This June 9-10, musical theatre star and Disney legend, Lea Salonga, will perform with the 54 piece Adelaide Art Orchestra at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival in what will be an intimate reflection of her multi-faceted career.
The Olivier and Tony Award winner famous for her performaces in Miss Saigon and Les Miserables and being the voice of Disney princesses, Jasmine and Fa Mulan has kindly agreed to an interview with Broadwayworld ahead of her trip to Australia.
What convinced you to come to Australia and perform at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival?
I seem to have a soft spot in my heart for Australia, and Australian actors. After having worked with one in Cinderella and a multitude of them in Cats, I've wanted the opportunity to actually perform "down under".
Will you get time to explore Australia and hit the tourist attractions?
I'm not exactly sure what I'll have time for, but if Adelaide has interesting stuff to see, then I think I'd like to see them.
What would you like your Australian audiences to expect from your shows?
You mean besides a heap of musical theater and Disney? I would just like them to expect a very intimate evening where I tell stories and sing a bunch of songs.
And conversely, what expectations do you have about your audience here in Australia?
If the audiences are anything like my Aussie friends, then I think we'll all have an amazing couple of nights together. My friends are just warm, down to earth and very real people. I see my friends as people first, and actors second. How they all remain grounded in quite incredible to see.
Many girls grow up wishing to be a Disney princess and you provided the singing voices of two of the most famous Disney women, Jasmine and Fa Mulan making you a Disney Legend. Did you have any idea how iconic these films would become, particularly Aladdin?
I really had no idea going in that they'd become quite the phenomenons they have become. All the Disney Princess films are iconic and beautiful, so to have been a part of all that was really a wonderful part of my life. It's all fabulous too that I have a daughter that appreciates the whole Princess thing.
What is the best piece of advice you have received in your life?
Professionally, the best pieces advice are: show up on time, and know your s***.
Personally, be good to everyone you meet.
What is your favourite role that you have played in theatre and do you have a dream role?
I think that every role I've played has been a favorite at that particular moment because of when it appears in my life. I loved playing Kim, Fantine, Eponine, and the other roles I've had the privilege to play. There is a story that I try to find, and when I do find it, I fall in love even deeper.
Having performed alongside some of the greatest names in show business, do you have a favourite collaboration you have been a part of or actor to perform with?
I think I was most thrilled singing with Darren Criss at a tribute to Alan Menken. One, he's also Filipino, and singing with another Filipino always makes me happy. Two, we sang A Whole New World (Darren is a known Disney-head). And three, he's all sorts of adorable and a very nice young man. I also really enjoyed playing Kim to Will Chase's Chris. I think because we are close in age, I don't see the character as someone much older than me, which was the experience previously.
You have just under 917,000 followers on twitter (myself one of them), what do you find are the benefits and challenges of being a well-known and heavily followed artist on the social networking sites?
I think that number has grown to over 920,000, which boggles my mind to no end. I really can't believe that there are that many people interested in whatever I have to say, or in what's going on in my life. I feel truly blessed to have that many followers, and I only hope that they feel they made the right decision. I am thankful.
When you aren’t performing, what is your favourite way to spend your time?
I play video games a lot... I love to read... I enjoy spending time with my husband and daughter, who are my most favorite people in the world.