12.05.18

Telly Leung Chats "Broadway At Birdland" & His Single, "All I Want For Christmas Is You"

Telly Leung, currently playing the title character in Disney’s "Aladdin" on Broadway, is releasing a special updated version of the holiday classic “All I Want for Christmas Is You” to benefit ASTEP (Artists Striving to End Poverty) this holiday season. Leung joined BUILD to discuss the project.

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** As Captioned Live **

>>> WELCOME TO BUILD. I'M HERE WITH ONE OF BROADWAY'S MOST IN-DEMAND LEADING MEN, TELLY LEUNG. HE HAS SO MUCH GOING ON. HE IS STARRING IN THE LEADING ROLE IN "ALADDIN." HE HAS SIX OTHER BROADWAY SHOWS UNDER HIS BELT, TWO SOLO ALBUMS, NATIONWIDE CONCERTS AND RELEASED A BRAND-NEW SINGLE. TELLY, YOU ARE DOING EVERYTHING. YOU ARE EVERYWHERE. CONGRATULATIONS.

>> RIGHT NOW I'M HERE AT THE "BUILD SERIES." BEFORE WE WENT ON THE AIR WE TALKED ABOUT HOW AWESOME IT IS WE'RE IN THIS AMAZING STUDIO AND THIS USED TO BE WHERE I SPENT MANY HOURS AS A KID GROWING UP IN NEW YORK CITY BECAUSE IT IS THE OLD TOWER RECORD BUILDING.

>> YES, AND YOU ARE A BROOKLYN GUY. YOU WENT TO STUYVESANT HIGH SCHOOL RIGHT AROUND HERE.

>> THAT'S RIGHT. IT IS AROUND HERE, BUT I GREW UP IN BROOKLYN. I WOULD SAVE UP MY ALLOWANCE MONEY AND SEE BROADWAY SHOWS, GET A TICKET AT THE TKS BOOTH OR GO TO PLACES LIKE HERE.

>> THIS EXACT PLACE.

>> AND GET LIKE THE NEXT CAST RECORDING COMING OUT OF WHATEVER FAVORITE BROADWAY SHOW I HAD AT THE MOMENT.

>> I HEARD A RUMOR YOU USED TO CUT SCHOOL TO DO IT.

>> WELL, I DID CUT SCHOOL. I CUT SCHOOL FAMOUSLY AND I DIDN'T GO TO TOWER RECORDS BUT TO J & R MUSIC WORLD CLOSER TO STUYVESANT HIGH SCHOOL DOWNTOWN BY CITY HALL THE DAY THAT THE DOUBLE DISC "RENT" ALBUM CAME OUT. I SAID I CAN'T GO TO SCHOOL, I NEED THIS CD RIGHT NOW.

>> I REMEMBER DOING THAT, TOO. I WAS IN COLLEGE AT THE TIME BUT I HAD, LIKE, ARRANGED MY CLASSES SO THAT I COULD GO AND GET THE RECORD THE MORNING IT CAME OUT, THE CD.

>> THERE WAS A LINE, J & R MUSIC WORLD FOR THOSE WHO USED TO LIVE IN NEW YORK THOSE DAYS REMEMBER, IT WAS A BLOCK AND A BLOCK, A HUGE MUSIC COMPLEX, AND THERE WERE LINES AROUND THE CORNER TO GET THAT "RENT" ALBUM.

>> ALL OF THE TEENAGERS IN NEW YORK KNEW THE SHOW.

>> OH, YEAH.

>> A LOT OF US HAD ONLY HEARD THESE THESE THAT WE WEREN'T SUPPOSED TO HAVE THEM, THE BOOTLEG.

>> I HAD A "RENT" BOOTLEG ON CASSETTE, SOMEBODY WITH THE TAPE RECORDER THAT RECORDED THE SHOW.

>> I HEARD A FUNNY STORY ABOUT YOU AND THE BOOTLEG THAT WHEN YOU WERE IN "RENT" FOR THE FIRST TIME --

>> WHEN I WAS IN "RENT," THEY WERE TEACHING ME THE SHOW. I WAS THERE IN 2006 AND THERE TO THE END IN 2018. I REMEMBER THE STAGE MANAGER THERE, CRYSTAL HUNTINGTON, SO THERE WAS NOBODY THAT KNEW THE SHOW BETTER THAN CRYSTAL. WHEN SHE WAS TEACHING ME THE SHOW, SHE WOULD GO, OKAY, AT THIS LINE YOU STAND HERE AND WALK STAGE RIGHT. I WAS LIKE, OH, I KNOW. THEY GAVE ME THREE WEEKS TO LEARN MY TRACK AND TO LEARN MY ANGEL UNDERSTUDY DUTIES. I HAD LEARNED EVERYTHING IN TWO WEEKS. SHE SAID, YOU REALLY KNOW THIS SHOW. I SAID, CRYSTAL, I HAVE BEEN DOING THIS SHOW IN MY BRAIN FOR I DON'T KNOW HOW LONG. FOR TEN YEARS I HAD BEEN DOING IT IN MY BRAIN AND I KNEW EVERY WORD. I JUST KNEW IT REALLY WELL.

>> IS IT TRUE YOU WERE LIKE AN INSIDE MY OWN BOOTLEG?

>> WELL, WHEN ADAM PASCAL AND ANTHONY RAPP CAME INTO THE SHOW AND I WAS IN THE ENSEMBLE PLAYING STEVE AND OTHERS, THERE'S A MOMENT IN "RENT" IN THE OPENING NUMBER THEY CALL THE CLUMP WHEN THE TWO BOYS ARE SINGING IN THE FRONT AND THERE'S CHAOS, CHAOS, AND ALL OF THE SUDDEN THE ENSEMBLE GETS BEHIND THEM IN A CLUMP, AND I REMEMBER BEING IN THE CLUMP AND WHISPERING TO THE PERSON NEXT TO ME, I AM IN MY OWN "RENT" BOOTLEG RIGHT NOW, WATCHING THEM SING IT. IT WAS WILD.

>> DO YOU GET NERVOUS THE FACT WE HAVE THE BOOTLEGS WHEN WE ARE TRYING TO DISCOURAGE PEOPLE NOW FROM --

>> YES, HIGHLY OUT THERE FOR THE PUBLIC AND THE WORLD, THE BEAUTY OF THEATER IS THAT IT IS EPHEMERAL AND IT HAPPENS ONCE AND THAT'S THE BEAUTY OF IT, OF COURSE. I DON'T KNOW. I FEEL LIKE BACK IN THOSE DAYS THERE REALLY WASN'T THEATER ON THE INTERNET.

>> YES, THERE'S NO YouTube.

