Broadway’s Catherine Ricafort: Getting the role, living the dream

Performing at Stars in the Alley concert. Photo by Elton Lugay

Performing at Stars in the Alley concert. Photo by Elton Lugay

By Elton Lugay

What a pleasant surprise!

Broadway actress Catherine Ricafort performed with the cast of “Cinderella” at the Stars in the Alley concert on May 21, featuring Broadway musicals currently in production.

I was hoping to see Adam Jacobs, who plays the lead in “Aladdin,” but he was a no-show. Indisposed, according to producers.

Catherine was there, doing an ensemble number with the cast of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s beloved “Cinderella” topbilled by Carly Rae Jepsen and Fran Drescher.

“I just joined ‘Cinderella’ a couple of weeks ago and right now I got to share the stage with Ann Harada and a lot of amazing people on Broadway,” she told The FilAm in an interview after the concert at the Shubert Alley.

The “Cinderella” role came on the heels of Catherine playing Ali in “Mamma Mia,” one of the girlfriends of the lead character Sophie Sheridan.

This actress seems to have no problem getting plum parts in an industry where, according to the Asian American Performers Action Coalition, Asians are underrepresented. Among Asians, it is said that Filipinos form the biggest ethnic group on Broadway.

“I’ve been cast in a lot of shows that have nothing to do with being Asians, such as ‘Cinderella,’ ‘Mamma Mia.’ They brought me in because I think I showed something with my talent and my enthusiasm,” she said.

She would love, she said, for Filipinos to “really write more of our stories, produce more and support each other because if we want to be on the stage more, we got to create those opportunities.”

Catherine also noted “a lot of progress” being made in color blind casting.

A graduate of Industrial and Systems Engineering with minor in Musical Theatre in California, Catherine
moved to New York to chase her dream of becoming a performer.

Her Manila-born parents encouraged her love of singing which emerged at the age of 3.

“I went to the Montessori school (in the Philippines) and that’s where I kind of started doing music ‘cause you know, Filipinos love music,” she recalled beaming.

She joined a school play and got inspired to pursue a singing career.

“We had this full-out production of ‘Goldilocks and The Three Bears’ and also ‘Hansel and Gretel.’

“That was like my star turn when I stepped into the role of baby bear because the actor playing it got sick. That was my first moment on the stage that’s where I got the acting bug.”

Her other theatre credits included ‘Connie’ in “Chorus Line” and ‘Cherish’ in the web series musical “Prison Dancer.”

Her dream role is one where she originated the role of ‘Mahi’ in “Honeymoon in Vegas” by Jason Robert Brown.

“That is the ultimate dream role because I am the one who gets to originate it. No one else has played it before me. I got to work with the writers themselves in how to really shape the role.

“I also get to play that role opposite Rob McClure who is a Tony nominee for ‘Chaplin’ and it was really an out-of-this-world experience! I had this awesome solo where I’m driving a Barbie pink jeep.”

The play premiered at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, New Jersey in the fall, and currently in talks to go Broadway.

The two-hour concert, Stars in the Alley, was produced by the Broadway League to celebrate and generate support for Broadway productions. Participating shows included “Chicago,” “Les Miserables,” “The Lion King,” “Mamma Mia,” “The Phantom of the Opera,” “Rock of Ages,” “Wicked” and “Hedwig and The Angry Inch” whose lead ‘Lena Hall’ is the first transgender to be nominated for a Tony.

Watching her fellow actors and performers was a treat for Catherine.

“Seeing the stars sing their solos and hearing the music performed live on the stage, it makes me really grateful to be where I am,” she said.

'I think I showed something with my talent and my enthusiasm'

‘I think I showed something with my talent and my enthusiasm’

One Comment

  1. M. wrote:

    Elton, than you very much for this remarkable report about an upcoming Fil-Am actoress.

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