Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014 | 9 a.m.
Two leading performers in “Le Reve — The Dream” at Wynn Las Vegas aren’t acting when they show their love and affection for each other. It is not a scripted romance — it’s the real thing.
Former Planet Hollywood Pussycat Dolls dancer Colby Lemmo, who plays the Dreamer, and former champion diver and gymnast Josh Fried have the best of love stories as Valentine’s Day approaches.
Josh had graduated college after four years of competitive gymnastics. He says that he fell in love with Colby the instant he first saw her.
Now they’ve been together for nearly three years, and twice nightly during “Le Reve,” audiences see their tender kiss, the gentle brush of their faces and their looks of love without realizing that this is the real deal.
They celebrated the 4,000th show last weekend and will toast its ninth anniversary in April.
They’re as much in love offstage and out of the water as they are on and in it.
There’s nothing I love more than a good old-fashioned love story. Colby, did Josh fall in love with you that very first moment he saw you?
Colby: It’s funny that you say it like that because that’s pretty much how it happened. I started the show about seven months after Josh had joined in August 2010. I joined in March 2011. I’m going to go out on a limb and say he probably noticed me before I noticed him! He would see me in rehearsals, and when you join a cast full of 90 people, and all the guys are bald, you can’t tell one from the other in the beginning.
Apparently he inquired if I was single, but it wasn’t until a couple months later in June that a friend request came through on Facebook from Josh. I was like, “Who’s this guy? He’s cute.”
So we connected through mutual information on Facebook. He’s from Pennsylvania, and that’s where my grandparents are from, so that was an icebreaker. Josh used to stand outside my dressing room at the call board and wait for me to come out by secretly pretending to read the lineup.
So, through that, we just kind of started talking, he pursued, we went out a couple of times. I was definitely not looking for a relationship, but he was very persistent and won me over.
Josh: I wasn’t stalking her! There were a few coincidental run-ins that I may have planned on my part. I did everything I could to try to find her in the halls here and there and make a few interactions. I was trying to play it cool. There also was a little intimidation on my part because she’s three years older than I am.
Colby: Yes, I’m a cougar! I’m 29 now, and Josh is 25.
Josh: I didn’t want to come off as young and eager. I wanted to show her how mature I was for my age, which I don’t think I did very well.
Colby: It’s funny that he said that because one day backstage when I was pretty new and just getting to know people, we started talking about age. I went around the circle and asked people how old they were. I remember Josh got extremely red and said “old enough” and wanted to end the conversation. I asked again how old are you, and he said 22. At the time I was 26, so he was definitely the youngest guy I’ve ever dated.
Separately describe what love is and what love will be on Valentine’s Day.
Josh: For me love is a lot of different things. There’s love like the way you love your family, then there’s love the way you love somebody who you’ve met who you’ve never known before. I think that for us it definitely started as an infatuation and attraction, and then over time it developed into imagining your life without that person, before that person, what it would be like if you weren’t with them anymore.
Colby: I definitely agree with Josh, there are different kinds of love. Love for your friends, love for your family, love for your significant other, but within that there’s different kinds of love that I experience on a day-to-day basis within the relationship. I always love him, I always care about him, but sometimes it’s I love you but I actually really hate you right now, or I really wish you would just walk away from me right now.
Love for me is definitely a deeper mental connection and intellectual connection. I also agree that imagining your life without that person or what it was like before that person came into your life is something that defines love because at this point I couldn’t imagine waking up tomorrow not being able to call him or see him or talk to him.
He’s also become my best friend, someone that I tell everything to and share everything with; I spend the majority of my time with him outside work. But since we work together, I literally spend all of my time with him.
There’s a scene in “Le Reve — The Dream” where you’re center stage with one spotlight on you. Josh comes running to you, and you touch his face softly. What does that mean to both of you professionally and personally? I’m trying to get at the dynamic of love working together, playing a role in the same show and then continuing it when you go home.
