THE VIEW UPSTAIRS Teams with LGBT Community Center for Panel, Performance
The View UpStairs - the provocative new musical written by Max Vernon, directed by Scott Ebersold and choreographed by Al Blackstone - is teaming up with the New York LGBT Community Center (208 West 13th Street in New York) for a special event exploring the musical on Wednesday, February 1 at 7:00 PM.
The evening will include a musical sneak peek into the show with the cast, and a special panel will include famed journalist Michael Musto, Robb Leigh Davis (Director of Cultural Engagement for The Center), Ross Murray (Programs Director, Global and U.S. South, GLAAD) and the show's creator Max Vernon, moderated by the show's director Scott Ebersold. The cast will be accompanied by James Dobinson, the show's Music Supervisor and Orchestrator.
Tickets, which are $10, include admission, talkback and complimentary reception and are available at GayCenter.org/ViewUpStairs.
The View UpStairs, presented by Invisible Wall Productions, opens its Off-Broadway run at The Lynn Redgrave Theater at Culture Project (45 Bleecker Street) with previews beginning on Wednesday, February 15, with an official opening night on Tuesday, February 28 and running through Sunday, May 21.
The View UpStairs pulls you inside the UpStairs Lounge, a vibrant '70s gay bar in the French Quarter of New Orleans. This forgotten community comes to life in all its gritty, glam rock glory when a young fashion designer from 2017 buys the abandoned space, setting off an exhilarating journey of seduction and self-exploration that spans two generations of queer history. Inspired by one of the most significant yet all-but-ignored attacks against the LGBTQ community, The View UpStairs examines what has been gained and lost in the fight for equality, and how the past can help guide all of us through an uncertain future.
The cast of The View UpStairs features Jeremy Pope (Invisible Thread, Choir Boy) as Wes, Taylor Frey (How to Succeed..., South Pacific) as Patrick, Nathan Lee Graham (Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Zoolander) as Willie, Frenchie Davis (Rent, "The Voice") as Henri, Benjamin Howes (Scandalous, Mary Poppins) as Richard, Michael Longoria (Jersey Boys, Hairspray) as Freddy, Ben Mayne as Dale, Randy Redd (Million Dollar Quartet, Ring of Fire) as Buddy, and Nancy Ticotin (Gotta Dance, Bernarda Alba) as Inez, in addition to Richard E. Waits, Anthony Alfaro and April Ortiz.
The Center: Established in 1983, New York City's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center empowers people to lead healthy, successful lives. The Center celebrates diversity and advocates for justice and opportunity. Each year, The Center welcomes more than 300,000 visits to our building in the West Village neighborhood of Manhattan from people who engage in our life-changing and life-saving activities. To learn more about our work, visit gaycenter.org.
Through its developmental history, selections from The View UpStairs have been performed at New York Stage and Film, Joe's Pub, Goodspeed Opera House, NYU, The Living Room, Two River Theater, The Dramatist Guild, Pride Films and Plays and the Rhinebeck Writers Retreat. A concert version was presented at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater in July to raise money for Equality Florida to benefit the victims of Pulse Orlando.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS:
Max Vernon (Composer/Lyricist/Playwright) is a composer/lyricist, playwright and performer. His work has been performed and developed at Ars Nova, Actors Theatre of Louisville (Wondrous Strange, Humana Festival 2016), Lincoln Center (LC Originals), Keen Company, Disney Creative Entertainment, Berkeley Rep, TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, Naked Angels, New Dramatists, Two River Theater (NJ), Goodspeed Opera House, and Pride Films and Plays (Chicago) among others. He has received the Jonathan Larson Grant and JFund Award from the Jerome Foundation, NYFA Fellowship for Music, as well as New York Stage and Film's Founders Award. He is a former Dramatist Guild Theatre Fellow, member of Ars Nova's Uncharted and The Civilians' R&D Group. Other residencies include Rhinebeck Writer's Retreat, the Johnny Mercer Writers Colony, and Berkeley Rep's Groundfloor. His musicals include The View UpStairs, KPOP, WIRED, 30 Million, Co-Op, Show & Tell, and Nincest (book and lyrics by Jen Silverman) MFA: NYU, Musical Theatre Writing. www.maxvernon.com
