Nathan Lee Graham, Robin De Jesus, Jason Tam Lead Industry Readings of THE VIEW UPSTAIRS This Week
The cast of THE VIEW UPSTAIRS features Frenchie Davis (RENT, The Voice) as Henrietta, Nathan Lee Graham (Priscilla..., Zoolander)as Willie, Robin De Jesús (In the Heights, La Cage aux Folles) as Freddy, Ben Mayne(Plaid Tidings) as Dale/Cops, Doreen Montalvo(On Your Feet!, In the Heights) as Inez, Justin Matthew Sargent (Rock of Ages, Spider-Man) as Patrick, Jason Tam (If/Then, A Chorus Line) as Wes, Clarke Thorell (Annie, Hairspray) as Buddy, and Michael Winther (33 Variations, Mamma Mia!) as Richard. The Production Stage Manager is Linda Marvel and the Assistant Stage Manager is Genevieve Kersh.
THE VIEW UPSTAIRS is described as follows: "In coming so far, what have we left behind? Wes is a handsome young man who thinks he has it all ... but does he? After buying an abandoned space in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Wes unexpectedly finds himself transported back to 1973 in all its 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."
Although the characters in THE VIEW UPSTAIRS are imagined, the events that inspired the musical are real. On the last Sunday in June, 1973, an arson attack occurred at a gay bar in the French Quarter of New Orleans called the UpStairs Lounge. The resulting blaze killed 32 people. 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 creative team for THE VIEW UPSTAIRS includes Matt Aument (Music Director), Spencer Liff (Choreographer), Jason Sherwood (Scenic Design Consultant), Rebecca Feldman (Casting Director), Susan Finch (Dialect Coach), Joseph Travers (Fight Choreographer) and Patrick Sulken (Associate Music Director).
Through its developmental history, selections from THE VIEW UPSTAIRS have been performed at Joe's Pub, Goodspeed Opera House, NYU, The Living Room, NYMF, Two River Theater, The Dramatist Guild, Pride Films and Plays and the Rhinebeck Writer's Retreat.
THE VIEW UPSTAIRS is produced by Invisible Wall Productions, Inc. For more information, visit www.invisiblewallproductions.com.
ABOUT THE CAST/CREATIVE TEAM:
Max Vernon (Composer/Lyricist/Bookwriter) 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 has received the Jonathan Larson Grant and JFund Award from the Jerome Foundation, 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) He hopes to one day dismantle patriarchy and steal yr grandma's sequin blazer. MFA: NYU- Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program. www.maxvernon.com
Scott Ebersold (Director) 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'sAllegro at Classic Stage Company. He holds a BFA from NYU and an MFA in Theatre Directing from Columbia University.www.scottebersold.com
Matt Aument (Music Director) is a New York-based orchestrator and music director. As conductor and arranger, his theatrical work includes the 2015 Broadway production of Gigi, Prospect Theatre Company'sTamar of the River, andMedea/Macbeth/Cinderella with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Additionally, he has created new orchestrations for Camelot at Drury Lane Theatre, Bells Are Ringing with Berkshire Theatre Group, and concerts including Kristin Chenoweth at Carnegie Hall. Matt works particularly on new musicals and has been involved in the development of works by Sam Willmott, Tim Rosser and Charlie Sohne, Drew Fornarola, and Rebekah M. Allen.
Spencer Liff (Choreographer) Broadway: Spring Awakening, Hedwig and the Angry Inch. He's best know for his work on the past 7 seasons of FOX's So You Think You Can Dance which have earned him 2 Emmy nominations for Best Choreography. Other TV: Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris, Dancing with the Stars, How I Met Your Mother, Parks and Recreation, Mike and Molly, 2 Broke Girls, The Latin Grammy Awards and The Emmy Awards Film: Speech and Debate. Other regional theater includes the world premiere of Sleepless in Seattle: The Musical (Pasadena Playhouse), Circus in Winter (Goodspeed), Two Gentlemen of Verona: A Rock Opera (Shakespeare Theatre Company), Oliver! (Human Race Theatre), World Of Color (Disneyland), Saturday Night Fever (Royal Caribbean). As a performer he's been seen on Film, TV, and 5 Broadway shows winning the 2008 Astaire Award for Best Male Dancer on Broadway. Thanks for the amazing support from Victoria Morris and WME. Twitter & Instagram @spencerliff website Spencer-Liff.com.
Frenchie Davis (Henrietta) is originally from Los Angeles, California and studied theatre at Howard University. Her theatrical credits include RENT (Broadway), Dreamgirls, Ain't Misbehavin', and Cinderella Enchanted. Television/Film credits include The OWN Network's "Wanda Sykes Presents: Herlarious;" voice-over work for the Nickelodeon cartoon, "Wonder Pets;" and The SyFy Channel's "Dead 7." She is also a Grammy nominee. When she is not performing, she devotes her time to her other passions: social activism and education. She is in the final year of her MBA and plans to begin applying for her doctoral studies next year. Many thanks to this awesome cast and production team for this incredible experience and many thanks to Professor Vera Katz for her tutelage.
