, like even remembering the manic energy was exhausting her: "They keep running around, trying to make us have fun."
::grin:: Ariel, Might just have a girlfriend. Yay! Anyway, I don't really know. Went out with her yesterday she was soooo shy it was sooooooo cute, she told me she wanted to "hang out" with me again. Ha ha. Aww soo sweet. Even, better she lives close to me! I want her to get on line so I can talk to her again.
Only, there is Pudding Dish, a girl in Boston..who I think I may have lead on a bit too much. But I like her too, Damnit. I like both of them.. what to do what to do. Then, again I hardly know either of them.. so I don't know what may happen in the future. Hopefully good things!
My band played on Friday, and it was hilariously dreadful!
What a funky dream, and its 5 am! Its somthing about me introducing my sister a homocidal asshole who started mutilate my family. I was trapped, but excaped, nobody cared to listen, but I would call 911 nobody listened there as well. I was left in the gutter to rot. I woke up trempling and scared. I took a gusty walk around the house and came back, turned on my computer and thought DANG BOY THIS IS NOT A REAL DREAM BUT HOMOCIDAL DREAM? OMG! WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?! I am still trembling from this dream, sweating and stuff.
Dan called earlier. Could I go camping, like we planned? I dashed upstairs to ask, and, making sure my voice was loud enough to carry to the phone receiver downstairs, asked mom if I could go (while avidly shaking my head.) She asked if there were chaperones. I replied in the negative. Her answer?
sometimes I wonder...wat if I had spent the summer with my friends...would I have turned out the same way?...most of the summer consisted of me watchin the telly-vision when I was supposed to be out partyin' with friends. Why I never went out with them I dunno, it must have been fate. One night while flippin' channels I saw Buffy the Vampire Slayer on, so I was watchin for a lil while and then I saw Willow givin Tara a lil lip lovin, I put that scene in the back of my mind and changed the channels, but then there was a lingering question, could I possibly be gay? I had never really thought about it since I wasn't really around anything like it.
I love it when random people IM me. I just got IMed by someone whose screen name looks like a reference to Joseph Stalin.
I talked a little with this (guy/girl). He (she) wouldn't tell me where they got my AIM name. It always freaks me out when this happens. I was scared that Joe might be a wicked insane stalker, but at the same time, I was kind of excited. OOoohh, talking to somebody new! The anonymity of the internet is so great.