>> RIGHT. IT WAS LIKE DIAL-UP MODEMS AND THERE WAS NO HIGH-SPEED INTERNET. SO WE REALLY -- IT CAME OUT OF A PLACE OF LOVE, AND I FELT LIKE NOBODY REALLY ABUSED IT THE WAY THAT I FEEL LIKE SOMETIMES IT GETS ABUSED NOW, WHERE EVERYTHING IS ONLINE BEFORE -- THE BIGGEST CHANGE WAS I REMEMBER DOING "RENT" AT THE HOLLYWOOD BOWL, AND I REMEMBERED MY HUSBAND WAS THERE AND, YOU KNOW, HE GOT TO COME BACKSTAGE OFTEN A LOT. I REMEMBERED, LIKE AT THE TIME VANESSA HUDGINS WAS WITH ZAC EFRON AT THE TIME. ZAC EFRON CAME BACKSTAGE AND SAID, HEY, GUYS, ACT ONE IS ALREADY ONLINE. THIS IS AT INTERMISSION, HE GOES, ACT ONE IS ALREADY ON YouTube. I SAID, WHAT, WE JUST DID IT, WE JUST GOT OFF FROM DOING IT.

>> YES, IT WAS A SPECIAL EVENT.

>> IT IS THREE SHOWS AT THE HOLLYWOOD BOWL, AND HE CAME BACKSTAGE AND SAID, YEAH, IT IS ALREADY ON YouTube. IT WAS CRAZY. IT WAS UNBELIEVABLE. IT IS JUST THAT THE WORLD HAS CHANGED A LOT.

>> TOTALLY. THIS USED TO BE TOWER RECORDS.

>> THIS USED TO BE A TOWER RECORDS. I THINK BACK IN THOSE DAYS IT WAS -- IT IS DIFFERENT. I MEAN I DON'T KNOW. IT WAS JUST DIFFERENT. I THINK IT WAS LESS INVASIVE. I THINK NOW IT GETS A LITTLE -- NOW THAT THE PHONES AND EVERYTHING GET SO INVASIVE IN A THEATER SOMETIMES.

>> YEAH. I CAN IMAGINE THAT BEING ON STAGE, THE AUDIENCE IS RIGHT THERE.

>> OH, WE SEE IT.

>> AND YOU CAN SEE THEM WHEN THEY'RE HOLDING PHONES UP.

>> IF YOU WONDER WHETHER OR NOT WE CAN SEE YOU ON YOUR PHONE, WE CAN ABSOLUTELY SEE. LIKE WE SEE IT AND WE FEEL IT.

>> DID YOU SEE WHAT HAPPENED AT "THE CHER SHOW" OPENING THE OTHER NIGHT?

>> I WAS THERE OPENING NIGHT. I WAS ACTUALLY THERE.

>> FOR THOSE THAT DON'T KNOW WHAT HAPPENED --

>> FIRST OF ALL, "THE CHER SHOW" OPENING NIGHT WAS ONE OF THE MOST STAR-STUDDED OPENING NIGHTS I HAVE EVER GONE TO. I MEAN I WALKED THE CARPET AND I HAD MY PICTURES TAKEN, BUT THEN CHER WAS THE NEXT PERSON THAT WALKED THE CARPET AND GOT HER PICTURES TAKEN. I WHIPPED OUT MY PHONE. I WAS LIKE, OH, MY GOSH, IT IS CHER.

>> IT IS THE RED CARPET, IT IS OKAY.

>> RIGHT, IT IS THE CARPET, BUT I COULDN'T BELIEVE IT. BUT KANYE AND KIM KARDASHIAN WERE THERE AT OPENING NIGHT. I DON'T KNOW HOW OFTEN THEY GO, BUT I THINK PEOPLE THAT GO TO THE THEATER KNOW, ALL RIGHT, THE LIGHTS ARE DIMMING, TIME TO TURN OFF MY SHOW, LET ME ESCAPE INTO THE WORLD OF THE SHOW, WHATEVER IT IS, LET ME ESCAPE INTO THE WORLD OF CHER AND LOSE MYSELF FOR AT LEAST AN HOUR AND TEN MINUTES, THE FIRST ACT, AND I CAN TURN ON MY PHONE IN INTERMISSION. I DON'T KNOW HOW AVID THEATER GOERS KANYE AND KIM KARDASHIAN ARE. I DON'T THINK THEY KNEW TO TURN OFF THEIR PHONES. HE WAS ON HIS PHONE AND TWEETING DURING THE SHOW, AND ONE OF OUR BELOVED BROADWAY VETERANS, JARED SPECTER, WAS PLAYING SONNY BONO WAS LIKE, I CAN SEE YOU, KANYE, IN A DARK THEATER OF OVER 1200 PEOPLE, YOU KNOW, THAT YOU ARE ON YOUR PHONE AND TWEETING. HE TWEETED AT HIM AND SAID, HEY, JUST SO YOU KNOW, LIKE IT IS OPENING NIGHT AND IT IS A BIG DEAL FOR US AND WE'RE DOING A SHOW UP HERE. SO IF YOU DON'T MIND -- YOU KNOW, HE ACTUALLY ASKED IN A VERY NICE WAY.

>> AND KANYE SAID IT.

>> AND HE WAS VERY APOLOGETIC AND I THOUGHT IT WAS LIKE, OH, AWESOME, HE MIGHT NOT KNOW. THAT'S THE THING. IF YOU DON'T GO TO THE THEATER OFTEN, YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW THAT.

>> BECAUSE EVERYONE HAS THEIR PHONES OUT AT HIS SHOWS.

>> ABSOLUTELY. THAT'S A DIFFERENT WORLD, TOO. I REMEMBER GOING TO CONCERTS BACK -- MY FIRST CONCERT WAS NEW YEAR'S EVE, AND I DON'T REMEMBER WHICH ONE IT WAS AND IT WAS PROBABLY THE EARLY '90s AND IT WAS JANET JACKSON AT MADISON SQUARE GARDENS AND THERE WERE NO PHONES.

>> YOU WEREN'T ALLOWED, I REMEMBER, TO BRING A CAMERA INTO THE THEATER.

>> WHEN YOU WATCHED A CONCERT, IT WAS LIKE EVERYONE WATCHING THE SAME THING. NOW DAYS IT IS ALMOST EXPECT AT A GIANT CONCERT AT MADISON SQUARE GARDENS OR SOMETHING, EVERYONE HAS THEIR PHONE OUT TO INSTAGRAM THE MOMENT OR GRAB A SELFIE WITH HOWEVER IS ON STAGE. THE CULTURE HAS CHANGED. BUT NOT IN THE THEATER. THE THEATER IS SUCH AN INTIMATE SPACE AND THE BEAUTY OF THEATER IS WE ALL JOIN THIS EXPERIENCE TOGETHER COMMUNALLY. WE ALL GO SOMEPLACE TOGETHER --

>> IT IS DEFINITELY MY CHURCH.

>> RIGHT. I HOPE THAT NEVER CHANGES. ACTUALLY ABOUT THE THEATER.

>> ME TOO. WHENEVER SOMEBODY VIOLATES THAT, THEY GET IT.

>> RIGHT. SOMETIMES I THINK IT IS PART OF OUR JOB AS THEATER FOLKS AND AS THEATER FOLKS TALKING TO, YOU KNOW, PEOPLE OUT THERE, YOU KNOW, IN THE UNIVERSE IS TO GO, HEY, GUYS, LIKE FOR THIS ONE -- FOR AN HOUR AND TEN MINUTES, LIKE KEEP YOUR PHONES OFF. JUST BE HERE WITH US.

