Who's At The UpStairs!??!

Since we opened TVU, we've had 5000+ people walk thru our doors, including queer/theatre heroes RuPaul, Michael Kors, Charles Busch, Stephen Flaherty, Stephen Trask, Leslie Odom Jr, Justin Vivian Bond, and more. But last week was extra kooky.

Tony Winner Cynthia Erivo, Moonlight author Tarrell McCraney, Orange is the New Black's Danielle Brooks, Drag Race winner Bianca Del Rio, Tony nominee Tony Sheldon, AND gay/aids activist Peter Staley all in 5 days?? Is the universe no longer in retrograde? What's happening? Either way- So cool to meet these awesome talented peeps. I had to lose my cool a bit with Cynthia and tell her how many times I've listened to bootleg recordings of I'm Here @ 2 am on youtube. Listen, I'm not ashamed :P

So curious to see from abroad who will show up unannounced the next two weeks, but I'll be in Morocco rollin round on sand dunes and haggling bitches for Berber Brooches. In case my camel doesn't come with wifi, it's been real ya'll. xo


KPOP!! (And some more TVU 4 U)

The last two weeks I was in a pre-production workshop for KPOP @ Ars Nova. Helen & I ended up writing 8 new fully orchestrated songs with english and korean lyrics in 11 days. #nosleepteam

At the presentation agent Di Glazer captured this legendary moment of resting bitch face.

but in addition to throwing shade and writing kpop bangerz, we also know how to strike a pose, no?

Meanwhile, on the other side of the creative planet, I also did a buncha new press for The View UpStairs. Justin Sayre invited Nathan Lee Graham to join him for his monthly 'Meeting of the International Order of Sodomites." Nathan slayed the ocean of glamorous homoratti with his souldful rendition of "Theme Song" from the View UpStairs.

Next day woke up and did a public radio interview in Brooklyn for WBAI's "Artsy Farty" Which has now been archived here:


Then we ran back to Midtown for the offices of Sirius XM, where we had a live taping with Seth Rudetsky. Seth did an interview with Michael, Jeremy and Taylor, then they sang a snippet of Crazy Notion and we high-tailed it back to the theatre for our 7pm show. On the way out, I had a fun kiki with downtown legend Joey Arias who I ran into in the lobby.

And then cuz I'm here for my community, I had this interview with Corey Dejardins for his Queer AF podcast. Check it out here: https://player.fm/series/queer-af/episode-3-with-the-view-upstairs-creator-max-vernon

But what the hell is that pic above where I look like Stevie Nicks meets a prostitute from the Weimar Republic?? ...It's from my photoshoot with TimeOutNY for the In Character section! Rockin' that Daniel Chimowitz couture (thanks Daniel!) Yes for a brief moment, my mug could be seen all over subway floors in NY, before being discarded like yesterday's trash :P

Some other fun things- This feature story with TDF:


And these *fierce* interviews from Frenchie (for Soule) and Nathan (for Show-Score):




Goddess RuPaul gives Big Shout Out to The View UpStairs in W Magazine

THE KWEEN HATH SPOKEN! Thank you Ru, we are honored to have yr support. 8 fresh shows comin' at you this week. Get your tix: www.theviewupstairs.com



The View UpStairs is a hit! / Everyone's a critic

While thankfully the critics have been 95% lovely, I'm even more grateful the ones who hated it TRULY hated it with a burning fiery passion ala "A rhinestone in the rough, not a diamond. As derivative as a drag queen doing Cher." LOL hey! At least no one's sitting on the fence ;)

and other folks had a gay old time:

From The New Yorker:
"Thoughtful, with sad,beautiful love songs performed by a soulful ensemble cast"

From The New York Times:

"Likable new musical...Mr. Vernon’s score, which draws from the period’s disco, soft rock and glam sounds, is solid...unexpected and marvelous; channels a vintage camp that is all too rare nowadays."


From Theater in the Now:

"Max Vernon has scripted an exceptional story…The libretto has some holes. But some of these dramaturgical things can easily be patched up…The characters that Vernon has crafted are vibrant, leaping off the page…It’s the personal relationships that are formed that keep this musical afloat…‘The View UpStairs’ is a great work but what sets this musical apart is the magnificent production design…absolutely a must see.”


From The Out Front:

""Vernon expresses social insight well beyond his years...Vernon’s forte is his score which illuminates both the vibrancy and nuance of the spectrum in his character’s lives and emotions...The ensemble cast bringing The View UpStairs to life is poignant, sparkling, and in some sequined cases, dazzling...A new musical for even the most seasoned and experienced theatre professionals is a Herculean task; an original musical, not based on a well-known story or title, is almost unheard of in today’s commercial climate.  Max Vernon and The View UpStairs fearlessly takes on both, much like the LGBT Community whose spirit, both past and present, passionately fills The Lynn Redgrave Theatre through May 21st."


from Scatter of Opinion:

"Vernon’s musical uses the tragedies of the past to highlight the mistakes of the future...Scott Ebersold has directed this production to feel intimate, ensuring each of the characters have their time to shine and connect with the audience...Drama, music and lyrics are combined to create a thrilling experience...'The View UpStairs' is a magical, moving production that provokes important debates and a feeling of camaraderie."


