Art by Jason Simon

Token Theatre Friends: All We Want for Christmas Is Telly Leung

Telly Leung discusses ‘Aladdin’ and being a Broadway leading man, plus the Friends review holiday shows—and realize they may be too cynical for holiday shows.

“Holy shit, we’re cynical.” —Jose

“Because we’re immigrants and refugees!” —Diep

This is what happens when the Token Theatre Friends try and review holiday shows.

Twice a month on the Token Theatre Friends video series and podcasts, theatre critics (and theatre besties) Jose Solís and Diep Tran bring a POC perspective to the performing arts.

This week they sit down with Aladdin star Telly Leung to talk about how playing the famous Disney prince fulfilled a lifelong dream, and how Into the Woods changed his life. Leung also speaks about his new single, a cover of Mariah Carey’s iconic “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” and plays a game of “Christmas carol or Carey?” In addition to his work in Aladdin, audience members might know Leung from his work in Allegiance, In Transit, and Rent. All proceeds from “All I Want for Christmas Is You” go to Artists Striving to End Poverty

The audio of the interview is also available on the podcast, where the Friends review three shows currently playing in New York City, including two holiday shows—and discuss why they’d like holiday shows to be more challenging. 

The Dead, 1904 based on the novella by James Joyce and adapted by Paul Muldoon & Jean Hanff Korelitz at the American Irish Historical Society through Jan. 7, 2019 ($150-$1,000). A group of Dubliners come together to celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany, as copious amounts of food and wine are served, secrets come to surface, and the ghosts of long-lost lovers arise.  

All Is Calm by Peter Rothstein at the Sheen Center through Dec. 30 ($51) based on a true story, the WWI-set musical drama chronicles the miraculous events of Christmas 1914, when soldiers on both sides of the trenches came together for a holy night.

The Making of King Kong by Lisa Clair at the DOXSIE through Dec. 15 ($20). This new play seeks to uncover the cultural monster behind the movie monster by liberally reenacting what might’ve happened during the making of the 1933 movie classic.

The podcast contains both the show reviews and the interview, and can be listened to below.

Download the episode here. Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.

Subscribe to Token Theatre Friends videos on YouTube.

Have comments, suggestions for segments, shows to plug, or thoughts on how the Friends can be even better? Contact the Token Theatre Friends via email or Twitter.