The View UpStairs


The View UpStairs

Full-Length Musical, Drama  /  2w, 8m

“Vibrant! The View UpStairs is a moving homage to LGBT culture, past and present. The show swells with heart.” – Entertainment Weekly

Image: 2017 Off-Broadway Production (Kurt Sneddon)

  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
    2w, 8m
  • Duration
    105 Minutes
  • SubGenre
  • Audience
    Target Audience
  • Nominee! 2017 Off-Broadway Alliance Award, Best Musical
    Nominee! 2017 Audelco Award, Musical Production



When Wes, a young fashion designer from 2017, buys an abandoned building in the French Quarter of New Orleans, he finds himself transported to the UpStairs Lounge, a vibrant seventies gay bar. As this forgotten community comes to life, Wes embarks on an exhilarating journey of self-exploration that spans two generations of queer history. This smash Off Broadway hit features a gritty, glam rock score and a tight-knit ensemble of unforgettable characters. The View UpStairs asks 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 View UpStairs premiered in production by Invisible Wall Production at the Lynn Redgrave Theatre in New York City in February 2017 under the direction of Scott Ebersold.

WES - (mid-late 20's) 20-something fashion designer from the current day. Self-consciously hip, prematurely jaded, and perpetually anxious. Wes wears a fabulous facade, but deep down harbors real insecurities and dissatisfaction with his life. Has never experienced real tragedy or love.
PATRICK - (early 20's) Young, runaway hustler who projects innocence and fragility, but is a lot tougher than he appears. Patrick creates fantastic, imaginative stories to distract from the harsher realities of his life. Has the ability to see a vulnerability and sweetness in Wes.
BUDDY - (50's) The resident piano player of the UpStairs Lounge. Charismatic, but also very temperamental and somewhat bitter. Loves the attention he commands within the community, but also resents being stuck in it. Dreams of one day being a big star, but knows it will never happen. Closeted, with a wife. 
WILLIE - (40's-60's, black) Holdover from another era of gay life with a more camp sensibility. Might know all the secrets of the universe, might be in the early stages of dementia. 
HENRI - (30's-40's) Tough as nails, no-nonsense, old school butch. Henri is the bartender of the UpStairs Lounge and runs a tight ship. Although she comes across as a bit severe, she cares very deeply for the community within the bar. 
FREDDY - (20's-30's, latino) A construction worker by day, Freddy also doubles as the drag queen Aurora Whorealis by night. Big personality, energetic, and bright. A close friend to Willie and on good terms with everyone else in the bar.  
INEZ/REALTOR - (late 40's-60's, latino) Freddy's mother and also occasionally a mother to the other men in the UpStairs Lounge. Born in Puerto Rico, she moved her family to America when Freddy was still young. Lovable, warm, and supportive, Inez assists with her son's drag performances. As realtor, she is smarmy, fake, smiles too much, etc. 
RICHARD - (40's) Priest of the Metropolitan Community Church. Perhaps more conservative than other patrons in the bar, but level-headed and warm. 
DALE - (30's-40's) Arsonist. Sensitive and more radical in his sexual politics. A raw nerve and someone who's experienced a good deal of hardship at society's hand. 
COP - (30's-40's) In the past the cop is a corrupt, homophobic, and violent. In the present, the cop is still stern, but has a sense of humor, and seems to be in service of justice. 
*OPTIONAL* ENSEMBLE/CHORUS - Other patrons in the bar who round out the community. It is also possible to have the character of Richard played by a woman, in which case please use the name Rita Mae.

It is possible to have the character of Richard played by a woman, in which case please use the name Rita Mae.

While there is no specific race/ethnicity indicated for Wes or Patrick, the author encourage theaters where possible to employ diverse casting and not end up with two white leads. 

  • Time Period Present Day, 1970s
  • Features Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes, Elaborate / High Volume Costumes, Period Costumes
  • Additional Features No intermission, Stage Combat, Drag Performance
  • Duration 105 Minutes
  • Cautions
    • Alcohol
    • Drugs
    • Strong Language
    • Mild Adult Themes
    • Smoking


“Highly theatrical, unexpected and marvelous.” – The New York Times

“Frequently moving and unavoidably uplifting!” – AudreyJournal, Sydney

“Vernon’s score, which draws from the period’s disco, soft rock and glam sounds, is solid. Highly theatrical, unexpected and marvelous... channels a vintage camp that is all too rare nowadays.” – The New York Times, Read More

“A jambalaya of sexed-up tunes... The View UpStairs has all the ingredients for an iconic cult phonomenon.” – EDGE Media, Read More 

“Vibrant! The View UpStairs is a moving homage to LGBT culture, past and present. The show swells with heart.” – Entertainment Weekly, Read More 

“Absorbing, disarming, filled with biting laughs yet deeply moving in the most unexpected ways. The View UpStairs is an ambitious and deliciously dissonant score with excellent and unrelenting material.” –Richmond Times-DispatchRead More

“Fantastic... Bursting with DIY camp joy! The View UpStairs is a work with heart and humor.” –Time Out Sydney, Read More

“Current, engaging and thought provoking. The View Upstairs is a stunning work that is uplifting and enlightening as it encourages the current generation to keep striving for equality, acceptance and inclusion.” –BroadwayWorld, Read More

“[Vernon’s score is] solid, rock-influenced and always delivers generous energy and emotion... The View UpStairs is not just about 1973; it’s about today as well.” – TheaterJones, Read More


Our Picks For The 2019/20 Season
Lawrence Haynes
January 7, 2019


  • First look at The View UpStairs youtube thumbnail

    First look at The View UpStairs

  • In rehearsal with The View UpStairs youtube thumbnail

    In rehearsal with The View UpStairs

  • The American Theatre Wing's Theatre Lounge Live with the cast from The View UpStairs youtube thumbnail

    The American Theatre Wing's Theatre Lounge Live with the cast from The View UpStairs


  • The View UpStairs

    Image: 2017 Off-Broadway Production (Kurt Sneddon)


Music Samples

Guitar 1
Guitar 2
  • Musical Style Pop/Rock, Contemporary Broadway
  • Vocal DemandsModerate
  • Orchestra Size Small/Combo
  • Chorus Size Small

Licensing & Materials

  • Licensing fees and rental materials quoted upon application.

Music Rentals

Concord offers a full suite of resources to help you put on the show of a lifetime!
11 Piano-Vocal
1 Piano-Conductor
1 Drums
1 Guitar 1
1 Guitar 2
1 Bass
12 Piano-Vocal


Max Vernon

Max Vernon is a composer/lyricist/playwright whose musicals include The View UpStairs, KPOP, The Tattooed Lady and Show & Tell. They are a three-time Drama Desk nominee, Out100 Honoree, two-time MacDowell Fellow, Dramatist Guild Fellow, and recipient of the Lucille Lortel Awa ...
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