Wow, she did it again! The gracious, gorgeous, delightful Sheryl Lee Ralph has added a new and major achievement to her already resplendent repertoire. Sheryl Lee joins the cast of Broadway’s Wicked on November 1, 2016 playing the role of Madame Morrible.
Madame Morrible is the Shiz headmistress who, according to Sheryl Lee everyone loves to hate. Art imitates life as what draws attention to the leading character - coined the “Wicked Witch of the West” – is the color of her skin. “A green girl is ostracized by everyone; not through lack of talent and gifts because she is the most talented and gifted, but because of the color of her skin. And in times like these, that is an incredible story to tell for green girl magic and black girl magic,” says Sheryl Lee. Sheryl’s own highly sought after talents and gifts landed her the role of Madame Morrible which witnesses a knocking down of barriers. She is the first Black woman to play this British role and succeeds two-time Tony winner Judy Kaye.
Totally immersed in the role, Sheryl Lee is extremely excited and grateful to play a character based on the 1995 novel, Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire, writer of several dozen crossover books for adults and children. Maguire’s novel, Wicked is about politics, racism and classism – issues characteristic of everyday life for many in America. Sheryl Lee adds: “This is an outstanding show the entire family will enjoy. The music is amazing!”
Sheryl Lee’s humanitarian and philanthropic work is not side-tracked by any measure. As Founding Director of “Divas Simply Singing,” the longest-running musical AIDS benefit in the country, she continues to influence the success of this foundation which started twenty-six years ago when she did Dreamgirls. She sponsors a major fundraiser annually to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS. Other projects Sheryl Lee directs include the Jamerican Film and Music Festival.
Ever aware of opportunities to promote compassion Sheryl easily adapts the character of Madame Morrible – who has the extraordinary powers to control the weather - to the current plight of Haiti following the recent storms: “I encourage people everywhere to do their best, not just for themselves but for each other. I encourage everyone to help Haiti after the wreckage of Hurricane Matthew.”
This wickedly gifted actress, philanthropist, acclaimed author and talk show host continues to amaze audiences and we love her for it!
Follow Sheryl Lee on Instagram, Facebook and http://sherylleeralph.com/.
by Caroline Bruno, Associate Editor