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."
I'm on Oasis! I'm so excited. It finally worked.
So I guess this is where I just start to spill everything - who I am, what I'm all about, where I'm from...
Well, Sat. night I found out that I suck at flirting. I went to this big pompous formal event with tuxedos and evening gowns and everything. I was at a table with this guy I hadn't seen in months. (Let's just call him Andrew). I knew he was gay when I saw him last September, at a friend's party, playing truth or dare in the hottub. Wow.
here is a list of painful memories:
watching my parents shoot up
listening to my parents fight
watching my arents fight
talking to the cops about my parents fight
going to a jail, and seeing my daddy through a glass window, holding back the tears so i could talk to him over the little phone
waiting for hours to see my mom on my birthday, when she promised she would come, but then didn't show
um...here it goes...just a little background:
when i was born my parents were both drug addicts, i was born addicted to heroin and coke. when i was four things at home started to get out of hand, and my grand parents got custody of me. I guess i have always known that im not completly straight...in preeschool i had a "friend"...Chealsea...she and i used to kiss and shit...all the stuff we thought only boys and girls could do. Now dont get me wrong, i have been raise in a very liberal, accepting house...i mean, for god's sake...i live in San Francisco, and my grandma teaches human sexuality at SF state university! we always had gay family friends over, i i was told it was perfectly normal...that it was better than normal, that it was beautiful. However, that is not what our storybooks said, and that is not what the tv said...the media had a major impact on my beliefs and values during the very early years of my life...anyway, chealsea and i would kiss and stuff, but i always, to some extent, thought what we were doing was wrong...but at the same time, i thougt it was normal, that every other four year old was experimenting in this fashion...
Am happy, like the bi-polar mania kind of happy! LOL! I'm pretty sure its not a chemical imbalance induced happy, but I imagine this is what it would feel like to be on the manic end of the bi-polar episode.
Anyway, I painted tonight. It was fantastic. When I stop and then go back, I always wonder why I don't just do it all the time. Oh wait, starving artist is not my style.
Okay people. I really need to know how "we" turn out as homosexuals. Is it the chromosomes (x and y genes)? Or do circumstances or incidents shape us into becoming queer? I mean I've always liked girls and I think along the way I got used to liking boys, because it was the "normal" thing to do.
On a totally different note....how can you really tell if a person is queer, without snooping for hints. Do we all have underlying qualities of homosexuality, which are just waiting to be triggered? Or are those "straight" people, just NOT attracted to the sexy girls and hot guys?!?
a treatise on the rise of the xerox.