An Evening With Telly Leung,
***** 5 Stars
“A journey that touched the heart and moved the soul.”
Telly Leung the Broadway star of Disney’s Aladdin, Rent and Godspell to name but a few has made his Edinburgh debut in an enchanting evening of music and conversation in the cosy Dirty Martini room of the Le Monde Hotel overlooking George Street in the heart of Edinburgh and what a fitting location that reminds you of the legendary supper clubs of New York such as The café Carlyle.
Telly who lives in New York flew in for a series of teaching workshops agreed to perform for one night only and it was a true treat. Accompanied by the faultless and gifted piano accompaniment of Ian Murray Redpath Sutherland, Leung took us on a journey that touched the heart and moved the soul.
Act 1 looked to his origins telling the story of his parents who to escape communist China swam for 7 hours to reach the freedom of then British held Hong Kong. They then travelled to America and New York to give their child the freedom and chance to reach for the American Dream. Sharing his passion for all things Whitney Houston he opens with a blistering and vocally faultless “How will I know”. His vocal ability never wavers for the entire evening and his emotion flows especially in a touching performance of Billy Joel’s “New York State of Mind” which is fitting tribute to the city he calls home. Leung brings act 1 to close by chatting openly about finding love, he is married to the dashing James Babcock and understanding the power that Hit U.S TV show “Glee” had on a generation. He performs a wonderful mash up of “I (am what I am) Have Nothing”
Act 2 focuses on Leung’s incredible career both on screen and on Broadway and performs songs from Disney’s Lion King and Aladdin alongside a touch of Sondheim and also covers his time in Godspell. Bringing the evening to a close Leung discusses his time in Jonathan Larson’s “Rent” and finding his place in the musical theatre pantheon and encourages the audience to find just one small thing in there every day lives that can make them a hero and change the world just a little bit for the better. Telly then delivers a truly heart-breaking performance of “Cover You” in that one number Telly confirms his leading man status and even better member of humanity.
Beyond Broadway productions should be commended for putting these intimate evenings of theatre on for Scottish Audiences. Telly Leung’s true gift is to share his passion for performing while continuing to appreciate where he came from and striving to change the world around him for the better. We can learn much from his abilities and lets hope this first visit to Scotland isn’t is last as an Evening with Telly Leung will live long in the memory and sear its way into your heart. Simply incredible indeed.
Beyond Broadway Productions present: An Evening with Telly Leung, Dirty Martini at Le Monde Hotel, Edinburgh, Run Ended.