>> AND WE ENDED UP WITH A NATION WIDE PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT BECAUSE THE THING WITH KANYE MADE NATIONAL NEWS SO EVERYBODY KNOWS NOW.

>> EVERYBODY KNOWS.

>> I'M SO EXCITED JANET JACKSON WAS YOUR FIRST CONCERT BECAUSE I KNOW THAT '90s DIVAS WERE A MAJOR BIG DEAL FOR YOU.

>> HUGE.

>> THAT BRINGS US BACK TO "ALL I WANT TO CHRISTMAS IS YOU" AND OF COURSE EVERYONE LEARNED FROM MARIAH CAREY.

>> I GREW UP IN THE '80s AND THE '90s IS WHEN I WAS IN MIDDLE SCHOOL AND HIGH SCHOOL AND THAT'S WHEN I REALLY GOT INTO MUSIC AND I WOULD CUT CLASS AND GO TO J & R MUSIC AND GET ALBUMS AND SPEND HOURS AT TOWER RECORDS, WHICH HAD THE HEADPHONES CONNECTED TO WHATEVER ALBUM WAS OUT THAT TUESDAY.

>> SO IF YOU COULDN'T AFFORD IT.

>> IF YOU COULDN'T AFFORD TO BUY THE ALBUM, YOU COULD LISTEN TO A COUPLE OF TRACKS AND THEN SAVE YOUR MONEY AND COME BACK NEXT WEEK TO GET IT, BUT I GREW UP ON THOSE VOICES. I ALWAYS SAY WHITNEY HOUSTON WAS THE FIRST VOICE THAT SPOKE TO ME WHEN SHE WAS SINGING -- \M SAVING ALL MY LOVE FOR YOU \M I HAVE NO IDEA SHE WAS SINGING ABOUT AN EXTRAMARITAL AFFAIR, JUST THAT IT WAS AN INCREDIBLE VOICE AND RIFF. I BELTED IT OUT IN THE SHOWER AND NO IDEA WHAT IT WAS ABOUT, BUT JUST THE POWER OF THE HUMAN VOICE. IN THE '90s IT WAS ALL ABOUT MARIAH. NATURALLY WHEN IT CAME TIME TO GO, HEY, WE'RE GOING TO DO -- I WOULD REALLY LOVE TO BE ABLE TO DO A CHRISTMAS SINGLE AND I WOULD REALLY LIKE TO BE ABLE TO HAVE IT BENEFIT AN ORGANIZATION THAT IS VERY NEAR AND DEAR TO MY START, ASTEP WHICH WAS BEGUN BY SEVERAL STUDENTS FROM JUILLIARD AND BROADWAY SUPERVISOR MARY MITCHELL CAMPBELL.

>> WHO IS LIKE THE MOST WONDERFUL PERSON IN THE WHOLE INDUSTRY.

>> INCREDIBLE. SHE OPENED "THE PROM" ON BROADWAY A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO. BUT EVERY YEAR LYNNE SHENKEL WHO IS A WONDERFUL SUPERVISOR IN THE COMMUNITY DOES A YEARLY BENEFIT FOR ASTEP. ONE YEAR SHE DECIDED TO TAKE ALL OF THE THINGS YOU LOVE, MARIAH CAREY, WHITNEY HOUSTON, AND I'M GOING TO CREATE AN ARRANGEMENT OF THIS SONG FOR YOU THAT'S -- AND WE ARE GOING TO DO IT FOR CHARITY. WE LOVED IT. YOU KNOW, AT THE TIME LYNNE AND I WERE WORKING ON "ALLEGIANCE" BECAUSE SHE WAS THE SUPERVISOR FOR THAT AND THIS WAS THE SIDE PROJECT WE HAD. THIS YEAR WE THOUGHT WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS IS MORE POSITIVE ENERGY, SO WE DECIDED IT WAS OUR CHRISTMAS GIFT TO THE WORLD AND TO AN ORGANIZATION THAT WE LOVE, YOU KNOW. ASTEP, WHAT ASTEP REALLY STRIVES TO DO IS BRING ARTS TO UNDERSERVED COMMUNITIES THAT DON'T HAVE ACCESS TO IT, AND THEY DO THAT DOMESTICALLY HERE IN THE UNITED STATES BUT THEY'VE ALSO DONE PERHAPS IN AFRICA AND IN INDIA. IT IS REALLY, REALLY INCREDIBLE. THE IDEA IS THAT THE ARTS IS SOMETHING THAT IS ABLE TO EXPAND MINDS.

>> YES.

>> YOU KNOW, THE ARTS IS WHERE WE CAN ALL USE OUR IMAGINATIONS TO BELIEVE WHAT IS POSSIBLE IN THE WORLD, AND THAT'S ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT FOR PEOPLE IN UNDERSERVED COMMUNITIES THAT FEEL LIKE NOTHING IS POSSIBLE. THAT REALLY ARTS IS THE WAY TO BREAK THAT CYCLE OF POVERTY, THE CYCLE OF CAN'T AND TO SHOW YOUNG PEOPLE THAT THEY CAN, AND WE JUST THOUGHT, YOU KNOW, THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT WE WANT TO DO FOR CHRISTMAS, YOU KNOW, IN THE SPIRIT OF HOLIDAY AND THE SPIRIT OF GIVING, CREATE THIS SINGLE AND HAVE IT BE SOMETHING THAT MAKES MONEY FOR ASTEP EVERY CHRISTMAS.

>> EVERY TIME I HEAR SOMEBODY IS GOING TO COVER MARIAH CAREY I'M LIKE, OH, NO, BECAUSE HER VOICE IS LEGENDARY AND THE WHISTLE TONES SHE HIT ARE IMPOSSIBLE.

>> YES.

>> AND I HAVE KNOWN YOU AND YOUR VOICE FOR A LONG TIME. WE WERE JUST NOTICING WE'VE BEEN FRIENDS FOR EIGHT YEARS THIS WEEK.

>> TWITTER FRIENDS.

>> YES.

>> WE STARTED AS TWITTER FRIENDS.

>> YOU KNOW, THAT'S A LONG TIME. SO OBVIOUSLY I WASN'T LIKE, OH, HE'S NOT GOING TO BE ABLE TO TAKE ON THIS SONG, BUT I WAS REALLY CURIOUS ABOUT HOW YOU WERE GOING TO DO IT. MAN! YOU NAIL IT.

>> OH, THANK YOU.

>> I THINK HERE IS WHAT I OBSERVE AS THE REASON. YOU'RE NOT DOING A KARAOKE VERSION OF MARIAH. WHEN YOU GO INTO THAT SECOND VERSE WHERE YOU START MIXING THINGS UP AND YOU PUT SOME, LIKE, JAZZ, CAN YOU -- WOULD YOU SING A LITTLE BIT OF IT? YOU DON'T HAVE TO, BUT --

>> SURE, I CAN.

