Ralph, who originated the role of Deena and landed a Tony nomination, vividly recalled the day she auditioned for Dreamgirls. The Abbott Elementarystar said she remembered walking into the theater behind Loretta Devine -- who was "already becoming Loretta Devine," -- and winding up in a room filled with powerhouse vocalists. "The building was literally levitating off of the concrete, that's how wonderful they were," Ralph recounted. "And then there was me."
Ralph said that when it was her time to audition, she was instructed to sing something from church. "So, I sang 'Ave Maria' -- they were very quiet," she recalled, laughing. "I think they were thinking something more in the Baptist vein, and they did not know that I was a little Episcopalian girl."
The actress said she waited around for several hours after her audition until, finally, the show's creative team came by to announce their decision. Ralph said she was getting ready to leave after the first two names were called, but then she heard her name next.