Colby: Professionally, it’s a point in the show where his character serves as a warning for what’s to follow with the dark prince who ends up being far less a dreamy guy. Personally, it’s definitely a very interesting journey to be able to work with your significant other and explore different worlds and dimensions of an emotional connection of a story line that’s not your real life story — to be somebody else within somebody else’s dream or vision of who these characters are meant to be.
Josh: I don’t view it as a warning as such. I definitely agree that it’s a conversation, but it’s sort of a personal outlet I channel any time that I’ve been in a relationship and specifically the one I’m in now where I’ve been frustrated and I’ve been fighting for the relationship and fighting for the love that I feel for this person.
The solo to me is words in movement, and it’s me expressing frustration and anger and hurt. It’s not just a strong person out there performing a dance or an act; it’s somebody baring their emotions. When I do that, depending on where we’re at in our relationship; on days when things are perfect, that solo is not that easy to do because it’s hard to tap into those emotions, but in times when we were going through rocky roads and tough times, there were times out there where I was performing the solo and truly 100 percent feeling that I was fighting for our relationship and I was expressing my hurt.
The way that the story goes in the show is very similar to what I was experiencing in my life, having to walk away and be patient.
Do you both think of “Le Reve” as a love story?
Colby: Oh, yes!
Josh: For me, it definitely is a love story. The story starts and ends with love, but at the same time, it’s about her as the Dreamer going through a personal journey, as well. It’s a love story on top of a personal journey and a personal exploration, so it’s a little bit of both.
Colby: I agree. There is definitely a love story and from my perspective I start off as a girl and I end up as a woman. For me, it’s a love of life, as well; a love of life and adventure and new experiences because everything and every world she enters within this dream is a new experience, is a new adventure, and it’s just opening her eyes to the many different facets and areas of love.
Josh, how do you avoid talking shop when you’re at home together? I’m presuming that you’re living together, right?
Josh: We spend most nights of the week together. We live about one block away from each other, so as close to living together as you possibly can. As far as talking shop, it takes a lot of self-control on both ends. We see each other all day long and work together, and it’s very easy to fall into the pattern of coming home and talking about what we experienced all day.
We kind of have to force ourselves not to talk about work. Colby definitely has a core group of friends outside work, and we have to find other interests and things to discuss because we can stay in the same pattern and stuff all day long.
Unlike other production shows, you’re really set apart because your faces aren’t covered in heavy outer-world makeup. You’re human and experiencing human emotions. Your cast is of baldheaded people.
Colby, have you ever seen Josh with hair?
Colby: I’ve only seen photos of him with hair when he was younger. The longest it’s ever been is when we have two weeks dark for vacation, however long it will grow in that two weeks. He’ll be a different man whenever we leave the show.
Josh, you went from high school diver and gymnast to taking that spectacular plunge from the 90-foot-high ceiling. So, Colby, as he does that, is your heart in your stomach? Or you’re so used to it now, you don’t pay attention?
Colby: I’m so used to it now, but I have an eye for it now that when something is not right, I know that something is not right. So I’ll always check in with him afterward, sometimes not in the most loving way: “Hey! You really kind of messed up that high dive. What happened there?” I can tell.
I think you have to realize that he’s falling for you every night. Oh, that was so bad and so corny! Forgive me! Both of you, tell me why visitors to Las Vegas have to see “Le Reve.”
Colby: The first time I saw the show, my heart literally skipped a beat; it took my breath away. The visual spectacular that you see when you come to the show I had never seen anywhere else at any other show. I’ve spent a fair amount of time researching and watching shows and knowing what it is that I wanted to be a part of. When I saw “Le Reve,” it literally was a dream of mine to be part of this show, and I still after all this time feel the same way about it today.
There’s a story line throughout the entire show, which if you choose to follow it and connect with it, you can. If you’re more into the acrobatics sense of it and the amazement of watching these acrobats and swimmers and dancers and clowns and characters, you can pick any part of the show that you want to connect with and leave feeling inspired or mystified by how it was done.
