Entries in The View UpStairs (24)

Monday
Nov202017

To Slay Or Not To Slay The Kennedy Center

That was the question, and the answer was SLAY! 

Of the 100+ concerts I have performed in my life, my KenCen debut last thursday was my absolute favorite. 7 costume changes, we brought our strange rock & electronic musical theatre songs about snail cream, political radicalization, dildos, piss drinking night life transsexuals, cocaine induced time travel & the apocalypse to the most elegant of stages. We even forced the men in the audience to make a pact to stop masturbating in public without consent. I have no idea how my music ended up on this stage and lord knows I probably won't be invited back, but this show was pure magic & I'm grateful this video exists as an archive. When I die someday, please remember me this way ๐Ÿ‘ฉ‍๐ŸŽคโค๏ธ

Overstaying my welcome at @kennedycenter ๐Ÿค—๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ’‹

A post shared by Max Vernon (@frauleinsallybowels) on Nov 16, 2017 at 5:02pm PST

Kennedy Center: Conquered ๐Ÿ”ฅ

A post shared by Max Vernon (@frauleinsallybowels) on Nov 16, 2017 at 4:52pm PST

Friday
Jul212017

Updates, Updates, DROWNING IN UPDATES

So, The View UpStairs ended and I got hit with a wave of Brooke Shields post-partum emotions and had to go deal with that for a moment. The past couple months have been filled with spiritually replenishing binges of netflix, ice cream, vintage 90s RPGs, crystal bedazzling, and jumping head first into my next massive creative project, KPOP!!! 

All of which is to say, I'm finally ready to dig myself out of a hole and update ya'll on all the crazy life-changing sh*t that went down between Spring and Summer. READY?? 

Here goes: 

1. I WENT TO MUTHAF*CKIN MOROCCO???? Yeah gurl I did. Here's me finding out there's a sale on Berber Jewelry happening 5 miles away.  

Someone told me there were Berber brooches on sale 3 miles away ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿผโœจ

A post shared by Max Vernon (@frauleinsallybowels) on Apr 6, 2017 at 9:50am PDT

and this tasteful photo montage.

2. The View UpStairs went on to play 105 performances, to audiences of over 12,000 people (!!!) with many sold out houses like dis one below (definitely slept with at least two of the peeps in this photo, #sorrynotsorry)

who gave us some standing O love 

 & some more sparkly queer icons showed up like Drag Race royalty Bianca Del Rio, Latrice Royale, Peppermint, as well as theatre legends ANDRE DESHIELDS, Tony nominee Keala Settle, and 90s rockstar Sophie B Hawkins. 

some even created beautiful fan art! (thank you Dramatic Inking)

3. The View UpStairs had a GIANT LED BILLBOARD IN TIMES SQUARE for a month!!! WTF??? Seeing my name up there was truly one of the most surreal experiences of my life. I'm still not sure it happened, except that I took these photos so I'm pretty sure? 

#Repost @jeremypope ใƒปใƒปใƒป hello times square ๐Ÿ’ฅ#TheViewUpstairs

A post shared by Max Vernon (@frauleinsallybowels) on Apr 14, 2017 at 8:15am PDT

4. Out Magazine wrote this dope piece about The View UpStairs, calling it "Remarkable, Revelatory, and Revolutionary" Pretty sure they were just talking about Jeremy Pope's bone structure https://www.out.com/theater-dance/2017/5/03/view-upstairs-why-diverse-queer-musical-vital-our-times

5. Was commisioned by the Public Theatre for a pop performance in their lobby commemorating the 60th Anniversary of their Mobile Unit. I pissed all over the floor, srry. 

 then later that same night, was back at Joe's Pub as the secret guest for Justin Sayre's final performance of the Meeting. A very gay ole time was had: 

6. I wore a kimono to closing night bc it's a known fact that that's what a lady do. 

and gave my final curtain speech 

7. The View UpStairs was ultimately nominated for 2 Lortel Awards, 3 Drama Desk Awards, and an Off-Broadway Alliance Award for Best New Musical- not to mention Frenchie & Nathan who won Jose Munoz awards for their amazing performances! We got dolled up all swanky like, and I crashed the Obies just cuz. 

