Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Musical Mashup Makes “Love Actually” Actually Loveable

Whether you’re in the Los Angeles area or not, you should become familiar with For the Record Live, also known FTRLive.

For the Record may have invented the theatre mash-up. They first received notice when they weaved together songs from famous directors and created a jukebox musical so to speak, creating a story from the songs they plotted together.

They started with musicals called “Tarantino” and “Scorsese” which had large followings and a great fanbase. Then they really hit their pinnacle with “Baz,” with songs from Baz Luhrmann movies. This show was so successful that it went on to Las Vegas.

Many of their shows get cult status and, thus, they have taken their shows to various cities and festivals, finding a following that has grown nationwide.

Last year they added “Love Actually Live” to their repertoire. This show actually doesn’t follow the songs from a particular director, but it is one of the most beloved Christmas movies of our time and FTRLive has added their special touches.

“Love Actually Live” is back and is currently playing at The Wallis Anneberg Center for the Performing Arts through Dec. 29, 2019.

I managed to catch up with one of its stars between her many projects. Ruby Lewis, who has been involved with FTRLive for seven years and is playing dual roles in the current production, has been seen in many TV shows and won theatre acclaim as Marilyn Monroe in a musical that originated in Las Vegas.

But her focus right now is on “Love Actually.” “The movie has been a holiday go-to for me since it came out,” Lewis says, “I love that everyone can find a storyline that is relatable.” She adds that it doesn’t take itself too seriously, but has “a sincerity to it that I find so charming.”

This show really reaches Lewis as well thanks to its reception. “Audiences are on their feet. I think the marriage between film and live theatre is surprising and incredibly impressive. The musical arrangements in particular seem to enamor our crowds.”

Lewis got involved with FTRLive early on. “I was relatively new to Los Angeles and trying to find a place where I could work on my vocal book in a live setting,” she says. “So, I auditioned for the company just as they were expanding their space on the east side and I’ve followed them to Chicago, Las Vegas and all over LA since!”

Between For the Record shows, Lewis has been busy working on an album. “I’ve found a producer and team of visionaries who truly ‘get me’ as an artist, and I am so excited to see what we come up with. I’ve had a lot of fun developing my own shows this year, and I’m hoping to do more of that next year as well.”

Further, while she’s waiting for a feature film or TV series opportunity, Lewis is always happy working with For the Record and perhaps a return to the “Marilyn” musical. “There are murmurings in and among the Vegas community that the show is still a possibility. There is certainly a set and a lot of costumes waiting to be resurrected!”

For the Record is also a great showcase for all kinds of talented folks: Tony Winner John Lloyd Youung, Tony nominee Carmen Cusack, “America’s Got Talent” finalist Brian Justin Crum as well as Rumer Willis, Constantine Rousouli, Tracy Thoms (“Rent” and “9-1-1”) and Evan Rachel Wood, among others. “Love Actually” has features teen heartthrob Rex Smith!

To add a bit of coolness to your holidays, go to “Live Actually Live” and go to

Kevin M. Thomas

Kevin M. Thomas, or @ReelKev, is an arts blogger and entertainment reporter. In addition to his own website, and ReelKev YouTube channel, Kevin used to be the LGBT arts writer for and contributes to as well as a semi-regular on San Francisco's cable TV show, "10 Percent."

Kevin M. Thomas has 156 posts and counting. See all posts by Kevin M. Thomas

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

I accept that my given data and my IP address is sent to a server in the USA only for the purpose of spam prevention through the Akismet program.More information on Akismet and GDPR.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.