Frenchie Davis, Nathan Lee Graham and More to Lead Reading of Max Vernon's THE VIEW UPSTAIRS
A reading of award-winning composer/lyricist/playwright/performer Max Vernon's new musical THE VIEW UPSTAIRS, directed by Scott Ebersold with music direction by James Dobinson, begins rehearsals today in New York City and will culminate in three industry presentations on October 20th and 21st.
THE VIEW UPSTAIRS is produced by Invisible Wall Productions, and they have just announced the following cast and creative team:
The cast of THE VIEW UPSTAIRS features Ato Blankson-Wood (The Total Bent, Lysistrata Jones) as Patrick, Xavier Cano as Freddy (Grease, RENT), Frenchie Davis (RENT, The Voice) as Henrietta, Julian Fleisher as Buddy (February House), Nathan Lee Graham (Priscilla..., Zoolander) as Willie, Troy Iwata as Wes (The Lightening Thief, K-POP), Ben Mayne (Edwin, Plaid Tidings) as Dale, Don Meehan as Cops (The World Wars, Soul Doctor), Doreen Montalvo (On Your Feet!, In the Heights) as Inez, and Timothy Britten Parker (Wicked, RENT) as Richard.
In coming so far, what have we left behind? In THE VIEW UPSTAIRS, Wes, an ambitious young designer on the verge of greatness (or abject failure) buys an abandoned space in the French Quarter of New Orleans to launch his fashion empire. His plans are put on hold when he suddenly finds himself transported back to 1973 in all its gritty glam rock glory. Step into the sexy, vibrant, glitter-drenched world of The UpStairs Lounge where the drinks flow, worlds collide and love ignites. Inspired by one of the most significant all-but- forgotten acts of violence against the LGBTQ community, The View UpStairs explores how much queer culture has evolved over the last 40 years, and what has been gained and lost in the march towards equality.
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, NYMF, Two River Theater, The Dramatist Guild, Pride Films and Plays and the Rhinebeck Writer's 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.
Composer/lyricist/bookwriter Max Vernon says of THE VIEW UPSTAIRS, "In the past, the queer community was largely bound together by a shared experience of oppression. In this 'post- equality' world, if the oppression is no longer there, what keeps us connected to our cultural history? And what are the consequences of not knowing that history?"
THE VIEW UPSTAIRS is produced by Invisible Wall Productions, Inc. Invisible Wall Productions is the Tony-nominated producer of The View UpStairs, currently slated to run Off-Broadway in 2017. 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. For more information, visit www.invisiblewallproductions.com.
Max Vernon (Composer/Lyricist/Playwright/Performer). Described by the New Yorker as "equal parts bohemia and Broadway," Max's work has been performed and developed at Ars Nova, Actors Theatre of Louisville (Wondrous Strange, Humana Festival 2016), Keen Company, Berkeley Rep, TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, Naked Angels, New Dramatists, Theatreworks USA, Two River Theater (NJ), Ma-Yi, Dixon Place, LaMaMa, Goodspeed Opera House, Pride Films and Plays (Chicago), among others.
He is a recipient of the Jonathan Larson Grant, New York Stage and Film's Founders Award, New York Foundation of the Arts Fellowship, and the JFund Award from the Jerome Foundation. He has been a Dramatist Guild Theatre Fellow, and an artist in residence at Rhinebeck Writer's Retreat and the Johnny Mercer Writers Colony. He is currently a member of Ars Nova's Uncharted, and former member of The Civilians' R&D Group. He has performed over a hundred concerts in New York City, including sold out shows at Joe's Pub (Frisk Me: The Songs of Max Vernon), Lincoln Center (LC Originals) and The Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Civilians' Let Me Ascertain You).
His musicals include The View UpStairs (NYU, Pride Films and Plays, Invisible Wall Productions), 30 Million (Keen Company) and WIRED (Ars Nova) Developing: KPOP! (Ars Nova/Ma-Yi/Woodshed Collective); Co-Op (Ars Nova, Naked Angels Radio); Show & Tell (Jerome Foundation, Civilians R&D Group); Nincest (Berkeley Rep Ground Floor) MFA: NYU- Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program. Visit www.maxvernon.com for more information.
Scott Ebersold 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. 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 (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. Go to www.scottebersold.com.
James Dobinson New York based, Australian born. New York: Loch Lomond, Music Director, Co-Arranger (in development); Clinton, Music Director & Arrangements (New World Stages/Original Cast Recording); Gods & Kings, Music Supervisor; Fancy Nancy, Music Director (Vital Theatre/Original Cast Recording); 'TIl Divorce Do Us Part, Keys; shows at 54 Below, Laurie Beechman, and ~20 readings! Regional: Mann...and Wife (Original Company), Hairspray, Spring Awakening, Shrek, White Christmas. Australia: Moonshadow (Associate Conductor, Original Company); Dumped (MD/Conductor, Original Company); Often I Find That I Am Naked (First National Tour, MD/Arrangements), and many more. Orchestrator: Guys & Dolls (2015 USA National Tour); Carols In The City (National Broadcast - Network 10, Australia), First World White Girls (currently touring Australia), plus commissions for orchestras, film & TV. James is represented by the Paradigm agency.