Sheryl Lee Ralph, who recently won an Emmy Award for her work in the TV comedy Abbott Elementary, recalled auditioning for the late Michael Bennett for the original Broadway production of Dreamgirls during her recent appearance on The Jennifer Hudson Show.
Ralph, who created the role of Deena Jones in the hit musical, said she performed "Ave Maria" during her audition and then showed Hudson, who won an Oscar for playing Effie in the film version of Dreamgirls, a bit of Bennett and Michael Peters' Tony-winning choreography from the musical. Watch the Dreamgirls-themed segment above.
Henry Krieger and Tom Eyen's Dreamgirls won six Tony Awards in its 1982 Broadway premiere. The late Bennett took home the award for Best Choreography alongside collaborator Michael Peters. Jennifer Holliday memorably created the role of Effie to Tony-winning effect, stopping the show nightly with "And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going." The film, adapted and directed by Bill Condon, earned Hudson the Golden Globe and Academy Awards for her portrayal of Effie.
Ralph, who was Tony-nominated for her work in Dreamgirls, has also appeared on Broadway in Wicked, Thoroughly Modern Millie, and Reggae.