There’s no other show that I would recommend people to go and see. When people ask what I do, I say, “Oh, I’m in “Le Reve,” and I’m not tooting my own horn, but it really is the best show in town, and I’m proud to be a part of it and recommend it.”
Josh: For me, the difference in seeing “Le Reve” and seeing another show on the Strip is that they are really like watching an action movie. A lot of big special effects, and you walk away from it saying, “Oh, that was cool, I saw some really neat stuff.” You see “Le Reve,” and it touches your heart. It doesn’t just stay with you an hour later; it stays with you the rest of your life. When you follow our characters, you truly feel for them.
Some things you’ll understand and relate to on a personal level, and some things you don’t. The other beauty of it is you can see it this year or you can see it in three or five years, and it’s a brand new show in so many ways. It evolves and changes; you know you never have the same dream twice in the same way.
Have your families been out to see both of you in the show?
Colby: The last time that my parents were out here and watched the show was around the time that Josh and I had first started seeing each other. They’re coming again in March, so it will be interesting to see if they say anything about us interacting with each other in the show. My parents are just so proud.
Try not to spoil any surprises, but how will the two of you spend Valentine’s Day. I take it both of you are working that night with two shows. So, Josh, do you plan something after you finish work or are you so exhausted, you have to wait and plan something special on your night off?
Josh: We don’t mind doing stuff after work. We’re usually pretty energized after two shows. Colby is pretty simple with things like Valentine’s Day, so I’ll organize dinner and flowers and chocolates, all the typical traditions. Maybe a few gifts, nothing extravagant. She likes simplicity.
Colby: The same. I was even going to say we’ll probably celebrate Valentine’s the day before because that way we could spend the whole night together because there are some nights, especially on a Friday first day back, I think after two shows, we usually come in and do workouts, two shows, then it’s 11 p.m., and I get tired. So I’m gonna put my recommendation in for the day before.
Josh: We probably have a date with Netflix.
Colby: Nope! Dinner, movie, flowers!
True love stories and wonderful romances always have to have a happy ending, so, Josh, when do you pop the question?
Josh: It may sound cheesy as I’ll tie it into “Le Reve”: The Dreamer in the show goes through a journey, and she goes through a lot of different things to find herself. I think as a couple right now, we’re about halfway through that journey, and we’re going to find where it’s going.
We have a lot of new adventures to go through together, and I think that on an individual level, we’re still achieving certain things. Until we both have achieved those things, we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. Right now, we’re just enjoying the day-to-day.
Colby and Josh, I know you have yearly contracts, but how long are you both committed to the show?
Colby: I think it depends on how long our bodies hold up. I’m close to 30 now. I think that as long as we continue to be inspired and grow as performers and individuals together with the show, then we’ll stay as long as it’s the journey that we’re on. You don’t leave “Le Reve” and go somewhere else.
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In addition to the VIP packages of champagne, chocolate-covered strawberries, bonbons and VIP seating, perfect for Valentine’s Day, “Le Reve” has started backstage tours from 4 to 5 p.m. daily as of the 4,000th show.
Guests never know what or who they’ll see, but with 12 hours of rehearsals and training every week, you’ll probably get to meet Colby and Josh warming up. If you spot that “something extra” about the two of them, now you know their love story.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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With world-class dining, shopping, spas, golf and entertainment, there's no shortage of things to do at Wynn. The resort’s aquatic acrobatic show, “Le Reve—The Dream,” a creation by Cirque Du Soleil veteran Franco Dragone and Steve Wynn, will leave guests wanting more with its breathtaking performances that conjure an imaginary world. The Wynn Esplanade offers a unique shopping experience with stores including Chanel, Manolo Blahnik, Christian Dior, Oscar de la Renta and many more. Tryst is its signature nightclub, offering a secluded lagoon inside the club and spacious dance floor. Blush, the Wynn’s ultra lounge, draws swanky party-goers. Tryst, Wynn’s signature nightclub, is situated along a private lagoon under a 90-foot waterfall and plays host to some of the world’s most renown DJs.