As she prepares for opening night Broadway, Ruby Lewis hasn’t forgotten the role WKU played in launching her career.
“I’ve been talking about Ragtime a lot lately,” Lewis said of her appearance in the 2006 WKU musical, adding that she still sings her show-stopping “Back to Before” for auditions. “Ragtime gave me the confidence to believe I could be a performer.”
Lewis, a 2007 graduate of WKU’s Department of Theatre and Dance, stars as Indigo in Cirque du Soleil – PARAMOUR, the organization’s first show created specifically for Broadway. PARAMOUR has been in previews for a May 25 opening night on Broadway at the Lyric Theatre (214 W. 42nd St.).
PARAMOUR spins the thrilling tale of a beautiful young actress forced to choose between love and art in the glamorous world of Golden Age Hollywood. PARAMOUR is a landmark production for Cirque du Soleil, blending the best of Broadway with Cirque du Soleil’s signature style, to provide a new experience for both traditional Broadway musical theatre goers and Cirque du Soleil’s fans.
On the red carpet for opening night, Lewis will be wearing a vintage dress from a store in her hometown of Shelbyville.
Lewis has had numerous roles in television, film and theater productions in the past 10 years and said it was going to take something big to get her from Los Angeles to New York. Lewis was working on a show in Las Vegas when she found out she had gotten the role in PARAMOUR.
“I kinda held out for it. This one is the perfect fit,” she said of the role as the starlet Indigo. “I’m super comfortable. They wrote her to be like me. I even get to do a little coloratura which I attribute to (retired WKU voice professor) Elizabeth Volkman. I had so much fun practicing that with her.”
Lewis and other members of the cast and crew have been rehearsing for the past few months and “built the show together.”
“We watched a lot of video that had inspired the creative team, dance pieces and videos from the Cirque show Iris,” she said. “We have a few set pieces and a few costumes from Iris.”
Lewis, who sang the title track from the show during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade in November, is under contract for PARAMOUR for the next year, but looks forward to maintaining connections with WKU Theatre and Dance students.
She even has some advice for a freshman version of herself: “Be serious about all aspects of the business. Spend a lot of time being kind to yourself. People will follow up with who I’ve worked with before, so you need to be dependable and smart about things.”
Contact: Julie Pride, (270) 779-2560