From Entertainment Weekly:

"The show swells with heart, and its characters and the history they represent should rightly be celebrated and remembered. The View UpStairs is ultimately a moving homage to LGBT culture, past and present."


From Theater Pizzazz:

“An imaginative, powerful, beautifully performed theater piece…The diverse cast is uniformly strong, in their acting, singing and dancing. The brunt of the performing, however, is borne by dynamic Jeremy Pope as Wes…The show has had an interesting journey so far. Developed in part at Rhinebeck Writers Retreat and at New York Stage and Film & Vassar at the Powerhouse Theater, it deserves further travel—to an uptown house."


From Times Square Chronicles:

"Vernon’s music is infectious and I dare you to see this show without dancing in your seats...The script, though a fairy tale of sorts, hits home...Director Scott Ebersold keeps this show sparkling and though we cry, we are not called on to be maudlin, but are brought to the point where we cannot forget...The cast is energetic and each individual has moments of shinning bright and making their mark...'The View UpStairs' is an uplifting reminder of our past."


From Theatre is Easy:

"As memorable as the cast is, they’re backed up by Max Vernon’s catchy and moving songs. Everyone gets a turn, which is admirable, but certain songs land better than others...Jason Sherwood’s set design, aided by Andrew Diaz's props and set dressing, is outstanding...Just as Wes gets woke by the end, the production’s intent is clearly to have audiences not just walk out humming, but to fight back."


From The Reviews Hub:

"A phenomenal cast carries a powerful and moving experience...There are a few occasions where the out-of-time elements clash with the smoothness of the play as a whole...A tightening of these details would help drive the authenticity of the play even further. Minor specificity issues aside, 'The View UpStairs' is a poignant, exuberant, touching musical that explores a dark day in LGBTQIA history. This play is a special experience, and shows promise for a bright and successful future."


From Edge Media (Marcus Scott) :
"May be the first great musical of the post-Trump 21st century...The View UpStairs has all the ingredients of an iconic cult phenomenon."

From YesBroadway (Brookelynn Mason):
Max Vernon's new musical venture is anything but ordinary. What else do we expect from a recipient of a Jonathan Larson Grant for musical theater? True to the man himself, the score is very Rent-like: fun, fresh, and super exciting. This is the kind of music you can't wait to hear again as soon as you walk out of the theater." https://www.yesbroadway.com/showstosee/the-view-upstairs 

From Public Seminar (Lina Landstroem):
Vernon has succeeded in creating a musical that is authentic, funny, and deeply resonant. No one can leave the theatre untouched. Along with its vibrant and emotional tones, it is a show that sparks discussion about unsung heroes, queer history, and LGBTQ movements in the 21st century. The View UpStairs brings 1973 to life again, and is a must-see for any and every queer kid. I strongly advise anyone wanting to go to read up on the UpStairs Lounge arson attack beforehand, as this knowledge will contribute to the viewing experience. It is a genius musical that gives us an opportunity to utilize the past in creating our future."

From OnStage (Asya Danilova):
“The View Upstairs” is one hell of a party with glitter and dancing on the piano under a dildo chandelier. Believe me, you don’t want to miss it!"
From Dance Enthusiast:
"It is fascinating to witness the clash of different eras and attitudes not only through the always witty and often ingenious lyrics by the show’s creator Max Vernon, but also to have the divide made visible in the choreography by Al Blackstone, who juxtaposes '70s groove and 2017 posing in hilarious ways. Although this is not a dance show, the movement present underscores and imaginatively illustrates the premise. Max has created a most original piece of musical theater that is not to be missed. I look forward to revisiting Vernon’s inspired score as soon as a cast album comes out."
From Broadway Blog (Ryan Leeds):
"Thank goodness for Max Vernon, the 28-year-old wunderkind who continues to carry the torch of gay history to a new generation. Vernon, an NYU graduate, is the author, composer, and lyricist for the thoroughly thoughtful and entertaining Off-Broadway musical, The View UpStairs."
From The Daily Beast (Luis Damian Veron):
"This is heady stuff, but very effective....these people are indeed fabulous...diverse, energetic, ensemble cast...meticulous attention to detail Vernon demonstrates to the setting for his production"

From Towleroad (Naveen Kumar):
Vernon’s musical, for which he wrote the book, music, and lyrics, adds up to a series of character portraits. Some are more lovingly detailed than others, just as some numbers are more memorable, but each character has their own distinct place in this time capsule of queer experience, and it's a story worth telling."   http://www.towleroad.com/2017/03/view-upstairs-2/

From StageBuddy (Auriane Desombre):
"This show is so fantastic."


TVU Fan Art : from Kaylee Rowena

Well this is the most adorable thing I've ever seen in my entire life.

Kaylee Rowena, a very talented student at SVA, who saw The View UpStairs a few weeks back apparently got inspired and made these incredible pieces of art. Was very moved that she would use her time and creativity to play around in the world of our musical. Thank you Kaylee for the feels & "fake posters" yr fake = my real. If these have also got you GAGGING, make sure to follow her here: https://twitter.com/kayleerowena

and here: http://kayleerowena.tumblr.com/