While The Get Down references the infamous and iconic disco club Studio 54, and a few real life artists and figures from the era are brought to life on screen, the show's characters typically get down at different hot spots. Was Ruby Con in The Get Down a real club? The boogie wonderland has a great vibe and a master of ceremonies serving you the '70s mash-up of Cabaret and Moulin Rouge that you never knew you needed.
It's not. While much of Episode 10 is devoted to the club, it did not exist in real life. Fat Annie's Bronx disco club Les Inferno wasn't real either. On The Get Down, Mylene is set to perform the sexy "Toy Box" number as an unofficial audition for Gone With The Solar Wind. First, however, the club goers treated to both the MC's song featuring the club's title, and then Misty Holloway's grand entrance and shady song "Backstabber." Lucky for Mylene, the attendees at Ruby Con have room in their hearts for two disco queens, and she ends up partying the night away in Midtown while her family in the Bronx is tragically falling apart.
Ruby Con is a gem-tastic pun on "rubicon," a word meaning a boundary line, a type of win, and river in Italy famous for its connection to Julius Caesar. It symbolizes defiance. One look at the roller-blading toga-wearing movie Xanadu will tell you why this is appealing to the disco aesthetic.
Even if it had been a real club 40 years ago, it's unlikely that you could still party there in 2017. Not many of the old New York City nightclubs are still around. They died with disco or shortly thereafter, unfortunately. Studio 54 is now part of the Roundabout Theatre Company, though it does have a cabaret space. Xenon, another '70s nightclub that started its life as an adult film house, is now the Stephen Sondheim Theatre, also part of RTC. They're the lucky ones. Other clubs like the Ice Palace and Hurrah are gone for good.
With its aisle stage and box seats perfect for spying on ingenues (and hiding from former clients), it's fun to imagine that Ruby Con was at one point a real place. This part of New York history has been largely swept away, so it's cool to see The Get Down recreate the iconic look of a '70s disco club.