Fil-Am stars in 'Spongebob Squarepants' musical

Don Tagala, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau

Posted at Aug 31 2018 03:21 PM

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NEW YORK – An industrial and systems engineer-turned-Broadway actress finally got a role suited to her University of Southern California degree.

Filipino-American Catherine Ricafort plays the role of Karen the Computer in the Tony-winning and 12-time Tony nominated musical "Spongebob Squarepants" on Broadway.

"It's a character that many people have known and grown up with watching the TV show all these years. And so it's a challenge to honor that original character from the TV show but also make it my own,: Ricafort said.

The musical is based on the hit animated television series "Spongebob Squarepants" on Nickelodeon.

From "Mamma Mia" and "Cinderella" to "Allegiance" and "Miss Saigon," Ricafort is now on her eighth Broadway show. 

This time, she is showing a different side to her acting skills.

"I'm playing a computer, she is the kontrabida, she is the villain. I'm always scheming with evil plans trying to make things go wrong, and yet she is funny and very likable. So this is one of the favorite roles I've played on Broadway so far," she said.

The musical promises to give fans, especially kids, everything they would love to see in a Broadway show -- fun characters in colorful costumes, an award-winning scenic design, and big show-stopping musical numbers.

Ricafort's tip for aspiring Fil-Ams hoping to make it on Broadway is to "embrace who you are."

"Once people started auditioning in New York, they get intimidated and the try to exactly fit what they think the role is asking for. But I have found that just by being me, I'm just letting that shine through the material," she said.

"Spongebob Squarepants" on Broadway will end its run at the Palace Theater on September 16. 

The musical will be back for its national tour scheduled by fall of 2019.

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