Big Voice, Bigger Heart


Sheryl Lee Ralph.

Sheryl Lee Ralph is not content to just use her voice to sing. The film, TV and Tony-nominated Broadway actress has been an untiring advocate for AIDS/HIV awareness for decades now. Although she’s kept busy over the years with co-starring roles alongside heavyweights like Denzel Washington, Robert DeNiro and Eddie Murphy while at the same time raising two children, she still makes time for a cause she fiercely believes in. “It began when I saw friends of mine dying of this disease while I was in the original cast of ‘Dreamgirls’” she says. “Eventually, the rate of infection in women began matching that in men. And this from a disease that is 100% preventable!”
She found that she was simply unable to sit back and watch as the disease slipped from the front pages and those afflicted with it were seemingly forgotten. In 1990, Ralph founded the DIVA/ AIDS foundation, a non-profit devoted to helping raise awareness and easing the suffering of people living with HIV/AIDS, particularly women and children. This weekend, she has a special treat lined up: she’ll be doing a one-night only cabaret show, “With Love on Valentine’s Day,” as a benefit for the foundation at the Upright Cabaret in Hollywood. This will be a rare chance to get up close to her warm, magnetic personality as she dishes out a selection of her favorite love songs for an intimate audience. “Expect good food, great music and great stories!” she says.
Sheryl Lee Ralph’s “With Love On Valentine’s Day” will be held Sunday, February 14th at 8 p.m. at Upright Cabaret (1714 N. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90046). Tickets are $25 and are available online at or at the door (if available).

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