Hometown: Atlanta, GA
Current Role: Lovely bride-to-be Sophie Sheridan in the long-running musical hit Mamma Mia!, after stints in the ensemble on Broadway and in the show’s national tour.
Stage & Screen Cred: A former competitive gymnast, Ricardo left Emerson College to appear in the original Atlanta staging of Bring It On and starred in regional productions of Spring Awakening and Next to Normal.
“My parents were Fosse dancers [Michael Ricardo and Katherine Meloche]. They met doing Dancin’ at the Broadhurst, the same theater I’m performing in now. What are the chances of that? I was a mess when they came to see me [play Sophie] because they were incredible performers and I want to make them proud.”
“I started gymnastics when I was three, and I was constantly upside down as a kid, teaching myself cartwheels and standing on my hands. I’ve always been competitive. I loved getting stronger and being able to outrun the boys.”
“In seventh grade, I set a push-up record that still stands. We had a fitness test to see how many push-ups we could do in a minute, and I cranked out 81. I weighed about 90 pounds, but I was all muscle. I couldn’t do that anymore—I have a couple of things in my way now!”
“Bring It On was the most challenging thing I’ve done. We were tumbling on a hard surface, and my body felt like it was 70 years old. The show did some recasting before the tour and I didn’t get to do it. That was my first big loss, but I booked the Mamma Mia! tour, which led me to where I am today.”
“I love the idea of a showmance. My Sky [co-star Jon Jorgenson] has a girlfriend, so we can be friends with no pressure, but I look forward to finding my own Broadway man who will pick me up at the stage door, and we can go home and talk about our crazy schedules.”
“The Winter Garden Theatre is this castle on 50th Street, so when we heard we were moving to the Broadhurst, we were reluctant at first. But the show works so well in a more intimate space. I enjoy seeing the audience, especially at the end when they’re on their feet clapping and singing.”