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Q&A: Ruby Lewis brings Marilyn Monroe to life in ‘Marilyn! The New Musical’

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|by Debbie Hall |

Diamonds are Ruby Lewis’s new best friend

The extraordinary world of Marilyn Monroe is now being told, musically, onstage at Paris Las Vegas in Marilyn! The New Musical. Acclaimed Broadway actress and Strip performer Ruby Lewis brings the icon to life, capturing the essence of Marilyn. Ruby spoke with ShowTickets about the unique experience of portraying the woman who embodied so much more than her sexy, bombshell image.

Ruby Lewis recreates an iconic scene from 'The Seven Year Itch' as Marilyn Monroe in 'Marilyn! The New Musical'

Ruby Lewis recreates an iconic scene from 'The Seven Year Itch' as Marilyn Monroe in 'Marilyn! The New Musical'

What made it different for you to create an icon from the point of view of her driver, Charlie?
Ruby Lewis:
I really got to focus on the Marilyn behind closed doors, as well as the dichotomy between the public and private Marilyn. She had to deal with stresses within her marriages, as well as insecurities and fears that stemmed back to her childhood, including alienation and abandonment. She was very close to the people she allowed to be close to her. They were her protectors, and that is how the audiences will see her through her driver Charlie in the show.

How does the music convey her life story, especially the original numbers?
Ruby Lewis:
The original music gives Marilyn a voice that we otherwise would never hear. I feel that many songs are inner turmoil or extreme joy. They are all meant to convey how she felt as she was struggling with being the biggest star in the world.

Why, in your opinion, does Marilyn Monroe remain a legend?
Ruby Lewis:
Marilyn continues to be a true pioneer. She stood for much more than many of her films conveyed. Before taking on the role, I did not realize she was such a humanist and humanitarian. What a big voice for feminism and a real lover, intellectual and delicate soul. That’s what makes an icon an icon. We can learn from how she conducted herself in a very misogynistic environment.

The play includes Jayne Mansfield, and it has been reported that there was a rivalry between the two stars. What was it like for you to interact?
Ruby Lewis:
I still think many celebrity feuds are fabricated for the media and tabloids. Marilyn and Jayne were friends behind closed doors. Our big production number “Battle of the Blondes” is very cheeky, and pokes fun at the fact that Hollywood forced the feud upon them.

How is her search for Mr. Right conveyed through your character?
Ruby Lewis:
I believe Marilyn loved with her whole heart. When she realized that love is not perfect and would not fix everything, she would give up on relationships.

What was it like for you to portray such an icon?
Ruby Lewis:
Quite large shoes to fill! I feel indebted to Marilyn in so many ways and portraying her onstage is a dream come true. I take it very seriously and do my very best nightly to pay her due respect, and to give her fans a real glimpse into the woman she truly was, and not just her public persona.
Don’t miss the chance to see this electrifying Broadway-style musical. Marilyn! The New Musical will be going on a summer hiatus from Tuesday, June 19, through Monday, September 3, 2018, and will return Tuesday, September 4.The show will run Tuesday through Sunday at 7pm through Sunday, June 17.

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