>> I KNOW YOU HAVE A CAPPELLA EXPERIENCE BECAUSE YOU WERE IN TRANSIT, THE FIRST A CAPPELLA MUSICAL ON BROADWAY.

>> SURE.

>> IF YOU WOULD BE WILLING.

>> WHICH WAY SHOULD I SING? SING THAT WAY?

>> YEAH, SING TO THAT, CAMERA THREE. \M I DON'T WANT A LOT FOR CHRISTMAS \M \M THERE IS JUST ONE THING I NEED \M \M I DON'T CARE ABOUT THE PRESENTS \M \M UNDERNEATH THE CHRISTMAS TREE \M \M I DON'T NEED TO HANG MY STOCKINGS THEREUPON THE FIREPLACE \M \M SANTA CLAUS CAN'T MAKE ME HAPPY WITH A TOY ON CHRISTMAS DAY \M \M I JUST WANT YOU FOR MY OWN \M \M MORE THAN YOU COULD EVER KNOW \M \M MAKE MY WISH COME TRUE \M \M BABY, ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS YOU \M

>> OH, GOOSE BUMPS!

>> A LITTLE A CAPPELLA. WE DECIDED TO DO IT -- LYNNE IS SUCH A SMART ORCHESTRATOR AND SUCH A BRILLIANT MUSICAL MIND SHE WAS LIKE, WE CANNOT DO WHAT MARIAH DID, LET'S DO IT IN A GOSPEL THREE, LET'S PULL BACK THE TEMPO AND LET'S JUST RECREATE IT. LET'S REIMAGINE THE SONG AS IF THE SONG WAS WRITTEN YESTERDAY AND I HAD TO ORCHESTRATE IT FOR A BROADWAY SHOW OR SOMETHING.

>> YEAH.

>> THAT WAS REALLY GREAT, THAT WE TOOK A SONG WE LOVED AND WE TREATED IT AS NEW.

>> YES.

>> I OFTEN TRY TO DO THAT. YOU KNOW, WHEN I'M DOING A CLUB GIG AT 54 BELOW OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT, FEINSTEIN'S, I TRY TO TAKE SONGS PEOPLE LOVE AND GO, LISTEN, THERE'S ANOTHER WAY TO LOOK AT THIS SONG, THIS SONG WE ALL KNOW. I OFTEN COVER SONGS PEOPLE KNOW LIKE "ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS YOU" OR "LEAVING ON A JET PLANE."

>> YES, YOU HAVE TWO ALBUMS FULL.

>> YES, AND STEVIE WONDER SONGS, TOO. ALL OF US HAVE HEARD THESE SONGS SO MANY TIMES BUT I WOULD LOVE MY LISTENERS TO HEAR IT IN A TOTALLY DIFFERENT WAY AND MAYBE THEY WILL PICK UP A LYRIC THEY DIDN'T PICK UP BEFORE OR MAYBE THEY'LL PICK UP A DIFFERENT SENTIMENT IN IT OR A DIFFERENT POINT OF VIEW IN IT THAT THEY HADN'T HEARD BEFORE. SO THAT'S KIND OF -- THAT'S THE POWER OF ART, RIGHT? IS THAT IT IS SUBJECTIVE AND WE CAN SEE IT FROM SO MANY DIFFERENT ANGLES.

>> YEAH.

>> SO I TRY TO DO THAT MUSICALLY WITH ANYTHING THAT I TRY TO RECORD.

>> LET'S TALK ABOUT "ALADDIN" FOR A SECOND.

>> YES.

>> YOU ARE THE ULTIMATE DISNEY PRINCE RIGHT NOW, THE STAR OF "ALADDIN" ON BROADWAY.

>> YES, I'M HAVING A BLAST. I HAVE BEEN THERE NOW ALMOST TWO YEARS AND I WILL BE THERE UNTIL FEBRUARY 17TH.

>> LOTS OF TIME.

>> LOTS OF TIME, YES, ABSOLUTELY. AND IT HAS BEEN AN AMAZING, AMAZING TIME. THERE'S SOMETHING VERY, VERY SPECIAL HAPPENING AT THE NEW AMSTERDAM THEATER. IT IS NOT -- NOT ONLY IS IT A VERY HAPPY SHOW TO DO ON STAGE, I MEAN IT IS A SHOW THAT'S FULL OF JOY, AND IN THE WORLD TODAY I THINK WE CAN'T GET ENOUGH OF IT, RIGHT? TO KIND OF GO TO THE THEATER AND TO ESCAPE FOR TWO AND A HALF HOURS, YOU KNOW, IN A BIG BOY-MEETS-GIRL, TAP DANCING, GLITZY BROADWAY MUSICAL.

>> NOT TO MENTION REALLY DIVERSE.

>> ABSOLUTELY.

>> I LOVE THE IDEA IT IS A FICTIONAL PLACE SO WHY CAN'T IT LOOK THE WAY WE WANT THE PEOPLE TO LOOK, PEOPLE OF EVERY STRIPE.

>> I THINK CASY HAS BEEN QUOTED AS SAYING HE WANTED HIS TO LOOK AS DIVERSE AS 42ND STREET WHICH IS WHERE THE NEW AMSTERDAM THEATER IS, THAT IT SHOULD LOOK LIKE PEOPLE FROM THERE ARE FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD. I LOVE THAT ABOUT OUR SHOW, AND THE STORY IS SO BELOVED AND SO KNOWN ALSO, WHY NOT DO THAT, RIGHT?

>> YEAH.

>> LIKE WHY NOT HAVE IT BE REPRESENTATIVE OF HOW DIVERSE OUR WORLD REALLY, REALLY IS? BUT, YOU KNOW, THE THEATER TOO HAS ALL OF THIS INCREDIBLE HISTORY, WHICH IS SOMETHING THAT I AS A THEATER NERD, I REALLY, REALLY DIG BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, THAT HOUSE, THE NEW AMSTERDAM, IS WHERE THE ZIGFIELD FOLLIES WERE.

>> I HEAR THERE'S STILL A ZIGFIELD FOLLIES GIRL HAUNTING THE PLACE.

>> OLIVE, OUR BELOVED GHOST, IS STILL IN THE THEATER. OLIVE HAS BEEN VERY GOOD TO ME IN THE NEW AMSTERDAM THEATER. THE GIRLS DRESSING ROOM, THE GIRLS SAY THINGS FALL OFF THE SHELF OR A TRASH CAN FLIPS OVER AND IT USUALLY FREAKS OUT THE NEW KID IN THE DRESSING ROOM, BUT THEY GO, OH, THAT'S JUST OLIVE, SHE'S JUST HANGING OUT, IT IS FINE. BUT, YEAH, THERE'S BEEN INCREDIBLE HISTORY IN THE BUILDING, NOT JUST THE ZIGFIELD FOLLIES BUT THERE WAS ANOTHER THEATER ABOVE THE FOLLIES THAT HOUSED THE FROLIC, WHICH WAS ACTUALLY A SHOW THAT WAS LIKE THE MIDNIGHT SHOW. SO AFTER YOU WENT TO THE ZIGFIELD FOLLIES, IF YOU WANTED TO SEE SOME MORE ENTERTAINMENT YOU WOULD GO UP SHOW TO THE MIDNIGHT SHOW.

