Michael McElroy, Nathan Lee Graham & More to Lead Concert Performance of Max Vernon's New Musical THE VIEW UPSTAIRS, 6/24
On June 24 acclaimed singer/songwriter, composer, artist and playwright Max Vernon presents a concert performance of his brand new musical theater piece, The View UpStairs, at the Living Room on NYC's Lower East Side. Directed by Eric Hoff (Hit the Wall), Vernon will be joined on stage by a full band and a cast of Broadway, Off-Broadway, film and television regulars that includes Tony nomineeMichael McElroy (Big River, The Wild Party, Rent), Nathan Lee Graham (The Wild Party, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Zoolander),Katie Thompson (Big Fish, Giant), Andrew Durand (War Horse, Spring Awakening), Blake Daniel (Spring Awakening), Doreen Montalvo (Giant, In the Heights), MJ Rodriguez (Rent) and Rania Salem Manganaro (Hit the Wall). The evening will feature songs and narration from the show.
The performance takes place on the 40th Anniversary of the event from which the musical takes its inspiration: the UpStairs Lounge Fire, a 1973 arson attack at a New Orleans gay bar that killed 32 people and remains the deadliest massacre in U.S. LGBT history. "It's shocking to me that most people have never heard of the UpStairs Lounge Fire, given its significance," Vernon says. "Even as a queer studies major, the fire was never mentioned in any of my classes. Now, with the recent violence and hate crimes occurring around NYC, it feels more important than ever to tell this story and reclaim this event."
Known both for his theater compositions and his own performances and recordings as a solo artist, Vernon has received praise from The New Yorker, New York Magazine, New York Post, Time Out New York, W Magazine, RollingStone.com, and many others. He scored the short film State Debate, and his music can be heard on the LogoTV web series "EastSiders." His cover of Katy Perry's "I Kissed a Girl" was included on Engine Room Recordings' Guilt by Association Vol. 2.
Vernon's theatrical work has been performed and developed at venues including Joe's Pub, Dixon Place, La MaMa, Ars Nova and NYU/Tisch. As a visual artist he was commissioned by Emmy award-winning designer and stylist Patricia Field (Sex and the City) to create art for the windows of her flagship NYC store, and was chosen for the ART.WRITE.NOW atelier program, where he painted in front of live audiences in a glass storefront at the World Financial Center.
Tickets are $12 in advance/$15 at the door.
Photo Credit: Monica Simoes