Lewis, who has appeared in national tours of Gypsy, Grease, Jersey Boys and We Will Rock You, will make her Broadway debut in the role. She previously appeared in Cirque du Soleil’s For The Record: BAZ, a post-modern cabaret inspired by the films of director Baz Luhrmann.
Cirque's president and managing director Scott Zeiger said, "Ruby is the kind of young actress theatre producers dream of discovering. Her powerhouse voice, electrifying dancing, and masterful acting are going to leave Paramour audiences in awe. She’s a star in the making and I’m thrilled to have her make her Broadway debut in our show."
Previews for Paramour are still scheduled to begin April 16, 2016, but the opening night has been moved up from the originally announced June 2 to May 25. The new date still leaves the show eligible for the 2017 Tony Awards, not 2016's.
Paramour is booked into Broadway's largest theatre, the Lyric, which was purchased in 2014 by London’s Ambassador Theatre Group.
The show is described thus: "Set in the glamorous world of Golden Age Hollywood, this groundbreaking event spins the tale of a beautiful young poet forced to choose between love and art. Featuring a cast that blends the best in circus arts and musical theatre, Paramour will transport you to a world of sublime beauty and emotion as it walks the exhilarating tightrope of the heart." The songs are credited to Cirque songwriting team "Bob & Bill" (creative aliases for Guy Dubuc and Marc Lessard), but no librettist is listed.
The production announced that casting for the rest of the 38-member company of actors, dancers, aerialists, acrobats and circus arts performers will be announced shortly.
Press notes describe Paramour as "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. The show will have many of the elements beloved on Broadway: a book-driven love story narrative, live musicians, and professional actors in lead roles; but with the Cirque du Soleil aesthetic integrated throughout the show: visionary production design on a grand scale, world class entertainment, and acrobatic feats that defy the imagination."
Paramour will directed by French stage director and choreographer Philippe Decouflé. The creative team includes Jean-François Bouchard (creative guide), Jean Rabasse (set designer), Philippe Guillotel (costume designer), Daphné Mauger (choreographer), Patrice Besombes (lighting designer), Anne‐Séguin Poirier (props designer), Olivier Simola (projection designer), Christophe Waksmann (projection designer), John Shivers (sound designer), Shana Carroll (acrobatic choreographer), Boris Verkhovsky (acrobatic performance designer), Pierre Masse (rigging and acrobatic equipment designer), Nathalie Gagné (makeup designer), Pascale Henrot (associate creative director), West Hyler (associate creative director and scene director), Pavel Kotov (casting – Montreal), and Telsey + Co (casting – New York).
Tickets for Paramour are on sale now via Ticketmaster.com or by calling (877) 250-2929. Ticket prices range $55-$145 (all prices include a $2.50 facility fee). Rush policies and date for the Lyric Theatre box-office opening for the show will be announced in the coming weeks. For more information on Paramour visit ParamourOnBroadway.com.
Founded in 1980 as a dance troupe, Cirque du Soleil (Circus of the Sun) has had spectacular success internationally with its touring New Vaudeville-style circus shows, including Dralion, Saltimbanco, Quidam and Zarkana, and with specialty shows like Viva Elvis! and Michael Jackson: One in Las Vegas. In New York the shows have generally played at Radio City Music Hall and sometimes in a big-top tent set up on Randall’s Island in the East River. For two years the Tony Awards had to vacate Radio City because Cirque had booked the theatre for the entire month of June. Cirque du Soleil Theatrical will also produce the Broadway revival of The Wiz, also planned for 2016-17.
One of its few misfires was a vaudeville-influenced show, Banana Shpeel, which played a cut-short five weeks at New York's Beacon Theatre in 2011.
The company was recently sold to a private equity group, though the Broadway project appears to have been in the planning stages long before the sale.