>> I DID NOT KNOW THAT.

>> IN A SMALL THEATER, AND THAT IS NOW WHERE THE DISNEY OFFICES ARE. IF YOU GO UP TO THE DISNEY OFFICES AND YOU SEE THE CUBICLES AND ALL OF THAT, YOU CAN STILL SEE THE MARKINGS OF WHERE THE STAIRS GO UP TO THE MEZZANINE AND ALL OF THE STRUCTURE OF THAT OFFICE. YOU LOOK AT IT AND YOU GO, THIS DOESN'T LOOK LIKE AN OFFICE BUILDING, I WONDER WHY. IT IS BECAUSE IT USED TO BE A THEATER.

>> I HAVE TO GET MYSELF A MEETING IN THAT BUILDING.

>> UPSTAIRS. BUT ALSO UP THERE, BACK WHEN THE NEW AMSTERDAM WASN'T, YOU KNOW, AFTER THE FOLLIES AND IT WASN'T USED AND STUFF, THEY WOULD STILL USE THE FROLIC THEATER AS A REHEARSAL SPACE.

>> WOW.

>> SO THERE'S FOOTAGE OF ETHEL MERMAN AND JULIE STEIN PLAYING AT THE PIANO OF SONGS OF "GYPSY" UP THERE AND JOHN CANDOR WRITING UP THERE BEFORE HE WAS JOHN CANDOR AND CANDOR AND ED. THERE'S SO MUCH HISTORY IN BUILDING AND A YOU FEEL IT WHEN YOU WALK THROUGH THE STAGE DOOR EVERY NIGHT.

>> DO YOU STILL PINCH YOURSELF?

>> ALWAYS. I'M IN SHOCK THIS IS MY JOB, ALSO. THAT FEELING OF LIKE WALKING IN A STAGE DOOR AT NIGHT AT 7:00 BEFORE THE 7:30, HALF HOUR, WHATEVER IT IS, IT IS STILL LIKE -- AT THE NEW AM YOU HAVE TO RING THE BELL BEFORE YOU GET IN AND THERE'S ALWAYS THE MOMENT OF LIKE, I'M GOING TO WORK AND MY WORK IS A BROADWAY SHOW, RIGHT? SO YOU STAND OUTSIDE THE STAGE AND YOU GO, RIGHT, I'M ABOUT TO GO AND DO MY JOB AND, YES, IT IS A JOB AND IT IS A HARD JOB.

>> SURE.

>> SOMETIMES THERE ARE DAYS THAT YOU ARE MORE ENTHUSIASTIC ABOUT DOING YOUR JOB THAN OTHERS. THAT'S LIKE EVERY JOB, RIGHT? BUT THERE'S ALWAYS THAT MOMENT OF LIKE, HOLY COW, THAT'S MY JOB. YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN, IT IS TO ENTERTAIN 1700 PEOPLE? OF COURSE, WHEN YOU LEAVE THE THEATER, TOO, WHEN YOU LEAVE THE SHOW, WHEN YOU ARE DONE WITH A TWO-AND-A-HALF HOUR MUSICAL LIKE "ALADDIN" YOU ARE BUZZED ON ADRENALINE. WHEN YOU LEAVE -- IT IS REALLY COLD IN NEW YORK TODAY FOR ALL OF MY FRIENDS NOT IN NEW YORK, BUT WE'RE FREEZING OUT THERE. I KNOW WHEN I LEAVE THE THEATER IT COULD BE ZERO DEGREES OUTSIDE AND I COULD BEWARING A TEE SHIRT AND I'M FINE BECAUSE OF ALL OF THE ADRENALINE PUMPING THROUGH MY BODY. THOSE ARE THE TWO MOMENTS WALKING IN AND OUT OF THE STAGE DOOR, THOSE ARE THE PINCH-ME MOMENTS WHERE I GO, THIS IS CRAZY THAT THIS IS MY JOB, AND IN THE BEST WAY.

>> AND THERE ARE PEOPLE OUT THERE WAITING TO MEET YOU.

>> AND THAT TOO. ALSO, TO KNOW I WAS ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE, RIGHT? LIKE YOU WOULD OFTEN SEE YOUNG TELLY LEUNG AT A STAGE DOOR, DO YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN? WAITING AT THE STAGE DOOR AFTER A MATINEE.

>> WHO DID YOU WAIT TO MEET?

>> THAT ORIGINAL COMPANY OF "RENT." BETTY BUCKLEY WHEN SHE WAS IN "SUNSET BOULEVARD." I AM STILL A HUGE BETTY BUCKLEY FAN. I'M LOOKING AT MY CALENDAR GOING, I'M DONE WITH "ALADDIN" ON FEBRUARY 17TH, WHERE CAN I FLY TO SEE BETTY BUCKLEY IN "HELLO DOLLY" FOR A VACATION TRIP.

>> THAT'S AWESOME.

>> I ALSO WAITED FOR BERNADETTE PETERS OUTSIDE OF "ANNIE GET YOUR GUN," I REMEMBER WAITING FOR HER THERE. SO MANY PEOPLE. DAVIS GAINES WHO WAS IN "PHANTOM OF THE OPERA," I WAITED FOR HIM AT THE STAGE DOOR OF THE MAJESTIC.

>> MY FAVORITE THING ABOUT THEATER PEOPLE IS NOBODY FALLS INTO THIS INDUSTRY. I FEEL LIKE SOMETIMES WITH TV AND MOVIES YOU GET SOMEONE A DIRECTOR SPOTS ON THE STREET AND IS LIKE, I HAVE TO PUT YOU ON SCREEN, BUT YOU DON'T GET INTO THEATER UNLESS YOU REALLY LOVE IT.

>> THERE'S NO WAY TO GET ON TO THE STAGE -- THE REALITY IS WITH WHAT WE DO, THERE ARE SO MANY HOOPS YOU MUST JUMP THROUGH IN ORDER TO ACTUALLY GET THAT -- GET THE GIG, RIGHT? AND THAT'S -- AND IT IS MORE SO THAN -- YOU KNOW, OUR JOB INTERVIEWS CONSIST OF SINGING YOUR 16 BARS, YOUR 32 BARS OR YOUR FULL SONG, READING, LEARNING, MEMORIZING LINES FOR SIDES, DOING A BALLET COMBINATION, AND THEN WAITING AND WAITING FOR MONTHS TO HEAR WHETHER OR NOT, YOU KNOW, YOU ARE GOING TO GET TO THE NEXT ROUND OR WHETHER OR NOT THERE'S NO LONGER ANY INTEREST IN YOU FOR THE ROLE. SO THE JUMPING THROUGH HOOPS TO GET -- TO ACTUALLY GET TO PERFORM IS REALLY THE WORK. I HAVE HAD AGENTS AND MANAGERS SAY THAT TO ME, TOO. THEY GO, YOU THINK PERFORMING IS THE WORK, THE PERFORMING IS ACTUALLY THE ICING ON THE CAKE, THAT YOU GOT THE GIG AND THEN YOU GET TO DO THE AWESOME GIG THAT YOU HAVE EIGHT TIMES A WEEK ON BROAD WAY PLAYING ALADDIN RIGHT? BUT THE ACTUAL WORK IS -- ARE THE AMOUNT OF HOOPS YOU HAVE TO JUMP THROUGH TO GET TO THAT GIG, AND IT IS YOUR JOB TO AUDITION. IT WAS VERY SMART, IT WAS VERY, VERY SMART ADVICE I GOT FROM A MANAGER THAT SAID, DON'T THINK OF THE PERFORMING AS THE JOB. THE JOB IS FOR YOU TO LIKE KEEP PUTTING YOURSELF OUT THERE ON THAT PROVERBIAL LINE ON THE CHORUS LINE AND PUT YOURSELF OUT THERE AND PROVE YOURSELF, THAT'S THE REAL JOB.