Nathan Lee Graham (Willie) Here are a few highlights of the ubiquitous, unique, singular, multi-talented star of stage, screen, and film. Nathan Lee Graham, can be seen in the recently released Zoolander 2!, reprising his role as "Todd" from the original cult hitZoolander. Mr. Graham has also been seen in other hit films such as Sweet Home Alabama and Hitch. He has had success on television in such classics as Absolutely Fabulous, Scrubs, Law & Order: SVU and the critically acclaimed The Comeback on HBO. Mr. Graham has had the distinct pleasure to originate roles on Broadway in The Wild Party and Priscilla Queen Of The Desert: The Musical, as well as Off- Broadway in Wig Out!, Hit The Wall, and The Hunger Artists. He has broken ground regionally as the Emcee in Cabaret, and tour de force performances in The Colored Museum at Huntington Stage and Dead And Breathing at CATF. This Grammy award-winning artist for Best Classical Album 2005 is a consummate concert performer, singing in venues from coast to coast.
Robin De Jesus (Freddy) Broadway: Wicked, In the Heights (Tony nomination, Drama Desk Award), La Cage aux Folles (Tony, Drama Desk nominations), RENT. Select Off-Broadway and regional: Domesticated (Lincoln Center), In the Heights, Patti Issues, Mother Jones, Aladdin, Two Gentlemen of Verona, Grease and Godspell. Select film: Camp, Hairbrained, Gun Hill Road, Elliot Loves, 11:55 Holyoke, Fat Girls. Select TV: "Law & Order: SVU," "How to Make It in America." Cabaret: Crush to Crushed and The Struggle is Real (54 Below.) Tweet, Instagram and Vine @RobinOfJesus
Ben Mayne (Dale/Cops) Ben is thrilled to be working with this incredible group! Tours: South Pacific. Regional: Les Miserables, Forever Plaid, Plaid Tidings, Summer of '42, South Pacific, Buddy Holly Story, Chamberlain: The Musical, Sweethearts of Swing, Sweeney Todd, The Drowsy Chaperone, I'll Be Seeing You. TV: "Vinyl" on HBO. Thanks to friends and family for their endless love and support!
Doreen Montalvo (Inez) is a theatre/television/film performer and recording artist. She is currently recording her solo album "American Soul/Latin Heart" for a release later in 2016. Doreen has just recently been featured in the upcoming musical On Your Feet!, the story of Gloria and Emilio Estefan which performed at the Oriental Theatre in Chicago this past spring and on Broadway at the Marquis Theatre. She toured the country in the First National tour of Flashdance: The Musical in the role of Louise. An original cast member of the Tony Award winning In The Heights performing as the Bolero Singer, as well as understudying the roles of Daniela, Camila, and Abuela Claudia. Doreen can be heard singing on many CDs including 3 Broadway Cares Christmas albums, Dare To Go Beyond, for Revolucion Latina, the original cast recording of In The Heights, Giant, Desiree, Frida and more and in 2004 released her solo debut CD, Volvere with Meme Solis. Other theatre credits: Cubamor at New York Live Arts, The Piper at Irish Repertory Theatre, AMAs reading of the new musical The Countess of Storyville, Disenchanted at the Cherry Lane Theatre, and starring in the critically acclaimed one-woman musical Havana Under The Sea. Television credits include: "The Tale of Timmy Two Chins," "Elementary," "Smash," "The Good Wife," "Law and Order," "One Life To Live" as Dr. Baez, and also on "All My Children" as the voice of Consuelo (the telenovela soap star), and Clara the Chandler Maid. She is an avid canoe/kayacker and splits her time between the Pocono Mountains and New York City where she resides with her husband Mike and her Lhasa, Bandit.
Justin Matthew Sargent (Patrick) starred in the Broadway productions of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark (Peter Parker), Rock of Ages (Drew), and was in the original Broadway company of Bonnie and Clyde. He has performed regionally at Sac. Music Circus, Bay Street Theatre, and Orlando Rep. TV/Film: "Mr. Robot," "Royal Pains" and "Delocated." Justin has also toured with Queen: A Symphonic Spectacular, and Tenors of Rock. Much love and thanks to Beth Rosner and the gang at Stone Manners Salners.
