Exactly how Broadway's Steffanie Leigh landed a lead role in the Australian Disney Princess production.

TEG Dainty
Thanks to our brand partner, TEG Dainty

Dreams really do come true. 

This truth lies not only at the heart of Disney Princess – The Concert, the much-anticipated show tour set to grace Australia and New Zealand this month and into next month (!!!), but also mirrors the journey of one of its leading stars, Steffanie Leigh; from a small town in Oregon to the bright lights of Broadway.

Steffanie’s upbringing was steeped in a love for the stage, her hometown proudly hosting the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. 


Speaking to Mamamia, she fondly recalls, “Never did anyone question me wanting to get into this industry or pressure me to get a ‘real job’.” After earning her BFA in Musical Theatre from Carnegie Mellon, her sights were firmly set on the Big Apple, because… obviously!

Immersing herself in the New York theatre scene, Steffanie was also working as a nanny and bartender to make ends meet. Then she earned the ultimate nanny role. 

Mary Poppins.  

“First, I was made an ensemble member and a cover for Mary… and then got to take over the role… It really was an unbelievable dream come true!” Staffanie says, recalling the moment she was able to take her first flight over the audience.

“My flight path was directly over my family and friends. They were crying, I was crying!”

Her ascension was literal. Steffanie stayed in the role for the following three years before meeting Broadway Music Director, Benjamin Rahula, who in 2015 nabbed her for a cabaret show he created, The Broadway Princess Party. From there, it evolved into the production it is today, Disney Princess – The Concert


“And luckily, Benjamin has brought me along for the ride – and we get to go to Australia and New Zealand!” says Steffanie. 

The global production will arrive on Australian shores just in time for the school holidays this September and October, with a run of dates in the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra, Geelong, Melbourne, Adelaide, and Perth. 

The concert brings 13 Disney princesses (plus two ice queens and one prince) together in one show. Joining Steffanie for the Australian leg of the tour is Krysta Rodriguez (Cinderella in Into the Woods and Meg in NY stage premiere of Disney's Hercules), Rachael Beck (the original Belle opposite Hugh Jackman in Beauty and the Beast), and Storm Lever (Broadway's Duckling Donna in the Donna Summer Musical and star of Six). 


They perform more than 30 Disney favourites – some solo, some together – including much-loved classics, ‘How Far I’ll Go’, ‘A Whole New World’, ‘Colours of the Wind’, ‘Part of Your World’, ‘Almost There’ and ‘Let It Go’.

The live performances are also accompanied by a massive LED screen displaying clips from Disney animations.

Image: Supplied. 


“What’s been so special about this experience is watching parents sharing this joy with their children as they relive their own childhood memories!”

And it’s not just families who have been enjoying the show – it’s been a popular choice for date nights too, and even the odd proposal," says Steffanie. 

Reflecting on the broad appeal of Disney Princesses that transcends generations and borders, Steffanie recognises another layer of their universality – their empowering stories when viewed through adult eyes. 

"These adventures," she notes, "are powerful stories of heroines, which I didn't fully grasp as a six-year-old. But returning to them as an adult, I am deeply moved by their narratives."

As a self-described “bit of a jaded New Yorker,” the realisation was unexpected. 

She poses, “Maybe that softness is something we crave as adults?” 

While growing up, Steffanie was firmly a Princess Jasmine or Belle kinda gal, she says nowadays she most relates to Moana.

“When I'm going through something really hard, I sometimes think it’s like being out in the middle of the ocean. She’s very inspiring… and I love How Far I’ll Go’.”


“The arrangements in this production are incredible,” she continues, citing her favourite song – a classic princess medley between Snow White, Aurora and Cinderella. 

“It’s glorious music. I get to sing in my soprano in this sort of like lush way that I don't get to sing a lot.”

Taking us behind-the-scenes, Steffanie says her preparation for each performance focuses on four key aspects: her voice, physical condition, mental state, and spiritual or energetic wellbeing. This can include vocal, articulation and breathing exercises; jumping and somatic practices, reiki – and a big cup of throat coat tea.

“It's a daily process to be able to learn what I need and how I can give that to myself” she says, underscoring her commitment not only to her craft, but to delivering an excellent experience to the audience.

Musing on the enduring appeal and romantic themes encapsulated through the Disney Princess – The Concert, Steffanie observes the “magic” the show brings.

Image: Supplied. 


“I know that's a clichè word to use, but when I hear the music – both onstage and when I'm watching it in the audience – there's something about it that transports me to this very hopeful place and one that just makes me feel really good.”

“It reawakens the imagination and evokes childlike wonder. It transports you to these beautiful worlds, and a feeling that really – anything is possible.”

Disney Princess – The Concert is coming to Australia and New Zealand this September and October, for show dates and tickets visit here

Keen to read more from Rebecca Davis? You can find her articles here, or follow her on Instagram.

Feature Image: Supplied/Getty/Instagram/@steffanie_leigh/Mamamia. 

TEG Dainty
Disney Princess – The Concert, presented by Disney Concerts and TEG Dainty, is a magical concert experience celebrating the iconic songs of Disney’s princesses and queens. An acclaimed cast of Broadway stars will perform more than 30 Disney favourites, including classics like 'Let It Go', 'A Whole New World', 'Colours of the Wind', and 'A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes'. The performers, appearing as themselves, will share exclusive, hilarious and heartfelt behind-the-scenes stories from their time on the stage and screen. Larger-than-life animation and theatrical effects will immerse the audience in pure Disney magic. This production features Broadway/Australian stage performers appearing as themselves. Costumed Disney characters do not appear at this event. Casting is subject to change. Tickets are on sale now via  www.tegdainty.com