>> WELL, YOU HAVE PROVEN YOURSELF FOR 16 YEARS ON BROADWAY NOW.

>> WILD, CRAZY. CRAZY.

>> YEAH. AND WE COULD SPEND ANOTHER HALF HOUR TALKING ABOUT JUST ABOUT ALL OF THOSE HOOPS I KNOW YOU HAVE JUMPED THROUGH. I DO WANT TO GIVE THE AUDIENCE AN OPPORTUNITY TO ASK YOU A COUPLE OF QUESTIONS THOUGH.

>> YEAH.

>> GREAT.

>> SHOOT.

>> GOING TO START RIGHT HERE.

>> HI. OVER THESE YEARS YOU HAVE GIVEN SO MANY AUDIENCES AND SO MANY VENUES SUCH JOY THROUGH YOUR WORK, BUT ALSO YOU HAVE DONE WORK LIKE "ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS" FOR MANY CAUSES THROUGH THE YEARS. WHAT MOTIVATES YOU TO BE CONCERNED FOR THE WORLD?

>> YEAH. SO I THINK A LOT OF IT IS THAT NOW THAT I AM IN MY 30s AND IN THIS BUSINESS, TO BE ABLE TO LOOK BACK ON THAT, TO BE ABLE TO LOOK BACK ON 16 YEARS OF BEING ON BROADWAY AND LOOK BACK ON SEVEN BROAD WAY SHOWS AND ALL OF THE AWESOME OPPORTUNITIES I HAVE GOTTEN, I REALIZE THERE'S NO WAY TO GET THERE BY YOURSELF, RIGHT? LIKE THERE REALLY ISN'T. YOU KIND OF LOOK AT IT AND GO, LOOK AT ALL OF THE PEOPLE THAT HAVE COME BEFORE ME OR HELPED ME ALONG THE WAY, THAT'S WHY I'M HERE TODAY, RIGHT. THAT'S WHY I'M HERE AT THE BUILD STUDIO TODAY DOING THIS. THERE ARE SO MANY PEOPLE THAT HELPED ME GET TO THIS VERY SPOT. I HAVE TO TELL YOU RECENTLY WE JUST DID THE "RED BUCKET FOLLIES" FOR BROADWAY CARES.

>> OH, MY GOSH. I WAS THERE YESTERDAY.

>> AND SO THE OPENING NUMBER, WHICH IS A NUMBER THAT SOME OF MY ASIAN COLLEAGUES AND I PITCHED TO BROADWAY CARES ALMOST TEN MONTHS AGO SAYING, HEY, THE 16th ANNIVERSARY OF THE ORIGINAL COMPANY, THE 1958 COMPANY THAT OPENED AT THE ST. JAMES, THAT OPENED IN DECEMBER, IS HAPPENING. I SAID, THERE ARE THOSE ACTORS THAT ARE PIONEERS THAT CAME BEFORE ME, THAT IF THOSE ACTORS HAD NOT EXISTED, HAD THERE NOT BY AN IRKLEY OR JOSE, THERE WOULD BE NO TELLY LEUNGs IN THIS BUSINESS. I SAID THERE HAS TO BE A WAY FOR US TO THEN PASS IT ON TO THE NEXT, RIGHT. I THINK THAT'S KIND OF WHERE I AM ARTISTICALLY AS AN ARTIST, GOING HOW DO I -- BECAUSE I HAVE BEEN GIVEN SO MUCH IN THE LAST 16 YEARS, HOW DO I GIVE BACK IN SOME WAY. IN THE OPENING NUMBER WE DID YESTERDAY, WE HAD THE FIRST GENERATION OF 1958 ASIAN ACTORS WHO WERE REALLY PIONEERS. I MEAN THEY WERE OUT THERE DOING, YOU KNOW -- THERE WERE ONLY THREE SHOWS. THERE WAS "KING AND I," "FLOWER DRUM SHOW," AND SUSIE WONG." AND THAT WAS IT.

>> AND RITA MORENA WAS GETTING CAST IN ALL WOMEN OF COLOR.

>> AND THEN WE DID A WHOLE CREATION FROM "FLOWER DRUM SONG."

>> IT WAS SO BEAUTIFUL.

>> AND WE PASSED IT ON TO THE ASIAN ACTORS ON BROADWAY WHO ARE THE NEXT UP-AND-COMERS. LIKE SABRINA FROM "HAMILTON" AND JUNE FROM "THE PROM." IT WAS OUR WAY OF GOING, OKAY, NOW YOUR TURN.

>> AND THEY'RE PLAYING, YOU KNOW, ASHLEY PARK WHO IS A MEAN GIRL.

>> RIGHT.

>> THESE ARE PEOPLE FINALLY GETTING THE OPPORTUNITY TO NOT JUST PLAY THE ROLES WRITTEN SPECIFICALLY FOR AN ASIAN CHARACTERS, BUT THEY'RE PLAYING AMERICANS.

>> YEAH.

>> AND IT IS BEAUTIFUL. BROADWAY IS HAVING A DIVERSITY RENAISSANCE.

>> YES.

>> AND I DO FEEL LIKE YOU ARE A PART OF THE GENERATION THAT HAS LED US THERE.

>> WELL, THANK YOU. BUT, REALLY, YOU KNOW, I HAVE TO LOOK BACK AND GIVE THANKS TO THOSE THAT CAME BEFORE ME, THAT DID IT, THAT WERE REALLY STRUGGLING TO DO IT. SO IN MANY WAYS, YOU KNOW, DOING THAT FOR BROADWAY CARES, DOING THIS FOR ASTEP, I THINK I AM JUST IN A PLACE ARTISTICALLY WHERE I FEEL LIKE, RIGHT, I'VE BEEN GIVEN A LOT, NOW HOW DO I MAKE SOMETHING OF THE WORLD THAT LASTS BEYOND ME, THAT IS GOING TO BENEFIT OTHER PEOPLE BEYOND ME. I THINK THAT'S JUST -- IN YOUR 20s YOU CAN'T DO THAT, RIGHT? BECAUSE IN YOUR 20s YOU ARE FIGURING OUT, LIKE, HOW DO I GET TO THE NEXT GIG AND PAY MY RENT AND PUT FOOD ON THE TABLE, RIGHT? BUT AS YOU START DOING IN A LITTLE MORE, YOU GO, OH, I HAVE ACTUALLY BUILT A CAREER WHERE I ACTUALLY HAVE THE TIME AND THE BAND WIDTH AND THE RESOURCES TO GIVE BACK SOME OF THE STUFF I HAVE BEEN GIVEN. IT FEELS GOOD TO DO IT, IT FEELS GOOD AND RIGHT TO DO IT. I DON'T KNOW, I HOPE IT INSPIRES THOSE -- THAT NEXT GENERATION THAT'S IN THEIR 20s NOW, WHEN THEY GET TO BE HERE, THAT THEY GET TO DO THAT FOR OTHERS, YOU KNOW?