Now with 300% more ๐ŸŒˆ๐ŸŒˆ๐ŸŒˆ #gay #offbroadway

A post shared by Max Vernon (@frauleinsallybowels) on May 23, 2017 at 6:49am PDT

8. It wasn't to be the end however bc Samuel French picked up TVU for its catalog. It will be published in the near future and is now avail for licensing (so all you kweens with theatres out there- jump on it!) 

http://www.samuelfrench.com/viewupstairs

happy to say rehearsals are already underway for new productions in Virginia (Richmond Triangle Players) and Los Angeles (Celebration Theatre), and a few more in the works I can't announce yet ;) 

9. We recorded the cast album with Broadway Records and I truly believe it is one of the greatest sounding rock musical records of all time. I say that as someone who grew up listening over and over to Rocky Horror, Hedwig, Hair, and Rent- we did it RIGHT, ya'll. I just hope the next gen of weirdo queer kids comin' up hear this record and get inspired to make some dope art...so plz preview and order that sh*t now- hot off the presses! 

http://www.broadwayrecords.com/cds/the-view-upstairs-original-off-broadway-cast-recording

10. So now, we bid goodbye to 1973 New Orleans with its gritty glam rock, cruise-y sex, tits that exploded confetti, queer history, and tale of romance, and flashed forward to KPOP- 2017 Korea, high fashion color blocked couture, dub-step beats and pulsing synths, snail mucus, pop celebrity, and nationalism. 

featuring this lovely cast of 284902131203 people! 

after only 1 week, 30% of our entire run is sold out, so don't sleep on getting tix. Use KPOPSICLE and LOLLIPOP codes to save $$$$$ http://arsnovanyc.com/KPOP

11. To feel my KPOP star fantasy, I had to give myself a lil makeover, and bedazzle I dunno...EVERYTHING!

Blinded by sparkles! ๐Ÿ˜ต๐Ÿ˜ต๐Ÿ˜ต #diycouture #fashionporn #bedazzled #kpop

A post shared by Max Vernon (@frauleinsallybowels) on Jul 17, 2017 at 8:13pm PDT

 

After 4 YEARS of development, we start rehearsals in ONE WEEK. I can't believe KPOP is finally here. Now I just gotta get that pop star body. 

Is everyone having a nice Saturday night?

A post shared by Max Vernon (@frauleinsallybowels) on Jul 1, 2017 at 7:52pm PDT

Til' next time, Kweens and KPOP idols. Gotta go slather on my snail cream :*

This is what happens when you make theatre for @arsnovanyc ๐Ÿ’ฆ๐Ÿ’ฆ๐Ÿ’ฆ๐Ÿ’ฆ #kpop #๐ŸŒ

A post shared by Max Vernon (@frauleinsallybowels) on Jun 20, 2017 at 2:33pm PDT

Tuesday
Mar282017

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



Monday
Mar202017

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

http://www.wmagazine.com/story/rupaul-drag-race-season-9-lady-gaga

Sunday
Mar192017

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"
http://www.newyorker.com/goings-on-about-town/theatre/the-view-upstairs-2

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."

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/07/theater/the-view-upstairs-review.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&_r=0

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.”

http://www.theaterinthenow.com/2017/03/review-bringing-past-to-present-to.html

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."

http://theoutfront.com/seeing-through-the-smoke-and-glitter-the-view-upstairs/

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."

http://scatterofopinion.com/paradise

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."

http://ew.com/theater/2017/03/02/the-view-upstairs-review/

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."

http://theaterpizzazz.com/the-view-upstairs/

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."

http://t2conline.com/she-says-the-view-upstairs-where-the-past-longs-to-be-heard/

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."

http://www.theasy.com/Reviews/2017/V/theviewupstairs.php

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."

http://www.thereviewshub.com/the-view-upstairs-lynn-redgrave-theater-new-york/

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."
http://newyork.edgemedianetwork.com/entertainment/theatre/reviews//211025/the_view_upstairs

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."
http://www.publicseminar.org/2017/03/when-a-bar-was-your-home/#.WMl9bRCMM_U

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!"
http://www.onstageblog.com/columns/2017/3/6/the-view-upstairs-a-some-kind-of-paradise-where-1973-meets-2017
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."
http://thebroadwayblog.com/2017/03/15/16213-view-upstairs-review-off-broadway
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"
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2017/02/28/how-the-view-upstairs-recalls-the-forgotten-gay-disco-inferno-that-killed-32.html

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."
http://stagebuddy.com/theater/theater-feature/interview-max-vernon-queer-history-activism-view-upstairs