Redefining Diva: Life Lessons from the Original Dreamgirl

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Redefining Diva: Life Lessons from the Original Dreamgirl

Format:  Paperback,

200 pages

Edition: Original

Publisher: Pocket Books

Publish Date: Mar 2012

ISBN-13: 9781451608427

ISBN-10: 145160842X

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The following content was provided by the publisher.
You may think that Sheryl Lee Ralph earned a legion of devoted fans and the title of Ultimate Diva by being a star of Broadway, film, and television, but Sheryl Lee believes a Diva is something far more special.
- A Diva loves the woman she sees in the mirror.
- A Diva owns her talent and her strength.
- A Diva knows the first step on the road to fame is respecting herself.
SHERYL LEE RALPH'S superstar performance as the original Deena in Broadway's groundbreaking musical Dreamgirls didn't happen overnight. First came a grueling Hollywood apprenticeship, where roles for young black women at the time were often offensive and demeaning. Sheryl Lee, however, held stubbornly to the values of her mother and grandmother: she wouldn't take any part she couldn't be proud of. Even after joining Dreamgirls--where she helped create a role that grew from her own life story--she would invest years of sweat and tears before the play finally opened to instant acclaim.
In these highly personal reflections, Sheryl Lee Ralph reveals her take on her supposed feuds with Diana Ross and Jennifer Holliday, on auditioning for Sidney Poitier, on why she exited so controversially from the TV series Moesha, and how she signed away her rights to Dreamgirls for a dollar. She uses her life story to illustrate her vision: black, white, or any other color of the rainbow, a true Diva is a person of strength, character, and a beauty that radiates from within. Not just a memoir, Redefining Diva will inspire every woman (and man) who reads it to examine the potential in their own life.


Publisher: Pocket Books
Publish Date: Mar 2012
ISBN-13: 9781451608427
ISBN-10: 145160842X
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 200
Shipping Weight (in pounds): 0.4
Product in Inches (L x W x H): 5.25 x 8.5 x 0.75


Review by Library Journal (2011-12-01)

In this blend of autobiography and self-help book, actress Ralph, who starred in the 1980s Broadway production of Dreamgirls, writes of finding one's inner diva while sharing vignettes from her rise to success. As a young African American actress in the 1970s and 1980's, she faced many obstacles before her big break. This book, reflecting the remarkable woman who has long graced the stage and screen, follows Ralph's journey to Hollywood, her career successes, and her dedication to AIDs awareness campaigns.

Readers will enjoy learning about the development of Dreamgirls. At times, however, Ralph's shift from casual autobiographical recollection to "diva-in-training" advice detracts from the story as she summarizes the messages within her experiences rather than allowing readers to learn on their own from her amazing stories.

Verdict: This intriguing if occasionally moralistic autobiography explores the world of the theater and self-actualization. Recommended for theater aficionados or readers interested in African American pop culture and cultural history.

-Katie Lawrence, Chicago

(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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