>> I THINK THIS IS ALSO A REALLY GOOD TIME TO MENTION THAT ALLEGIANCE, THE MUSICAL YOU DID WITH GEORGE TEKEI IS GOING TO BE AVAILABLE FOR PEOPLE TO SEE IN THEATERS THROUGH FATHOM EVENTS, JUST COMING UP IN THE NEXT FEW DAYS.

>> IT IS DECEMBER 11TH. THANK GOODNESS FOR FATHOM EVENTS.

>> IT IS BASED ON GEORGE'S REAL LIFE, CHILDHOOD EXPERIENCE OF BEING IN AN INTERNMENT CAMP FOR JAPANESE AMERICANS DURING THE WAR AND IT IS SO EERILY SIMILAR WITH CHILDREN BEING TAKEN FROM THEIR FAMILIES AT THE BORDER RIGHT NOW. YOU KNOW, IT IS NOT JUST THE CAUSES YOU CHOOSE, IT IS THE SHOWS YOU CHOOSE TO PUT GOOD INTO THE WORLD. I'M SO GLAD THAT EXISTS IN A WAY PEOPLE CAN EXPERIENCE IT.

>> YEAH. I MEAN IT IS -- YOU KNOW, THE SHOW HAD A VERY SHORT RUN ON BROADWAY, FOR FOUR MONTHS. BUT BECAUSE OF FATHOM EVENTS, THAT STORY HAS KEPT -- THAT STORY HAS BEEN KEPT ALIVE, AND I'M THRILLED THAT OUR PRODUCERS KIND OF AT ALLEGIANCE HAD THE FORESIGHT TO GO, WE NEED TO CAPTURE THIS AND MAKE SURE THAT THE STORY LIVES ON. IT WAS ALWAYS OUR GOAL. OF COURSE, EVERYBODY WOULD LOVE A FINANCIALLY SUCCESSFUL BROADWAY HIT, RIGHT? OF COURSE. BUT WE SAID WHAT IS REALLY IMPORTANT IS IF THIS MOVIE CAN BE PLAYED IN EVERY HISTORY CLASS IN MIDDLE SCHOOL, THAT WOULD BE AMAZING, THE WAY THAT "1776" IS PLAYED TO LEARN ABOUT YOUR FOUNDING FATHERS, IF KIDS IN HISTORY CLASSES COULD ALSO WATCH "ALLEGIANCE" AND GAIN A PERSPECTIVE OF THAT PERIOD IN OUR AMERICAN HISTORY, IT WOULD BE AWESOME.

>> YES.

>> I THINK WE'RE -- WE ARE ACHIEVING THAT LITTLE BY LITTLE. NOW THE STORY IS GETTING TOLD AND PEOPLE ARE ACTUALLY EXPOSED TO IT. YOU KNOW, I REMEMBER WHEN I FIRST STARTED WORKING ON THE SHOW IN 2009, 2010, I DIDN'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THE INTERNMENT. I KNEW NOTHING ABOUT IT. GROWING UP AS AN EAST COAST KID, IT WASN'T TAUGHT IN OUR HISTORY CLASSES.

>> I DON'T REMEMBER LEARNING ABOUT IT ON THE WEST COAST EITHER.

>> RIGHT, RIGHT. I THINK ON THE WEST COAST BECAUSE SO MANY OF THE JAPANESE AMERICANS WERE TAKEN FROM THE WEST COAST AND INTERRED, I THINK THEY WENT BACK TO THE WEST COAST AND I HAD FRIEND THAT SAID, OH, YEAH, I HAD A FRIEND THAT'S JAPANESE I WENT TO SCHOOL WITH AND HER GRANDMOTHER WAS INTERRED. IT WAS THAT KIND OF EXPOSURE, BUT IT WAS STILL NOT SOMETHING THAT WAS LIKE, HEY, GUYS, IN HISTORY CLASS THE TEACHER WOULD GO, THIS HAPPENED. THAT'S WHAT WE'RE TRYING TO DO WITH "ALLEGIANCE" IN A BROADWAY, ENTERTAINING, ARTISTIC WAY OF TELLING THE STORY, BUT MAKING SURE THE STORY IS TOLD IN A WAY THAT PEOPLE GO, OH, MY GOSH, WHAT IF IT WAS MY FAMILY, WHAT IF I WAS THE WRONG SKIN COLOR THIS POLITICAL PERIOD, DO YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN? IT IS MY HOPE AND MY WISH THAT, YOU KNOW, SOMEBODY -- THAT WE CAN LOOK BACK AT THAT STORY AND GO, OH, IT IS A PERIOD PIECE THAT DOESN'T EXIST ANYMORE, BUT THAT'S NOT THE REALITY. ACTUALLY WE NEED THAT STORY NOW MORE THAN EVER.

>> ON A LIGHTER NOTE ABOUT "ALLEGIANCE" YOU PLAYED A YOUNGER VERSION.

>> I DID.

>> DID YOU PLAY WITH THE IDEA OF DO AN IMPRESSION OF HIM? HE HAS SUCH A NOTABLE VOICE AND I HAVE HEARD YOU DO YOUR GEORGE IMPRESSION.

>> WHEN YOU SPEND THAT MANY HOURS WITH GEORGE TAKEI, YOU START TO DEVELOP A WAY OF TALKING LIME HIM. YOU JUST START --

>> OH, MY.

>> YOU FIND IT. ALL OF US IN "ALLEGIANCE" HAVE OUR GEORGE IMPRESSIONS, AND HE'S SUCH A GOOD SPORT FOR PUTTING UP WITH IT.

>> HAVE YOU HEARD HIM ON "THE HOWARD STERN SHOW" BY THE WAY?

>> HE AND HOWARD HAVE A VERY SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP? HOWARD WAS AT OUR OPENING NIGHT, AND HOWARD STERN WAS LIKE, I NEVER GO TO BROADWAY OPENINGS, BUT FOR GEORGE HE DID. I THOUGHT IT WAS REALLY COOL.

>> AWESOME. I LOVE GEORGE.

