Tag Archives: Books

Love of Broadway takes me back to RENT

I love musical theatre. More specifically I love Broadway. A lot.

These are the shows I saw last year. It’s a lot. Maybe I should be embarrassed by the volume, but I’m not. I write for BroadwayWorld.com, so I’m able to see the national touring shows when they roll into Madison. Tickets for Broadway, well, I’ve plenty tricks up my sleeve to find a deal, which I’ll share another time. In fact, I love Broadway so much, I wrote a book, IF EVER, where the hero is a Broadway Actor.

Last night I saw the 20th Anniversary Tour of RENT. I immediately fell in love with the performers and their stellar vocals. There is nothing on this planet like a Broadway voice.

Sitting in the darkened theatre took me back to my first time seeing RENT at the Nederlander Theatre on Broadway with my daughter and some friends. The director of a local theatre group knew an actor in the ensemble and was able to snag us a backstage visit. Imagine taking two musical theatre-loving teenagers to RENT and then knocking on the stage door for a private backstage tour!

Our guide for the night was Telly Leung, a young actor with great ambitions. It turns out I’d already seen Telly in Chicago playing Boq in Wicked. He couldn’t have been kinder as he walked us onto the RENT stage and told us stories of joining the cast. We pestered him with questions about his dreams and goals. I recall him saying he hoped to stay with the show for five years and to play the role of Angel. I couldn’t imagine doing a show for that long, but his passion was inspiring.

I was happy to hear that Telly did eventually land the role of Angel. However about a year later, I learned that RENT was closing on Broadway, and I was disappointed for the young actor not quite reaching his goals. Little did I know, he was just getting started.

A few years later I was in New York on business and catching a couple of shows including GODSPELL. To my surprise, I recognized Telly Leung in the cast. He was amazing and his vocals were phenomenal. The rest of the cast wasn’t shabby either. It included Hunter Parrish from Weeds fame, Uzo Aduba before she hit it big in Orange is the New Black, and Lindsay Mendez who is quite theBroadway star in her own right. I saw the show twice!

My collection of Telly Leung playbills.

Over the years I spotted Telly on Glee and saw him in Madison doing a fundraiser for Capital City Theatre. Not long after that I heard he was back on Broadway starring in Allegiance alongside the legendary George Takai, from the original Star Trek, and Lea Salonga, who hit it big with Miss Saigon and Les Miserables. Of course, I saw Allegiance on my next visit.

I love how theatre overlaps and I’ve been introduced to so many actors whose careers intersect and I can follow as they go on to television, movies, and ideally more Broadway.

Photo courtesy of Matthew Murphy

So to Telly Leung, who currently stars on Broadway in the title role of Aladdin in Aladdin, congratulations on a fruitful career! You’ve come a long way since I met that kid with big dreams, and, yes, I’ll try to get to New York soon to see the show!

Telly Leung has a several other Broadway shows and tours on his resume as well.



Stay tuned for more of Angie’s stories of her experiences with Broadway, New York City, and the adventures that follow. Check out her latest book, IF EVER, which blends her love of reality dancing shows and Broadway.

Related Posts

Blizzard of 2016 ~ New York City’s Snowpocalypse

New York ~ Ah, the weekend!

Broadway and Pushing my Boundaries in Big Scary NYC

Looking Back on my First Visit to Broadway

Winding Down ~ The Year in Review

As the year winds to a close, I wanted to take a moment to reflect back.

A year ago, I said to myself that this would be the year of travel, and yes, it was. Mostly it was fun book-related travel. Trips included the RT Booklovers conference in Kansas City (a road trip), Indie book signings in Minneapolis and San Francisco and a trip to New York City to meet with my agent and editors. I love to travel, so it was wonderful.

In June I handed in my next novel, Royally Lost, to HarperCollins. It’s being brushed up as we speak and releases in May of 2014. I can’t wait for you to read it!

This past September two of my formerly self-published books came out with Harper Teen. Seeing them in bookstores and popping up in libraries has been awesome. The other day a writer friend of mine from another state said that her 14-year-old daughter came home with my book, Snapshot, in her backpack. She borrowed it from her English teacher’s library! That was a highlight!

Teen Fiction

This month I gave my first book store presentation, spoke at a nearby high school and sat on a panel at my local library. All those firsts were nerve wracking and energizing. After all these years, I finally feel I can say, “I am a writer.” Silly, but true.

Another highlight has been meeting so many talented, funny and generous writers. I love spending time with like people who spend their days in sweat pants and fuzzy slippers like me.

Me with the lovely Jamie McGuire

Me with the lovely Jamie McGuire

But best of all, was meeting so many readers. There were a few fan girl moments that I will never, ever forget. You girls made my day, my year! As a writer, I spend a lot of solo time, thinking, plotting, writing, worrying; so when a reader reaches out to share how much a story moved them, I’m flying high for a long time.

20131223_190850Here’s to a great 2013! And may 2014 be even better!



Love ’em or Leave ’em gets a make over.

Make overs aren’t just for dowdy housewives with bad haircuts who wear sweats all day. They are for books, too!

Love ’em or Leave ’em was my first book and published by an well-respected publisher who had been around forever. Sadly, their book covers were less than cutting edge.

But all that has changed. Montlake publishers bought out my old publisher and they just gave Love ’em or Leave ’em a fabulous new look. So check out the difference a cover can make.

The old cover.

The old cover.


I’m in love with the new cover. Love, love, love it!!!!!


The new cover!

The new cover!