Monday, December 18, 2023

Get to Know Actress Actress and Singer Ruby Lewis, Currently Starring in Love Actually Live at The Wallis

Ruby Lewis, starring as Sarah in For the Record's Love Actually Live at The Wallis in Beverly Hills.
If you live in Los Angeles and you're around during the holiday season, there's one activity absolutely worth doing — taking in a performance of Love Actually Live at The Wallis. I've seen it twice, and it's been overwhelmingly fun and joyous both times. That's thanks in large part to the astonishingly wonderful cast, helmed this year by the incomparable Ruby Lewis playing the part of Sarah (and, on the night I saw it, doubling as Natalie). I sat down with Ruby to chat about her beginnings in musical theater, how she came to be part of this quintessential LA holiday tradition (that's now celebrating the movie's 20th anniversary!), and even some of her go-to beauty product favorites. Keep reading to find out more!

You're no stranger to Love Actually Live, since it's your third time performing in the show! What keeps you coming back?
The only reason I've missed years is because I've been out of town. It's become a holiday tradition for me. It's my family, it's like being home for the holidays.

This year, you're playing Sarah. What drew you to the role?
As I've gotten older, I'm more drawn to the melancholy songs that I can really emote through, and really do continue on the arc of the character. Being from Kentucky, trying to find a different sound, I've bene able to indulge myself in the Joni Mitchell stuff.

Are there any songs you're really excited about performing this year?
I love "River," it's heartbreaking. "Both Sides Now" — what I would consider one of the 11:00 numbers of the show. It ends up being a four-part song and is so powerful. "Puppy Love" is so fun too as an ensemble song that always gets a good reaction.

You're no stranger to For the Record, who produces this show. What keeps you coming back for more performances with them?
2011 was my first show. Having been in LA for a year at that point, I was searching for people to be my tribe. I was living in Thai Town and I discovered a bar on Vermont Avenue. They were doing open mic nights for musical theater people. I started going on Mondays and got on the mailing list. I saw the auditions for Baz. I met these people, I became privy to the whole concept and thought it was brilliant. Subsequently, became really close friends with everybody. It's made my entire career, to be honest. It's led to things in Vegas and on Broadway that otherwise I wouldn't have been considered for. I owe my career to them. Anytime they call, I pick up the phone!

How did you first become interested in performing?
I've been doing theater my whole life. It feeds me in a way that no other kind of performance will. Can't stop won't stop! My parents met in community theater in my hometown — my mom was directing The Music Man and was Marian, my dad was doing sound and lights. I got my start in the same community theater, it was something I always wanted to be a part of. I never decided on LA, but came off the tour of Grease and had spent some time in LA on that tour, and that initially brought me out here.

Let's talk about your beauty and skincare routine a bit! What is your daily beauty and skijncare regimen — and does it change when you're performing and wearing a lot more makeup?
My skin hates wearing stage makeup every day. My nighttime routine with astringents has been important, making sure everything is out of my pores.

My biggest secret is hot yoga. I go every day before the show and sweat it all out.

Because we wear wigs, I use a strengthener and hair mask.

What are your top beauty essentials?
I always use Kiehl's — I find it's gentle enough but gets the job done.

I use Olaplex because I have fine hair, so it needs a little help.

I've turned on to a lot of bar soaps, including for my hair. It's been kind of a game changer! 

What are some things you do for fun when you're not performing?
I travel a lot, do a lot of cruise ship work and symphony out of town work. Traveling is a side job of mine. 

I've been enjoying playing tourist wherever I am and wherever the gigs take me. I've been loving solo travel. I had my first trip to Amsterdam, and that was life changing.

If you're in the LA area, definitely be sure to get tickets for Love Actually Live before it ends on December 30! Tickets are available at The Wallis.

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