Mixing pop, jazz, R&B, and Broadway standards, he croons songs recorded by people like Michael Jackson and Mama Cass and written by legends like Sondheim and Jerry Herman.I talked to Telly about his life, his music, and his love. I’m not always crazy about “New York State of Mind,” but I loved what you did with it as the single off your CD. As an ‘80s kid, I grew up on Billy Joel, who was one of my dad’s favorite artists.
A trio consisting of Gary Adler (cowriter of ), Michael Croiter, and Mary Ann Mc Sweeney, who did this arrangement.He put me on a Greyhound bus and sent me on my first audition. No matter how expensive the ticket or short the trip—and Jimmy and I have had one-hour meetings in O’Hare—you have to see each other in person once every three weeks. I was working in Asia at the time and there was no way to do it. She was my Japanese teacher, then my sister-in-law, then my sister! So suddenly it becomes celebrates the underdog, and it was one of the first bold tellings of a teenage gay love story.And you don’t bring your new boyfriend to the meeting, right? [laughs] Tell me about the experience of , your new Broadway show. I think people, especially young kids trying to come out, really connected to that.It’s based on the experience of George Takei during WWII during the Japanese- American internment. [Telly plays the young version of George’s character, and George also plays grandpa.] The musical starts in 2001. It represented this acceptance and the fact that it was OK to be who you are at Dalton Academy.We love R&B music and Miles Davis and thought, “How do we fuse those worlds?What if Miles had arranged ‘New York State of Mind’ and it was a little more contemporary and fresh?
” I want to spark memories, but I want listeners to hear it for the first time as well, our way.
The album is called because each song has a special dedication in my heart.
I love being an actor, but I love doing club acts because it’s just Telly as Telly.
When I share a personal dedication, it takes on a whole new life. Last week, they added two new numbers and were reconceiving another.
As a Brooklynite, that song is for all my friends I grew up with. “Leaving On A Jet Plane.” He’s somebody that’s not in the business. His name is Jimmy, but he hates having his name in articles. But as a gypsy, I’m always packing suitcases and traveling somewhere to bring home the bacon. But absence does make the heart grow fonder, and it makes us work really hard on the relationship. What I love about the team of is they hold nothing sacred. Many of the people in Heart Mountain, the internment camp, started their own baseball team.
So the CD will specify who each song is dedicated to? “Being Alive” is dedicated to Billy Porter, who was a teacher of mine at Carnegie Mellon and a guest director of mine and was very much responsible for my first Broadway break in. My friends who have been career-touring actors taught me an unspoken rule of tour life—what they call a three-week rule. They are willing to kill the artistic baby—that song they slaved hours over. They reconceived a number that’s about that—they all come together and find joy and a way to pass the time. And there really was a Heart Mountain All Stars team.