PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: Broadway's Final Mary Poppins, Steffanie Leigh
By Matthew Blank
February 26, 2013
Steffanie Leigh, currently playing the title role in Broadway's Mary Poppins, fills out Playbill.com's questionnaire of random facts, backstage trivia and pop-culture tidbits. The show will play its final performance at the New Amsterdam Theatre March 3.
Previous regional credits include Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, 42nd Street, Grease and Les Misérables.
Full given name:
Steffanie (with two "F's" in honor of Steffi Graf) Leigh
Where you were born/where you were raised:
What your parents did/do for a living:
Dad: retired ER doctor. Mom: personal trainer.
An older sister, Amber, and older brother, Dane.
Current audition song/monologue:
The song usually changes depending on the project and I don't think I've ever been asked to do a monologue in an audition. Maybe I should get one!
Britney Spears impression, Jennifer Garner "scared/sad face," and I can perform the entire role of "Usnavi" from In the Heights
Something you're REALLY bad at:
Riffing is not my forte!
First Broadway show you ever saw:
Did you have any particular mentors or inspirations when first starting out?
I grew up five miles from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and got to see amazing theater all the time.
If you could go back in time and catch any Broadway show, what would it be?
Julie Andrews in My Fair Lady. And if I could travel back in time even farther, I'd see the premiere of Macbeth at the Globe Theater.
Current or recent shows you recommended to friends:
Peter and the Starcatcher, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Sleep No More.
Favorite showtune(s) of all time:
"Trouble" from The Music Man, the opening from In the Heights, "The Light in the Piazza," "Through the Mountain" from Floyd Collins, "Princess" from A Man of No Importance, "I Remember" from Evening Primrose, "Sunday" from Sunday in the Park with George and "Feed the Birds" from Mary Poppins!
Some favorite modern musicals:
Sweeney Todd, Sunday in the Park with George, Into the Woods, Urinetown, The Light in the Piazza, Floyd Collins
Some favorite classic musicals:
Gypsy, Fiddler on the Roof, The Music Man, West Side Story, The Sound of Music, Sweet Charity
Broadway or screen stars of the past you would most have loved to perform with:
Angela Lansbury, Julie Andrews, Robert Preston, Audrey Hepburn, Cary Grant, Carol Burnett
Your personal vocal or acting idols, living or dead:
Barbara Cook, Julie Andrews, Kelli O'Hara, Audra McDonald
The one performance – attended - that you will never forget:
In 4th grade, I remember watching a local high school's production of Hamlet, knowing I wanted to be an actor.
Music that makes you cry, any genre:
"Mama a Rainbow" can always jerk a tear from my eye.
MAC or PC?
Most played song on your iPod:
Any song from Regina Spektor's new album
Last book you read:
Must-see TV show(s):
"Sherlock," "Game of Thrones," "The Wire," "Breaking Bad," "Alias," "Downton Abbey"
My boyfriend has done everything in his power to make me a Philadelphia Phillies fan. My favorite player on the Phillies is Roy Halladay because he seems very nice and is a hard worker!
First CD/Tape/LP you owned:
GT and the Halo Express
First stage kiss:
I kissed my Harold Hill in The Music Man, and he definitely stuck his tongue down my throat the first night!
Favorite or most memorable onstage role as a child/teenager:
Madge in Picnic
How you got your Equity card:
Favorite pre-/post- show meal:
Pre: a nice home cooked meal with my boyfriend. Post: Nachos on my couch watching "The Daily Show"
Favorite liquid refreshment:
A full bodied glass of red wine
Pre-show rituals or warm-ups:
I always go through "The Museum Song" from Barnum. Everyone had to learn it in our speech class at Carnegie Mellon. And a foot massage from my iSqueeze.
Most challenging role you have ever played:
Most challenging aspect of your current role:
Craziest audition story:
I went in for a tap dance call for a show that was extremely difficult. I became a bit overwhelmed, so after we went through it the last time and began to break into groups, I pivot stepped right out the door and never came back!
Worst flubbed line/missed cue/onstage mishap:
During the bank scene in Mary Poppins, my feet got tangled with little Michael Banks and I fell backwards and dragged the kids down with me!
Worst costume ever:
A lime green dance competition costume that featured bell bottoms and fish net "jacket"
Worst job you ever had:
I hated bartending.
Your Disney dream role (aside from Poppins):
Mulan (you did say dream, right?)
If you could trade roles with anyone in the cast for a week, who would it be?
Leading lady role you've been dying to play:
Leading man role you'd like a shot at:
Usnavi of course!
Something about you that surprises people:
I still suck my thumb when I'm really tired.
Something you are incredibly proud of:
Being an Oregonian
Something you're embarrassed to admit:
I sometimes suck my thumb even when I'm not tired...