BWW Interviews: Ruby Lewis Gets Us Ready for TUTS' WE WILL ROCK YOU
Theatre Under the Stars (TUTS) is kicking off 2014 with the multi-award-winning musical WE WILL ROCK YOU. Featuring twenty-four hits from the iconic music group Queen, this musical is sure to be one rocking evening of musical theatre! WE WILL ROCK YOU is a dystopian show that takes place in a future age. In a place and time where individuality is off-limits and where music is forbidden, the musical follows a band of rebel Bohemians that are striving to bring the power of rock and roll back to the people. Playing the female lead, Scaramouche, Ruby Lewis took time out of her busy schedule to let us know what Houston audiences can expect from this production of WE WILL ROCK YOU.
BWW: When did you first know that you wanted a career in the performing arts?
Ruby Lewis: I was a freshman in college. I went in Undeclared, because I didn't think that a theatre degree was necessarily the smartest route. I thought that maybe I needed a backup plan, but once I got to Western Kentucky and just started performing in that setting, I thought "Well there's nothing else I ever really want to do." That's kind of when I really just bit the bullet, changed my major to musical theatre, and just decided to go all in. I have just been pursuing it ever since.
BWW: Are there any words of wisdom that you can share with those aspiring to make a career in theatre?
Ruby Lewis: Yeah, lately I have just been thinking a lot about humility. You know, there's so much buzz going on now with Actor's Equity and the contracts that are coming out. But I think back to when I started, and when you're starting out, you have to be willing to work for very little or for free and take apprenticeships. I think it's really just about building a network of people who will recommend you or who will ask you back. I just think that it's really important to start your career with a really strong work ethic and to show everyone that you're really unique and capable as an actor, but also that you are also easy to work with. So, I just say get out and do anything and everything that you can when you are starting, meet as many people as you can, and be a good person. (Laughs)
BWW: You play Scaramouche, the female lead in WE WILL ROCK YOU. What has been the most rewarding part of being involved with this production?
Ruby Lewis: Well, personally, she's a really interesting character to play. We're similar in many ways, but we're very different in many ways, which is just a lot of fun every night. I would say singing the music is probably the most fulfilling because I've been listening to this music for as long as I can remember. To be in a show where I am actually singing this iconic music is really...I think it's going to be a highlight of my entire professional career. That's how amazing Queen was, so I feel pretty blessed.
BWW: Okay, I have to ask. I know that it's hard to pick, but what is your favorite Queen song?
Ruby Lewis: For the longest, longest time I'd have to say "Another One Bites the Dust." I don't sing it in the show, but I've just always loved it. It's just one of those songs that you turn on, you feel determined, and you feel like you can take on the world. (Laughs)
BWW: That's a good one. What is your favorite song that you sing in the production?
Ruby Lewis: I love singing "Somebody to Love." It's my first big number in the show, and I have a chance to really connect with the audience and introduce Scaramouche. And they respond to her really well. They can see that she is really struggling and just really wanting to break out. It's a really powerful song, so it's probably one of my favorite songs to sing in the show.
BWW: What has been the most challenging part about preparing for this role?
Ruby Lewis: Well, we all felt like we had some pretty big shoes to fill. In preparing for the vocals, I had a lot of anxiety, you know? Singing this stuff, especially for eight shows a week, is certainly challenging. It's a challenge that I'm facing for the first time. Also, keeping up with my vocal health, and just making sure that I can really do Freddy and the rest of Queen justice every night, keeping it fresh and exciting.
BWW: Without giving away too much, what can Houston audiences expect from WE WILL ROCK YOU?
Ruby Lewis: Well, they can expect an escape from their everyday lives. The story will really put you in a different time and place. It's something that I think audiences don't know what to expect when they sit down, and all of a sudden you are transported into another world. A world in which you are allowed to laugh, you are allowed to love, and you're allowed to just stand up and wave your arms and rock out. It truly is a theatre experience unlike any other.
With a stellar soundtrack and spectacle to fit, this is one show that you don't want to miss! WE WILL ROCK YOU will be running at the Houston Hobby Center for Performing Arts from January 22 to February 2, 2014. For more information on WE WILL ROCK YOU or upcoming TUTS productions please visit www.TUTS.com or call 713-558-TUTS (8887).
All photos © Paul Kolnik. Photos courtesy of Theatre Under the Stars.