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Ruby

musicals and operas · s. claus · Ages 21+ · flashing lights · world premiere · United States of America

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Review by ERIK BLAIR

June 12, 2016 certified reviewer
tagged as: sexy · fun · charming · musical · humor · sexual · virgin · dancing · singing

What I liked

  • The Cast: This cast’s energy and charm was infectious and delightful throughout.

Saudia Yasmein’s wonderfully brash and bold fairy godmother more than dominated the stage whenever she appeared, giving the show a perfect setting of tone and humor.

Chris Smith’s at turns goofy, nerdy, and suave-to-the-point-of-psychosis Tommy offered a wondrous foil for our main character to play off of constantly—and Smith does his part with great timing and fun and I looked forward to each of his transformations.

And then there was Christina Rose—the best part of this show for me. Her Ruby was a joy to behold in all of her forms—first innocent and confused, then transformed into the epitome of sexuality so effectively in voice and mannerisms she almost appeared a different actor. And through it all, a great voice and great performance. Rose weaves the entire cast together with her ability to maintain the thread of Ruby’s journey and she does it in a way that I greatly admire.

  • The Production: This production is a hell of a lot of fun to watch! With constant animation projections, great choreography, perfect 1970’s costumes and even some surprising puppetry moments, S. Claus has used the Three Clubs space really effectively and it makes the entire play a viscerally exciting event. I found myself grinning throughout.

What I didn't like

There were some minor problems with the mics that equated into some people being very loud, others being too quiet and the occasional feedback. But having worked shows at Three Clubs myself, I don’t hold that as being this production’s fault—it’s tough getting sound to work there sometimes.

My overall impression

Ruby’s got a problem—her boyfriend, Tommy, wants to sleep with her and she’s just not feeling it. What to do? Have her fairy godmother send her back to the 1970’s. of course! And with that, this VERY FUN, hip and sexy musical is off and running.

I came to see this show because the general idea of the plot was intriguing. And I wasn’t disappointed—it’s exactly as goofy, strange and joyous as I wanted it to be. It happens because it does, the explanations are only as necessary as they need to be and it’s all for fun. And in a show like this—that’s all you need. Because the joy in this type of show comes from the music, the performances, the dancing and the humor.

And Ruby hits on all fronts. The performances are great—all of them. Ruby, Glendale (the Fairy Godmother-in-Training), the boyfriend (multiple-times-over) Tommy—are all strong. The dancing and choreography and strong. And the humor is both genuine and surprisingly inspired, especially when there are costume changes and/or unexpected additions to the stage (that I’m not going to spoil).

The standout of the show for me, however, is Christina Rose. Her performance as Ruby was dynamite—especially later in the show, as she began to reach songs where the plot expected her to take on more strength and poise. Rose’s performance is one of the strongest female performances I have seen at Fringe this year and I consider myself lucky to have seen it.

Finally, the music was super appropriate to the show and I thought that most of it was great. I appreciate quite a bit that they have even put together a CD of the music so that audiences can take the songs with them, as the cast sings more than well enough that such is a great idea.

Ruby has charm and a little bit of sexiness—and that makes it a great one-hour stop on the 2016 Fringe tour.

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