Breaking through in the theater world with her Broadway debut as Cosette in the revival of Les Misérables, she would later become the first Asian-American actress to star as Christine Daaé in Broadway's The Phantom of the Opera.
She did regional theater work in her childhood and did musical theater in high school. She graduated cum laude from Yale University.
At Disneyland, she performed the role of Princess Jasmine. She also worked at a Tokyo Disney theme park.
Her mother was Filipina and her father, Caucasian.
Sarah Brightman originated the role of Christine Daaé in The Phantom of the Opera, a role that Ali would fill in the revival of the musical.