On 28 February, Max Vernon’s new musical The View UpStairs premiered Off-Broadway at The Lynn Redgrave Theater. It ran until 21 May but in that short time made a lasting impact.
The musical explores the oft-forgotten story of New Orleans’ The UpStairs Lounge, a crucial place in LGBTI history. Four years after the 1969 Stonewall Riots, a 1973 arson set the club ablaze, killing 32 people. It was the largest attack on the community until last year’s Pulse shooting.
Wes (Jeremy Pope), a designer, is the main character of the show. He plans to turn the abandoned building into a clothing boutique in modern day. Through the magic of music, however, he’s transported to 1973, learning the true history of the site and meeting some truly unique characters.
With inspiration from David Bowie, The Rock Horror Picture Show, and Hair, there’s no shortage of uniqueness within the songs.
‘Those scores opened me up to a more expansive and imaginative world that celebrated eccentricity, and oozed sexuality and freedom,’ Vernon told the Post. ‘My hope is some weird, queer, artsy kid coming up will discover this music and it will mean something similar to them.’
Legions of fans, including RuPaul
Beyond the soundtrack, the show also began a new slew of performances last night. It’s kicking off the Triangle Players’ 25th Anniversary Season and running through 2 September.
It’s also set its west coast debut for 22 September. It will be playing for Celebration Theatre’s 35th Season at the Lex Theatre.
Plenty of people already love the relatively new show as well, most notably RuPaul. After seeing the show, the star tweeted:
I loved the show! Y’all were FABULOUS! https://t.co/nXMhWRO5xS
— RuPaul (@RuPaul) March 5, 2017
Fans are loving that the soundtrack is finally available too.
Look what came in the mail!! Finally I got the The View Upstairs CD!! pic.twitter.com/Q8y6M0zcmo
— margery karbeling (@margerykarbelin) August 9, 2017
I've been waiting for this to come out!
The View UpStairs (Original Cast Recording) by Various Artists https://t.co/sgqZjWTQdo
— Scott McQ (@Satyr69) August 11, 2017
Plus, when user rachsyme asked people their top 5 musicals, numerous people cited The View UpStairs.