Born in Colorado on and moving to California at age 12, and spending her formative years after college in New York, then returning to California, Broadway veteran Teri Ralston recently—and happily—once again moved back to New York, an event inspiring the title of her new CD, I’VE GOTTA GET BACK TO NEW YORK.
While still in college at San Francisco State University, Teri was cast in the rock musical, YOUR OWN THING. This show brought her back to New York which began her professional career. Shortly after coming to New York, she went to see JACQUES BREL IS ALIVE AND WELL AND LIVING IN PARIS. She loved it and felt she had to do it. Not knowing any better, she called the stage manager and said she had to audition. She did…..she got it. Later that same year, she was cast as one of Bobby’s married friends in COMPANY, beginning a long and fruitful relationship with two giants of the musical theater—Stephen Sondheim and Hal Prince. Teri reprised her role in COMPANY in the California and London companies and after returning from London, she began rehearsals for their newest show, A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC. Teri’s next two Broadway shows were not quite as successful. In fact, they closed on the road, but she had the great opportunity of beginning a working relationship with two of Broadways finest talents: Stephen Schwartz in THE BAKER’S WIFE, for which he wrote “Chanson” for her; and then with Cy Coleman in HOME AGAIN, HOME AGAIN. Ready for a little change, Teri headed back to California, where she worked constantly. Ready for another change, she recently moved back to New York.
Teri’s association with Sondheim’s work has continued over the years. She has performed in and/or directed several productions of Sondheim shows. As a performer, she appeared in SIDE BY SIDE BY SONDHEIM several times…once with Peggy Lee; she played Sally in three different productions of FOLLIES, Mamma Rose in GYPSY, and Yvonne in SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE. In Los Angeles, she was the “stand by” for Desiree in A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC… and for Carol Burnett in the Mark Taper Forum production of PUTTING IT TOGETHER. She starred in a new Sondheim revue called MOVING ON at the Laguna Playhouse. Recently, she was asked to play NIGHT MUSIC’s Madame Armfeldt at South Coast Repertory. Shocked as she was to be asked to play the “older” woman, the rewards were great, as well as the satisfaction that comes with adding a fascinating new character to one’s repertoire.
Teri has also found much satisfaction in her directing career, where her own extensive theater experience has been put to very good use. She directed the aforementioned production of SIDE BY SIDE BY SONDHEIM in which she also starred with Peggy Lee, and also directed a production of FOLLIES while playing Sally alongside brilliant cast mates Julie Wilson, Betty Garrett, John Raitt, Harvey Evans, and Kurt Peterson. Other directing gigs include INTO THE WOODS, A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM, and A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC. Lest you think she only does Sondheim works, she has also directed NO NO NANETTE, MY ONE AND ONLY, ME AND MY GIRL, MAN OF LA MANCHA, JACQUES BREL..., QUILTERS, CANDIDE, SIDE SHOW, THE FANTASTICKS, THE BAKER’S WIFE, THE KING AND I, and Los Angeles premieres of OCTETTE BRIDGE CLUB AND GLORIA DUPLEX.
Since returning to New York in 2007, Teri has performed in a workshop of NATURAL WOMAN with music by Carole King for director Michael Blakemore; appeared in BAJOUR at the York Theater; was in the original cast of HATS, THE MUSICAL; was in GOOD OL' GIRLS at the ROundabout Theatre; and was in a workshop of a show called UNBEATABLE. She also had a featured role in the play MARCY IN THE GALAXY, directed by Jack Cunningham III with Transport Group.
Teri has performd in summer stock productions around the country including CAROUSEL at Barrington Stage in the Berkshires and INTO THE WOODS at Sacramento Music Circus, where she has done some 20 shows. Some of her recent summer stock shows include: GYPSY (Rose), CAROUSEL (Nettie), OKLAHOMA! (Aunt Eller), DAMN YANKEES (Meg), PIRATES OF PENZANCE (Ruth), THE BEST LITTLE WHOREHOUSE IN TEXAS (Doatsie Mae), THE SOUND OF MUSIC (Mother Abbess), THE MUSIC MAN (Mrs. Paroo), THE WIZARD OF OZ (Glinda), BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (Wardrobe), CABARET (Frauline Schneider), and INTO THE WOODS (Stepmother).
Teri’s work outside of musical theater: she performed with Michael Feinstein and the New Mexico Symphony and the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl in Gershwin concerts. As a cabaret artist, she has performed in cabaret rooms and theaters across the country. Her favorite rooms are the Gardenia in Los Angeles and the Metropolitan Room and Laurie Beechman Theatre in New York City. She was the featured entertainer with Crystal Cruises for two years. In addition to her recently released CD, she is featured on seven original cast albums and three CDs recorded in London.
Her television credits include FRASIER, DHARMA AND GREG, GEPPETTO, GEORGE CARLIN, WINGS, MURDER SHE WROTE, THE SLAPP MAXWELL STORY, ONE DAY AT A TIME, MARRIED WITH CHILDREN and THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL.