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Musical icon: Tony Award winner Lea Salonga to perform at Popejoy

Lea Salonga is on the road to recovery.

Tony Award-winning singer Lea Salonga will perform a show at Popejoy Hall on Tuesday, April 9. (Courtesy of Popejoy Hall)

The Tony Award-winning singer broke her tibia in a skiing accident in January in Hokkaido, Japan.

In the weeks since she broke her leg, she’s vigorously taken on physical therapy to get her back on track and on the stage.

“I’m still going to be using assistive devices,” she says in an interview from her hometown of Manila, Philippines. “We’ll have to see what my doctor tells me what I need to work towards. It’s been encouraging to get on my feet and use them and not depend on a wheelchair.”

Salonga is also celebrating the release of the independent feature “Yellow Rose,” which she stars in. It will open the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival on May 2.

“So far, the reception has been great,” Salonga says of the film. “At the concert where it was recorded, my mom and brother, who can be harsh, really enjoyed it.”

Over the course of her career, the 48-year-old singer has become an icon on Broadway.

At 18, she originated the lead role of Kim in the musical “Miss Saigon,” for which she became the first Asian woman to win a Tony Award.

She also became the first Asian actress to play the roles of Éponine and Fantine in the musical “Les Misérables” on Broadway.

Salonga also reprised those roles in the musical’s 10th and 25th anniversary shows in London.

In the 1990s, Salonga was the signing voice behind Disney classic characters Jasmine from “Aladdin” and Fa Mulan in “Mulan.”

Salonga will perform at Popejoy Hall on Tuesday, April 9.

She will perform Broadway hits, including some that are new to her repertoire.

“I try to mix it up as much as possible,” she says. “It all depends if it’s a city or market that I’ve been to. I’ve been trying to sing more and more music that I didn’t originate or lend my voice to. This helps me stretch my artistic self. I’m trying to sing as much new music as I can. It’s fun to learn new things, and the audience grows with me.”

As Salonga continues to grow as an artist, she says, there is a new perspective to her life and music.

“When I was younger, Stephen Sondheim felt so far removed,” she says. “The older I’m getting, it’s changed. When I sing ‘Send in the Clowns’ now, it’s like being ripped apart. A song like that in melody and form has the power to devastate.”