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THE FRIDAY SIX: Q&As with Your Favorite Broadway Stars- MAMMA MIA!'s Elena Ricardo

THE FRIDAY SIX: Q&As with Your Favorite Broadway Stars- MAMMA MIA!'s Elena Ricardo

Welcome to THE FRIDAY SIX: Q&As with your favorite Broadway stars. Want to know what hooked them to a career in the theater? Their dream roles? Their Broadway crushes? Read on!

In this week's edition, we caught up with Elena Ricardo, who is starring as 'Sophie Sheridan' in Mamma Mia!- currently playing at the Broadhurst Theatre.

What is the first Broadway show you ever saw?

I'm pretty sure it was THE LION KING, which obviously was spectacular! But if I had any say in it, it would have been JEKYLL AND HYDE. That was one of my first Broadway albums and I listened to that thing on replay everyday. Imagine a 6 year old belting out "Bring on the Men" to her parents. Not a good sign...My parents took my older sister to see it and left me behind because they thought it would be too scary for me!!!

What is your most unique pre-show ritual?

It's not very unique but I like getting warmed up before I leave my apartment. I'll do a physical warmup with some mindless reality TV in the background, then I'll turn the shower on hot and sit outside of it to do my vocal warm-up in the steam. My cats usually hang out on the other side of the door and meow along. They're either trying to join in or begging me to stop. Once I get to the theatre, I like to get dressed early and sometimes I'll join in with the our "Abs Club" right before the overture and get in some pre show crunches. The crew does it too!

What is your most memorable "the show must go on" moment?

It was my senior year of high school and I was playing 'Mrs. Lovett' in our production of SWEENEY TODD. Years of school plays, classes, and camps had led up to what I thought was the most important show in my "career." First show was awesome but then I woke up the next day and I had NO voice. Full on laryngitis, swelling, just no sound. I had three performances left and had no clue how I was gonna make it happen with no understudy. So after a day of liquids, silence (I actually carried a dry erase board around school...not cool) and immense praying, I somehow managed to get enough sound out to make it seem like 'Mrs. Lovett' had simply smoked a little too much in her lifetime. It was kind of a blessing in disguise because this incredible new voice I had to use for the last few shows totally opened up a new world of character choices and ways to play that I didn't think of when I was full voice. The traumatic experience was well worth it. It's on YouTube! Check it out!

What is the one role you want to play before you die?

'Juliet' in ROMEO AND JULIET! I'm a hopeless romantic and this show is just the epitome of being swept away by our impulses and desire to love another person. There's only a little bit of time left that I could convincingly play a teenager so someone hire me quick! On the complete other end of the spectrum, if miss my chance with R&J, I'd love to play 'Regina' in ROCK OF AGES. It's such a cool track! Wait, but I also love 'Katherine' in NEWSIES! Ahh there's so many!!! How can anyone choose ONE!?

Who is your Broadway crush?

Caissie Levy. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE a man who can sing but Caissie is just the whole package. There's nothing she can't do! She effortlessly sings in the stratosphere while still conveying every single emotion so clearly and then looks stunning while doing it. Did I mention she's also one of the kindest people on earth? Broadway boys are wonderful but Caissie is the real deal.

Where can people stalk you online?

Please dont stalk me. You'll be so bored. But if you feel like you must, I'm on Facebook and have an awesome website you can check out!

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