On June 24, 1973, thirty-two men died in an arson fire at the UpStairs Lounge in New Orleans in the largest crime against LGBT people in U.S. history. UPSTAIRS is a musical retelling of that night.

ABOUT

    
  To call the premier of UPSTAIRS a success would be like calling the ocean blue: accurate, but missing a lot of scope. The show was triumphant. Here's what fans and critics had to say.

REVIEWS

    
  UPSTAIRS attracted media attention at the local and national level, including coverage in the Times-Picayune, The Advocate, and The Huffington Post. Here are some media notices.

PRESS

    
  In addition to our self-produced and already-scheduled productions, we are constantly submitting UPSTAIRS to theatres, festivals, agents, and producers in search of more venues.

VENUES

 

This performance of UPSTAIRS, presented here in its entirety, was staged in New Orleans on June 23, 2013 in conjunction with the 40th Anniversary of the fire. It was directed by Zachary McCallum, with musical direction from Stephanie Lynne Smith and vocal performance direction by Sean Bart.

 

CAST

Buddy - Garrett Marshall
Adam (Buddy's lover) - Nicholas Losorelli
Agneau - Alxander Jon
Uncle - Brian Brown
Inez - Katrina McGraw
Louis (Inez's son) - Keith Beverly
Jean (Inez's son) - Sean Alexander Bart
Mitch (Louis's lover) - Patrick Dillon Curry
Marcy Goodman (a local drag performer) - Jeff Roberson
Reginald (Marcy's roady) - Charles Romaine

 

PRODUCTION

Stage Manager Danny Crisp
Costume Deisgn Alison Parker, Kate Adair

 

BAND

Piano - Stephanie Lynne Smith
Vocal Director, Onstage Piano - Sean Alexander Bart
Keyboards - Anthony Starble
Drums - Sam Price Violin - Harry Hardin

 

ACT I

The first scene is set on June 24, 1973, as Buddy the bartender opens his bar. He vocalizes a little trumpet call, summoning his friends and patrons to the Up Stair Lounge, and they enter pleading "Sanctuary" and promising to "Carry On" all night. We quickly learn that Adam and Buddy are boyfriends and that they argue quite a bit. Adam drinks a lot and clearly doesn't feel like he's quite deserving of a guy like the handsome, popular Buddy. We also meet partners Mitch and Horace and find that Horace is planning for a church fundraiser to be held in the bar that night. And we meet Agneau, an awkward young man not sure what he wants, and Marcy, and Reginald.

0:11:30 - He'll Do - Adam worries about the men after Buddy, while Agneau picks him out as a possible mark. Horace defends Mitch against his hustling mother, Inez.

0:17:15 - A year later, in Agneau's apartment, Buddy pays him a visit, finding him playing with pills. They talk about the fire, getting over their distance by relating as survivors, singing "Breathe". We find that Aguneu is tormented by the voice of his deceased Uncle.

0:23:57 - Reginald and Marcy share a moment.

0:26:14 - Inez and Louis argue about Mitch, prompting the former hustler Louis to ask for a promise from Mitch that he just can't give.

0:28:26 - In a jealous fit over his flirting, Adam sings a bitterly prophetic song to Buddy. Then Adam turns his attentions to Agneau.

0:32:09 - Buddy recounts the what happened on the night of the fire, and realizes that Agneau hears voices.

0:39:30 - Mitch and Louis argue about Mitch's family and commitments. Buddy looks for Adam. Mitch get a phone call about his kids, leaving Horace at the bar. Inez sings Favorite Son.

0:48:00 - Adam and Agneau have an intimate moment, which Buddy interrupts. They argue, Adam rejects Agneau, and Agneau rages, singing "Not Enough".

0:54:09 - Reginald gets in the way of Aguneau's anger. Marcy intervenes with "Testify".

 

ACT II

0:59:25 - "Sanctuary/Carry On Reprise".

1:02:13 - Jean and Louis sing about hustling, and whether Louis should return to his old ways in "Take from Him".

1:17:15 - Just when it seems Louis will start hustling again, Mitch returns from away, and sings "I'll Always Return".

1:11:02 - Mitch, Louis, and Inez argue over their reconciliation.

1:12:26 - Forward in time, Buddy recounts the actual moments of the fire, suffering guiltily for his self-perceived failures, as Agneu and his Uncle debate revealing their own secret in "Come with Me/He Should Know".

1:17:03 - Agneau reveals that he set the fire. He pleas for forgiveness, but Buddy cannot give it.

1:20:54 - Back in the bar, Agneau, still enraged, tries to seduce and steal from Mitch.

1:23:50 - Brought into the light, Agneau and Mitch argue over gays and religion. The argument escalates and Agneau is kicked out of the bar. He leaves with a threat.

1:27:10 - Agneau, whose counting of pills has been a leitmotif throughout the show, finishes counting out 33 pills, then takes them, committing suicide. The assembled victims of the fire gather over him as ghosts and debate his salvation. Unable to accept forgiveness for the crime of being Agneau, he is consigned to the torment of his uncle.

1:33:03 - Buddy and Reginald visit the site of the fire and talk about surviving. Reginald asks "Why's There Always Gotta Be a Word" for people that you lose.

1:37:37 - Buddy enters the burned out building and talks with the spirit of Adam.

1:45:00 - Reginald, now Regina in honor of Marcy, takes the stage as part of her act, and sings about surviving in "Carry On".