Scott Ebersold (Director) is a theatre director and was recently Artistic Associate of Off-Broadway's Classic Stage Company where he directed Charles L. Mee's trilogy Imperial Dreams as part of the First Look Festival. Other credits include: Tony Kushner's A Bright Room Called Day (Columbia Stages), The Gifts of the Magi (Tilles Center for the Performing Arts), Children at Play by Jordan Seavey (The Advocate's "Top 10 Gay Plays"), Elevation (Vineyard Arts Project), The Calmative based on the writings of Beckett and Nancy Cunard, Nerve by Adam Szymkowicz, Three Sisters and Baal and Orestes (Columbia University), NYMF's Explorers concert (Signature Center), America, You Kill Me by Joshua Conkel, Paper Cranes by Kari Bentley-Quinn, Edgar and Patrick by Ken Urban, as well as the silent concerto (Outstanding Director, FringeNYC), the october crisis, marea (HERE), and expat/inferno (Best Production, FringeNYC) by Alejandro Morales. He assisted directors Tina Landau at Steppenwolf Theatre and John Doyle on the revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Allegro at Classic Stage Company. He holds a BFA from NYU and an MFA in Theatre Directing from Columbia University. www.scottebersold.com
Al Blackstone (Choreography) is a New York City based director, choreographer, and educator and the recipient of the 2011 Capezio A.C.E. Award for Choreographic Excellence. Dance Magazine has called his work "sweet, silly, sly... infectious." While working mostly in musical theatre, his passion for contemporary and jazz dance enriches his unique approach to storytelling. In June of 2016 he directed, choreographed, and wrote the original dance narrative Freddie Falls In Love at the Signature Theater (NYC). It was his second full-length work since Happy We'll Be premiered at the legendary Roseland Ballroom in July 2012. Al has created new work for "So You Think You Can Dance" (Season 12), The Fire Island Dance Festival, Broadway Bares, Dancers Responding to Aids, BC BEAT, Pace University, University of the Arts, Juilliard, and Marymount Manhattan College. Additional credits include Oklahoma! (Music Theater of Wichita), Crazy In Love (a new musical by Kooman and Dimond), Born To Dance (Princess Cruise Lines), and the opening numbers for BCEFA's Easter Bonnet(2013/14) and Gypsy of the Year (2015). As an Associate Choreographer Al has worked alongside the great Sonya Tayeh on The Last Goodbye (The Old Globe),Kung Fu (Signature Theatre, NYC), Head Over Heels (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), and The Wild Party (City Center). He is the director of Marquee at Dancerpalooza and is currently on faculty at the Broadway Dance Center and STEPS on Broadway in NYC. He tours with JUMP Dance Convention and loves coffee and old-fashioned jukeboxes. www.alblackstone.net
James Dobinson (Music Supervisor and Orchestrator) is a New York-based, Australian-born musical director and performer. New York: Clinton (MD/Arrangements), Gods & Kings (Music Supervisor), Fancy Nancy (MD), 'TIl Divorce Do Us Part (Keyboards), Mann...and Wife in Concert (MD). National Tour: Guys And Dolls 2015 Tour (Orchestrations). Australia: Moonshadow (Associate Conductor, original company), Dumped (MD, original company), Carols In The City (Orchestrations, Assistant MD, 2011-2013 TV Broadcasts), Often I Find That I Am Naked (MD/Arrangements, original company) and many more. Regional: Mann... and Wife (MD, original company), Shrek, Hairspray, Spring Awakening, White Christmas. Cast Recordings: Clinton, Fancy Nancy.
Invisible Wall Productions is the Tony-nominated Production Company. It was a co-producer on the recent Spring Awakening revival (Tony nom.), an associate producer for The Visit (Tony nom.), and a co- producer on Clinton, The Musical. www.invisiblewallproductions.com