Born and raised in the West, Teri Ralston burst onto the New York scene as a brash "youngster". After enjoying a vibrant career in Broadway theater for over a decade, she returned to California for a job and stayed much longer than originally planned. As a matter of fact, she returned to New York only last year (and happily finds herself busier than ever)…a move that inspired the title of her first-ever solo CD.
Teri's first years in New York represent a real-life example of "Beginner's Luck". It all started while she was still in college at San Francisco University, and got cast in the rock musical YOUR OWN THING. This show brought her back to New York and thus began Teri's professional career. Shortly after that, she went to see another Off-Broadway show…JACQUES BREL IS ALIVE AND WELL AND LIVING IN PARIS. She fell in love with it and felt she had to do it. Not knowing any better, she just called the stage manager and said she had to audition. She did… and 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 American theater—Stephen Sondheim and Hal Prince. Teri reprised her role in COMPANY for the California and London productions, and after returning from London she went right into rehearsals for their next show, A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC. After that, Teri was cast in two shows which had been created by some of Broadway's brightest talents, but which closed out of town. One of those shows, THE BAKER'S WIFE, gave her the great opportunity to establish a working relationship with Stephen Schwartz…he wrote the song "Chanson" for her; and the second show, HOME AGAIN, HOME AGAIN, allowed her to work with Cy Coleman. Ready for a little change, Teri headed back to California, and it didn't let her go until her recent move back to New York.
Teri's association with Sondheim's work has continued over the years. She has performed in and/or directed many productions of Sondheim's shows. As a performer, she has 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 LTTLE 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 and she took much satisfaction from adding this fascinating new character to her repertoire.
Teri has also found much satisfaction in her directing career, where her own extensive theater experience has been put to good use. She directed the aforementioned production of SIDE BY SIDE BY SONDHEIM, in which she starred with Peggy Lee, and also directed a production of FOLLIES while playing Sally alongside brilliant castmates 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 does only 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, 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. She has also appeared in BAJOUR at the York Theater, HATS, THE MUSICAL in Denver, and a workshop production of a show called UNBEATABLE due in New York in Fall of 2008. Most recently, she had a featured role in the play MARCY IN THE GALAXY, directed by Jack Cunningham III with Transport Group. Teri's work outside of musical theater: as a soloist with Michael Feinstein, she performed with the New Mexico Symphony and the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl in Gershwin concerts. As a cabaret artist, she has performed in nightclubs across the county, and was the featured entertainer with Crystal Cruises for two years. She is featured on five original cast albums and 3 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.
And she had to get back to New York……