>> I LOVE HIM. HE CONTINUES TO BE A REALLY GREAT -- YOU KNOW, TALK ABOUT, AGAIN, AN ACTOR WHO WAS KIND OF A PIONEER, THAT OPENED DOORS FOR SO MANY. YOU KNOW, HE WAS AN ASIAN ACTOR ON TELEVISION, THAT WAS ON TELEVISION, ON LIKE ONE OF THE COOLEST SHOWS ON TV, AND HE WASN'T -- HE WAS NOT PLAYING A STEREOTYPE OF ANY KIND. YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN? HE WAS PLAYING THIS HEROIC, YOU KNOW, CREW MEMBER ON THE ENTERPRISE, AND IT WAS SOMETHING THAT WE -- THAT OPENED A LOT OF DOORS FOR PEOPLE LIKE ME, TOO.

>> LET'S TAKE ANOTHER QUESTION FROM THE AUDIENCE.

>> YEAH.

>> HI. HOW ARE YOU?

>> GOOD, HOW ARE YOU?

>> LOVE THAT YOU DO ALL OF THIS STUFF AND YOU ARE ALWAYS ALL OVER THE PLACE, ON BROADWAY OR ACTING. WHAT DO YOU HAVE PLANNED NEXT?

>> SO I ACTUALLY HAVE SOME FUN -- WELL, A VACATION. I THINK THAT'S DEFINITELY PLANNED NEXT.

>> GOING TO SEE BETTY BUCKLEY.

>> RIGHT. I HAVE BEEN VERY BLESSED I HAVE HAD THREE VERY BUSY YEARS ON BROADWAY BETWEEN "ALLEGIANCE" AND GO RIGHT INTO "IN TRANSIT" AND GOING RIGHT INTO "ALADDIN." EIGHT TIMES A WEEK IS TOUGH. I LOVE IT, IT IS MY JOB AND I CAN'T WAIT TO GO BACK AND DO IT AGAIN. I AM ALSO LOOKING FORWARD TO LIKE, OH, RIGHT, LIKE A WEEKEND AND LIKE DINNERS WITH MY HUSBAND AND, YOU KNOW, THOSE THINGS TOO I THINK ARE NEXT FOR SURE. ALSO I HAVE CONCERT GIGS COMING UP ON THE WEST COAST. I WILL BE IN SAN FRANCISCO IN MARCH, I AM DOING A SYMPHONY GIG IN MEMPHIS. A LOT OF CONCERTS AND THINGS COMING UP.

>> AND PEOPLE CAN FIND ALL OF THE DATES AT TELLY LEUNG.com AND ON TWITTER, WHERE WE FIRST MET.

>> THE BEGINNINGS OF OUR FRIENDSHIP.

>> WE HAVE ONE LAST QUESTION FROM THE AUDIENCE.

>> ABSOLUTELY.

>> HI.

>> HI.

>> I WAS WONDERING, WHAT TO YOU MAKES A GOOD MUSICAL?

>> WHAT TO ME MAKES A GOOD MUSICAL? OH, THAT'S SUCH A GOOD QUESTION.

>> THAT'S A DEEP ONE.

>> I WANT YOU TO ANSWER THIS ONE, TOO. WHAT DO YOU THINK MAKES A GOOD -- BECAUSE I KNOW IT IS SUCH A BIG THEATER. TO ME WHAT MAKES A GOOD MUSICAL, IT IS -- THAT'S A REALLY TOUGH QUESTION BECAUSE THERE ARE SO MANY THINGS THAT GO INTO THAT. BUT TO ME IT IS ABOUT HOW DO I -- YOU KNOW, IN MUSICALS THERE'S THE THREE DISCIPLINES THAT YOU NEED, RIGHT? IT IS ACTING, IT IS MOVEMENT, IT IS MUSIC, SINGING, RIGHT? HOW DO I -- HOW DO I TRANSLATE A STORY THAT MIGHT SEEM -- HOW DO I TRANSLATE A STORY THROUGH THE FILTER OF THOSE THREE DISCIPLINES, THAT ARE LIKE THE CORE DISCIPLINES OF MUSICAL THEATER, RIGHT. SO, YOU KNOW, THERE ARE MASTERFUL FETES. LIKE "HAMILTON" IS THE THING THAT COMES TO MY MIND, OF SOMETHING THAT IS MASTERFUL IN ITS TEXT, YOU KNOW, AND IN ITS LYRICISM AND ITS MUSICALITY, AND NOW ALL OF A SUDDEN THE STORY IS TOLD THROUGH MOVEMENT AND THROUGH DANCE, AND THEN THE CHARACTERS THAT ARE NOW HISTORICAL CHARACTERS THAT COULD BE REALLY BORING IN HISTORY CLASS HAVE NOW BECOME ALIVE AND FULLY FLESHED-OUT HUMAN BEINGS I HAVE AN EMOTIONAL CONNECTION TO AND THAT'S THE ACTING PART. IT IS THE AMALGAM OF THOSE THREE DISCIPLINES INTO THIS MESSY BLOB THAT'S AN ORGANIZED CHAOS THAT I THINK MAKES A GOOD MUSICAL.

>> GOOD ANSWER.

>> I THINK THAT'S REALLY WHAT IT IS. IT IS SOMETHING THAT IS -- YOU KNOW, IT IS SOMETHING THAT IS STRUCTURED CHAOS, I GUESS THAT'S THE BEST WORD FOR IT, OF THOSE THREE THINGS, YOU KNOW. THAT'S WHEN THEATER IS REALLY EXCITING TO ME, WHEN I GO, OH, MY GOSH, LIKE I FELT EVERYTHING AND THEY DIDN'T -- YOU KNOW, ALL THROUGH A DREAM BALLET I FELT ALL OF THOSE EMOTIONS, DO YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN? IN REAL LIFE WE CAN'T DO THAT. THAT ONLY HAPPENS IN A THEATER. TO ME THAT MAKES A GREAT MUSICAL, WHEN WE BREAK OUT OF THAT NORM OF EVERYDAY LIFE AND WE LOOK AT THE WORLD THROUGH THOSE FILTERS.

>> I WAS GOING TO SAY A CLUE TO A GREAT MUSICAL FOR ME IS WHEN IT NEVER OCCURS TO ANYBODY TO GO, WHY ARE THEY SINGING.

>> YES. THAT FEELING OF LIKE I JUST SAT FOR TWO-AND-A-HALF HOURS AND WATCH PEOPLE SING AND DANCE ON A STAGE AND I BOUGHT IT.

>> THERE'S ONE OTHER CHARACTERISTIC I KNOW ACROSS THE BOARD MAKES A GREAT MUSICAL, AND THAT IS CASTING TELLY LEUNG. EVERYTHING YOU HAVE EVER DONE IS AMAZING.

>> THANK YOU.

>> I AM SO PROUD TO BE YOUR FRIEND. IT IS SO GREAT TO HAVE YOU BACK ON THE BUILD STAGE.

>> THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

>> I'M GOING TO SQUEEZE IN AT LEAST ONE MORE VISIT TO "ALADDIN" BEFORE YOU LEAVE.

>> YES, COME DOWN.

>> THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR EVERYTHING.

>> THANK YOU, GUYS. THANKS FOR HAVING ME.

>>> ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR. ONE, TWO. ONE, TWO.

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