Invisible Wall Productions and Sugary Rum Productions in association with Hayes Theatre Co have announced, due to popular demand, an additional week of performances to the Australian Premiere of Max Vernon’s hit Off-Broadway musical, The View UpStairs which commences on 8 February, will now play until Sunday 11 March 2018.
The View UpStairs draws 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 Wes, 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. While Wes gets to know the joys and struggles of this exuberant and flamboyant community, he too learns about his place in the world.
The View UpStairs is inspired by one of America’s most significant yet all-but-ignored arson attacks that killed 32 people in The UpStairs Lounge – a sanctuary for the gay and lesbian community from a hostile outside world. It 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 stellar cast includes Henry Brett (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Spring Awakening) in the lead role of Wes, a young fashion designer who embarks on this exhilarating journey. The role of Willie, an UpStairs regular and flamboyant queen of a certain age, will be played by Madison McKoy (Miss Saigon, South Pacific).
Stephen Madsen (Rent, Heathers), who was recently seen in Muriel’s Wedding The Musical, plays Wes’ love interest, Patrick, while Ryan Gonzalez (Kinky Boots, Strictly Ballroom), plays Freddie, a Latino drag queen who overcomes shame to achieve self-actualization. The role of Richard, a kindly preacher and spiritual leader, features Thomas Campbell (Misterman, Downton Abbey), while Anthony Larkin (Kinky Boots, The Sound of Music), the bar’s resident and conflicted pianist, plays Buddy.
Rounding out the cast is Markesha McCoy (The Bodybag The Panto) as Henri, Martelle Hammer (Blue Heelers) as Freddie’s mother, Inez, David Hooley (Fiddler On the Roof) as Dale, and recent WAAPA graduate Nick Errol as COPS.
Following the popular and critical success of Only Heaven Knows earlier this year, Shaun Rennie returns to Hayes Theatre Co to direct this sensitive, original piece. Costume designer is Anita Yavich (The View UpStairs, Off-Broadway) and set designer is Isabel Hudson (One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest).
Making his Hayes Theatre Co debut is musical director Nicholas Griffin (Disney’s The Little Mermaid) while Hayes Theatre Co favourite Cameron Mitchell (Calamity Jane, High Fidelity) returns as choreographer. Trent Suidgeest (Muriel’s Wedding the Musical), also from the Only Heaven Knows team, returns as lighting designer as does Neil McLean (Xanadu, Only Heaven Knows) as sound designer.
“Diverse and energetic. Emblematic of the intersection between rollicking music and tempestuous politics, The View UpStairs delivers.” – The Daily Beast
The View UpStairs
Hayes Theatre Co, 19 Greenknowe Avenue, Potts Point
Season: 8 February – 11 March 2018
Information and Bookings: www.hayestheatre.com.au
Image: Stephen Madsen and Henry Brett to star in The View UpStairs – photo by John Nicolaidis