Confessions of a Showgirl: A showgirl’s review of Cirque’s ‘Paramour’ on Broadway

Ruby Lewis, pictured here performing in Mondays Dark at the Joint in December 2015, is now starring in Cirque du Soleil’s Paramour on Broadway in New York City.
Denise Truscello, WireImage
Maren Wade

Sometimes showgirls have to take vacations. Typically, we work six nights a week, so a long, lavish vacation is normally about three days. But believe me, those three days seem like a whole, heavenly lifetime.

I had to go to New York for a wedding. As showgirl fate would have it, my trip was timed perfectly with the debut of Cirque Du Soleil’s Paramour. I’ve been dying to see this show for many reasons, but mainly because the female lead, Ruby Lewis, wowed audiences here in Vegas for a few months in For The Record: Baz. I was envious of her role in Baz back then, so I figured it was only appropriate to check out Paramour and be envious of her starring role on Broadway now. She didn’t disappoint.

From the perspective of a showgirl, this is pretty much the dream scenario of making your way to stardom. An uber-talented and beautiful ingénue gets discovered in a nightclub. A producer tells her he will make her a star and catapults her to notoriety and success. This is the basic storyline of Paramour. Okay, I have a confession to make: There’s a love triangle in the plot, as well. But my point is, the storyline of the show is actually what I think happened to Ruby Lewis while she was in Vegas. I can’t be sure because I don’t actually know her, but I’d like to think it happened that way. A girl can dream, right? I mean, she can dream for someone else, right?

Anyway, there I am in the Lyric Theater, anxiously awaiting the start of this spectacular new show that everyone is dying to see. And then it hit me! I’m the only one from Vegas who is going to see this show in its early stages! I have privileged information that no press in Vegas has yet. When does that ever happen? Normally, showgirls are the last to know everything.

So I figured I would give a showgirl’s review of Paramour and here it is! Oh, I guess I should get to talking about the show. It is my understanding that Cirque du Soleil set out to do something different with this production. If the goal was to compete with Broadway musicals while adding their signature Cirque style, then they succeeded! The acrobats were amazing! The production was truly innovative and cleverly executed. The actors were phenomenal. On the slightly negative side, I felt the storyline and some of the score was not as strong as it could have been. But having said that, I can’t emphasize enough that if anyone from Cirque is reading this, I have no journalistic pride and will take that back upon being hired.

Even if they don’t hire me, I think what made Paramour truly special was the unique element of the acrobatics in a more real-life setting. It felt like one minute I was watching a big Broadway show, but all of a sudden these crazy acrobatics would happen in scenes and scenarios where they were least expected. For example, there would be a bar scene, and then a patron would suddenly be roller-skating on top of a table. Or a big chase scene where characters are jumping from building to building doing flips and dives. It somehow made the acrobatics of Cirque even more awe-inspiring, put in a setting that resembled real life. I mean, fake real life, ‘cause it’s onstage, but as real life as you can get, when it’s fake life. I’m confusing myself now.

Anyway, I loved the show and would highly recommend it to anyone who is a Broadway and Cirque fan. But more importantly, I’m grateful for what it’s done for me and my street credibility in Vegas. When I got home, I felt like a star! It was almost like being the star of a Broadway show. Everyone came up to me wanting to know what Paramour was like! Even my editor! For once, I had the breaking story! I’ll tell ya, a showgirl could get used to this ...

Follow Maren Wade on Twitter @marenwade and read more Confessions at ConfessionsofaShowgirl.com. See Maren in 50 Shades! The Parody at Bally’s Las Vegas Hotel and Casino. For tickets visit 50shadesvegas.com.

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