Interview: For The Record's Recurring Ruby Lewis Excitedly Returns To LOVE ACTUALLY LIVE

For The Record’s perennial holiday favorite Love Actually Live returned to The Wallis November 29th.

By: Dec. 01, 2023
Interview: For The Record's Recurring Ruby Lewis Excitedly Returns To LOVE ACTUALLY LIVE

Interview: For The Record's Recurring Ruby Lewis Excitedly Returns To LOVE ACTUALLY LIVE

For The Record’s perennial holiday favorite Love Actually Live returned to The Wallis November 29, 2023. Commemorating the film’s 20th anniversary, Anderson Davis directs the cast of Tomasina Abate, Madison Taylor Baez, James Byous, Chris Cockrill, Audrey Cymone, Anthony Fedorov, Brayden Gleave, Grace Kinstler, Parissa Koo, Doug Kreeger, Austin Lesch, Ruby Lewis, Chris Mann, Jordan Ann Martone, Brian McKnight Jr., Darrell Morris Jr, Nina Nelson, Spencer Schaffe, Drew SeeleyRex Smith, Alkaio Thiele and Cheyenne Isabel Wells.

In the midst of previews, Ruby found some time to answer a few of my queries.

Thank you for taking the time for this interview, Ruby!

This is not your first time in Love Actually Live. Will this be your fourth or fifth time?

This is my third time in Love Actually, but in a role that is brand new to me. I have loved seeing the show grow to what it is now from the first production in the Lovelace Theatre so many years ago!

Interview: For The Record's Recurring Ruby Lewis Excitedly Returns To LOVE ACTUALLY LIVE You have played the dual roles of Juliet and Mia before. Now you’re playing Sarah. Do you like taking on a different role? Or would you rather reprise Juliet/Mia? 

I have found that singing Joni Mitchell songs as Sarah has allowed me to explore the depth and emotion of that character in a way that is extremely cathartic. I'm loving this role.

How would you compare and contrast the characters of Sarah, Juliet and Mia? 

There is a loneliness and a certain longing in Sarah's character that isn't as palpable in the roles of Juliet and Mia. The joy of playing Juliet is certainly in the wedding scene at the top of the show. I absolutely love coming literally down the aisle and the subsequent celebration that follows over the course of three amazing group numbers. It's also fun to play the 'bad guy' as Mia, tapping into a sensuality and being able to dance (I started my career in theatre as a dancer.) Sarah is stoic and continuing her on-screen story through song is just, for me, storytelling dreams. 

Which role do you have more fun with? 

Interview: For The Record's Recurring Ruby Lewis Excitedly Returns To LOVE ACTUALLY LIVE Again, they all have their place and give you something to sink your teeth into. However, at this time in my life as an artist, I'm having a lot of fun with Sarah. Also, I believe Laura Linney was right around my age when she shot the film. I relate to Sarah now more than ever. 

Will the songs be the same as the past production’s? Or will there be some newer songs inserted? 

You'll hear all of the same songs, but every year the production value of the songs becomes richer, fuller, more moving. 

I have seen you in a number of For the Record productions.  When and how did you first become involved with their shows? 

As a newbie to L.A. back in 2010, I would show up at Barre on Vermont on Mondays for open mic night to work on audition songs. I got on the mailing list and received a notice that For The Record was auditioning for a production of Baz. I attended that audition and while I wasn't cast in that production, I joined the cast of John Hughes a few months later and have been involved in For the Record in some capacity ever since! 

You performed in New York, Los Angeles and Las Vegas. If you closed your eyes, could you differentiate between these three city’s audiences? 

Interview: For The Record's Recurring Ruby Lewis Excitedly Returns To LOVE ACTUALLY LIVE When it comes to a For The Record show, the audiences always sound the same. As the show begins and they start to understand what the show is about, how amazing the performers are, how immersive it is, how freaking exciting it is, the energy is palpable (and audible) regardless of the city. 

Do you find it more challenging to take on the role of a known celebrity (i.e., Betty Hutton and Peggy Lee in Lights Out: Nat ‘King’ Cole at The Geffen Playhouse and Marilyn Monroe in Marilyn! The New Musical at Paris Las Vegas) than a fictional character (i.e., Indigo in Cirque du Soleil’s Paramour)? 

There is certainly a level of responsibility that comes with recreating an icon. Honing in the mannerisms and general essence of another human has its challenges. But creating a new character from scratch has its challenges, too. You are responsible for the back-story, the mannerisms, the point-of-view. In a way this takes more creative fortitude and a bit more courage. 

Interview: For The Record's Recurring Ruby Lewis Excitedly Returns To LOVE ACTUALLY LIVE Do you prefer performing as Ruby Lewis in your cabaret shows or enveloped in a scripted character? 

Even in my cabaret shows, I find I take on an elevated character of myself. There's so much to explore as a character that moves beyond this small-town Kentucky girl. I love getting to know the ins and outs of a character, even if the character is one I've created myself. 

What other real-life personalities would you like to get your acting chops into? 

I remain enamored by the women who came up in the studio system- I would love the chance to tackle Hedy Lamarr, Marlene Deitrich, Debbie Reynolds.

What next in the future for Ruby Lewis? 

Interview: For The Record's Recurring Ruby Lewis Excitedly Returns To LOVE ACTUALLY LIVE Maintaining a foothold in this industry will never be easy, but my goal is to maintain relationships and find projects which continue to inspire me and connect me with people who love storytelling as much as I do. I continue to work on new cabaret shows and have an exciting side-project researching sound-healing and integrating it into popular music. 

Thank you again, Ruby! It was great to see your Sarah after seeing your Juliet and Mia.

For tickets to the live performances of Love Actually Live through December 30, 2023; click on the button below:

Love Actually film Director Richard Curtis is graciously donating his royalties from this production of Love Actually Live to UK-based charity Comic Relief.




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