Jason Tam (Wes) Broadway: If/Then (David); Lysistrata Jones (Xander); A Chorus Line (Paul); LES MISERABLES (Gavroche). Off-Broadway: Marry Me A Little. Tour: LES MISERABLES. Regional: Guthrie Theater; Sacramento Music Circus; Casa Mañana; Sharon Playhouse. NY/Workshop: Nobody Loves You; Allegiance; The Last Goodbye; US; Clueless; The Black Suits; The Nightingale; The Yellow Wood. TV: "Do No Harm"; "Hawaii 5-0"; "Guilty" (FOX pilot); "One Life to Live"; "Beyond the Break". Film: Every Little Step (documentary). BFA from NYU Tisch.
Clarke Thorell (Buddy) A San Diego native, Clarke Thorell made his Broadway debut in The Who's Tommy. He originated the roles of Corny Collins in the Broadway company of Hairspray, Jim Farrell in Titanic, and most recently welcomed boos & hisses as Rooster Hannigan in the Broadway revival of ANNIE. Clarke pinch-hit for John Pizzarelli at Radio City Music Hall in Sinatra: His Voice. His World. His Way, stepped into the long-running Mamma Mia! as Harry Bright, and starred opposite Megan Hilty in New York City Center Encores! production of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Last fall Clarke starred in the critically-acclaimed, Cloud Nine at Atlantic Theater Company (in which he played a 4 year old British girl named Cathy). Other Off-Broadway & regional credits includeSatellites, Lone Star Love, Sondheim's Saturday Night, Sondheim's Wise Guys, Orsino in Twelfth Night, and Homer in Floyd Collins. Film and television credits include "House of Cards," "The Good Wife," "The Knick," "30 ROCK - Meet The Woggels," Men in Black III, "Boardwalk Empire," "NYC 2-2", "Law & Order - SVU," The Winning Season, and "The Sopranos". Clarke debuted his NYC solo concert, "Songs I Wish I'd Written" At Birdland Jazz Club, regularly performs at Feinsteins/54 Below & across the U.S. As a vocalist Mr. Thorell has performed with Sting, Dave Brubeck, Liza Minnelli, ABBA, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Red Clay Ramblers, Pete Townshend, and is a proud member of Michael McElroy's Broadway Inspirational Voices. He maintains a lifelong dream of becoming the next official voice of Disney's Donald Duck.
Michael Winther (Richard) Broadway: 33 Variations, Mamma Mia!, 1776, Artist Descending a Staircase, The Crucible and Damn Yankees. He received Drama Desk and Drama League nominations for his solo performance in Songs From An Unmade Bed at NYTW. In October, he starred in the world premiere of Fred Hersch and poet Mary Jo Salter's song cycle, Rooms Of Light. Recent credits include: Next To Normal at Baltimore/Centerstage; Frank London and Neil Berger's A Night In The Old Marketplace in São Paulo; Tectonic's The Laramie Project Cycle at BAM/Harvey Theatre; Fred Hersch and Herschel Garfein's My Coma Dreams (NYC, Berlin, San Francisco); Merrily We Roll Along (City Center Encores!). Regional: Loving Leo (Weston Playhouse); 33 Variations(Ahmanson/CTG); Plaid Tidings (Old Globe); Band Geeks! (Goodspeed Musicals); Little Miss Sunshine (Sundance Theatre Lab); Grey Gardens (Theatreworks/Palo Alto); Most Wanted (La Jolla Playhouse); Falsettos (George Street); The Boys from Syracuse(Baltimore/Centerstage) and The People's Temple (Guthrie and Perseverance Theater). Concert appearences include: Lincoln Center's American Songbook, Merkin Hall, Town Hall, 54 Below, Joe's Pub, Birdland, The Metropolitan Room, Ars Nova and Robert Kapilow's "What Makes It Great?" Film and television: "Boardwalk Empire," "Hostages," The Avengers, Meet Dave, Jumper, The Break-Up, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, "Leverage" and "Law & Order." Graduate of Williams College.
Jason Sherwood (Scenic Design Consultant) New York: Sojourners (Off-Broadway, Playwrights Realm); Songbird (Off-Broadway, 59E59); Charles Francis Chan... (Off-Broadway, Walker Space, NAATCO); Seawife (Naked Angels, Off-Broadway); The Eternal Space (Theate Row). Regional: Cake Off (Signature Theatre); The Circus In Winter (Goodspeed); Jasper In Deadland (Seattle's 5th Avenue Theater); The Whipping Man (ALLIANCE THEATRE); The CA Lyons Project (ALLIANCE THEATRE); Company (Bucks County Playhouse), Choir Boy (Studio Theatre). Upcoming: Taming of the Shrew (Shakespeare Theatre); Paint Your Wagon (Seattle's 5th Avenue Theater), Cat On a Hot Tin Roof (Berkshire Theatre Festival). Sherwood is the 2013 LiveDesign Magazine "Designer to Watch." NYU grad.
Photo Credit: Matt Dunivan