Cabaret Interview: TERI RALSTON (Appearing with Alix Korey in Our Broadway, A Memoir in Song at Coachella Valley Repertory)

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by Jason Mannino on June 5, 2023

in Concerts / Events,Interviews,Theater-Palm Springs (Coachella Valley)

Broadway luminaries Teri Ralston and Alix Korey have performed in more than 15 Broadway shows between them and have worked with some of the greatest composers of all time, including Stephen Sondheim, Stephen Schwartz and Cy Coleman. During Our Broadway, A Memoir in Song — which plays CVRep this Thursday June 8, 2023 — this dynamic entertainment duo will share treasured stories and experiences as they sing iconic songs from their illustrious careers.

Alix Korey is a veteran of eight Broadway shows, the last being All Shook Up! Others include costarring roles in Chicago, Neil Simon’s 45 Seconds From BroadwayTriumph Of LoveAin’t Broadway Grand and Pirates Of Penzance. Off-Broadway, she originated roles in The Wild Party (Drama Desk nomination), No Way To Treat A Lady (Outer Critics Circle nomination) and Suburb (Dramaleague award). She has appeared in numerous films and prime time TV shows, and has released two award-winning solo CDs.

Teri Ralston has been a prominent figure in the musical theatre world since her debut as young Luisa in The FantasticksShe has worked with many of the great songwriters of our time, including Stephen Sondheim, Stephen Schwartz and Cy Coleman. Schwartz created the role of Denise in Baker’s Wife for herShe was the leading lady in Coleman’s Home Again, Home Again, Jenny in the original cast of Companyand originated the role of Mrs. Nordstrom in A Little Night Music. Ralston has performed in cabaret venues around the world, and was the soloist with Michael Feinstein and the LA Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl and the New Mexico Symphony.  Ralston can be heard on seven original cast albums, three CDs from London engagements and a solo CD.

Jason Mannino had an opportunity to chat with Ms. Ralston for Stage and Cinema about her career and this show. He tells us that her warmth and generosity rings loud and clear.

Jason Mannino: You have had an illustrious career spanning multiple decades. What inspires you to keep sharing your gift?

Teri Ralston: I always have and always will love the theater, the people and sharing the joy it brings. While I am currently teaching locally at Musical Theater University and the conservatory at Coachella Valley Rep, which is very rewarding, I feel as long as my instrument is intact and that I was given this gift to share, I should keep offering it as long as I can. Also, I love doing cabaret. It allows me to be creative and engaged in performing without doing 8 shows a week.

JM: Tell us about your relationship working with and originating roles for Stephen Sondheim?

TR: Having the opportunity to originate the role of Jenny shortly after my NY debut in Jacque Brel Is Alive and Well is something I will never take for granted. I had just gotten out of college, and I was very green. I had no real idea at the time of the significance. Doing Company opened the door to an incredible long life of association with Sondheim and Prince. I was in 13 of his shows. It is such a joy to have been part of a show that still lives on among people’s favorites. There never was and never will be another composer like him. Company was Stephen’s first big (solo) show and first collaboration with Michael Bennett and Hal Prince. It is so thrilling to be able to say that I was there at the beginning of this era. It is still unbelievable as well.

JM: How and when did you begin as a cabaret performer?

TR: I was lucky enough to somehow have a manager when I was in college at San Francisco State who connected me with venues where I could do cabaret. I started doing cabaret at The Purple Onion in SF, and subsequently did shows on cruise ships. Eventually, I covered the cabaret scene in New York, all over the country and even internationally. I love the format. It gives you the freedom to tell the stories you want to tell. The greatest challenge in cabaret, ultimately, is in laying yourself bare.

JM: How did this show come to be?

TR: Over the years I discovered that I much prefer to collaborate with others as opposed to working alone. So, when I was asked to do a one woman show at Sun Lake in Belmont, CA, the I first person who came to mind working with is Alix Korey. We have a huge respect for each other. She is a huge talent. We did the first iteration at Belmont. We have also done it at Purple Room and, given what Adam Karsten has been up to at CV Rep, we are thrilled to be doing it there this Thursday. In this show, we share our favorites in a nostalgic walk through our memoirs. Alix is one of the funniest people I know. It is a delight to share stories, memories, experiences with various composers like Sondheim, Schwartz, Coleman, Herman and songs that were written for us.

Also, we love performing it in one of the places we call home, Palm Springs. It is one of the greatest communities anywhere, the sense of community with so many friends from the early Broadway days have settled here is truly gratifying. Here we are performing for knowledgeable theater people who appreciate what we have done while we are also introducing songs to people with less knowledge and experience. And we are grateful for that opportunity.

Also, we are thrilled to have Christopher Marlowe accompanying us. [Honored with the MAC Award for Best Music Director of the Year, Marlowe is a composer,  arranger, writer and pianist.]

Teri Ralston & Alix Korey: Our Broadway, A Memoir in Song
Coachella Valley Repertory Playhouse
Summer Cabaret Series
CVRep Playhouse, 68510 E. Palm Canyon Drive in Cathedral City
Thursday June 8, 2023, at 7pm
for future shows, call 760.296.2966 or visit CVR

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