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Here are a few of the media notices about UPSTAIRS.

 

ADVOCATE
Remembering the Worst Mass Killing of LGBT People in U.S. History

Forty years ago, dozens of people were trapped inside a New Orleans gay bar as it burned down. Now a new book, two films, an art installation, and a musical revisit the tragedy. When Duane Mitchell was 11 years old, he and his 8-year-old brother, Steve, loved visiting their dad, George, then a divorced beauty supply salesman in New Orleans. The Big Easy in the 1970s was a different world compared to where they lived with their mom in northeast Alabama. Though the divorce was amicable, it was always hard for the boys to get enough time with their dad during the school year.

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ADVOCATE
Revisiting a 1973 Tragedy Onstage

It's not the best-known crime against gay people in U.S. history, but it claimed the most lives: On June 24, 1973, a fire broke out at the Upstairs Lounge, a New Orleans gay bar. Thirty-two people, most of them gay men, died as a result, in a scene that news accounts described as a "holocaust" in which victims were "literally cooked". The fire was believed to be the result of arson, but no one was ever arrested.

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TIMES PICAYUNE
Upstairs Lounge Fire Remembered in a Musical by Composer Wayne Self

Composer Wayne Self has produced a musical drama based on the Upstairs Lounge fire, a notorious arson/murder that took the lives of 32 patrons trapped in a French Quarter gay bar in 1973. The drama debuts on June 20 at Cafe Istanbul at the New Orleans Healing Center in the Marigny. The final performance on June 24 coincides with the 40th anniversary of the unsolved crime. Self, 43, who grew up in Natchitoches, said he had reached adulthood and moved away from Louisiana before he ever heard the story of the mysterious mass murder.

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HUFFINGTON POST
Why the 1973 UpStairs Lounge Fire Should Matter

The tragic nightclub fire in Santa Maria, Brazil, this past weekend is one in a long, painful series of such incidents. As of this writing, 235 people are known to have lost their lives in the fire, and it will certainly be remembered as one of the deadliest nightclub fires in history. We mourn the loss of lives and pray for the Santa Maria community. In June 1973 an arson attack destroyed the UpStairs Lounge in New Orleans, killing 32 of its predominately gay male patrons.

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TOWLEROAD
Composer Remembers 32 Victims of 1973 New Orleans Gay Bar Arson Fire

Gay playwright and composer Wayne Self is mounting a musical tribute to the 32 victims of the 1973 arson fire at the Up Stairs Lounge in New Orleans. In 2010 I wrote about Skylar Fein's art installation memorializing the fire. Check out my photo essay here to get a better idea of the incident.

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DAN NATION
Musical Tells Untold Story of One of Largest Anti LGBT Crimes in History

Upstairs chronicles the New Orleans arson fire of June 24, 1973, that killed 32 people at the Up Stairs Lounge, a gay bar known for its affiliation with the LGBT affirming Metropolitan Community Church (MCC). In the months after the tragedy, the fire was virtually ignored by local leaders, law enforcement, institutions, families of the victims, and the wider world.

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