Cast announced for Australian premiere of The View UpStairs

HTC The View UpStairs Henry Brett, Stephen Madsen - photo by John NicolaidisInvisible Wall Productions and Sugary Rum Productions in association with Hayes Theatre Co have announced cast members of the Australian Premiere of the hit Off-Broadway musical, The View UpStairs – to be presented as part of the 2018 Mardi Gras Festival at the Hayes Theatre Co from 8 February.

Playing the lead role of Wes, a young fashion designer who embarks on this exhilarating journey, will be Henry Brett (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Spring Awakening) while the role of Willie, an UpStairs regular and flamboyant queen of a certain age, will be played by the fabulous Madison McKoy (Miss Saigon, South Pacific).

Previously announced cast member Stephen Madsen (Rent, Heathers), who is currently appearing in Muriel’s Wedding The Musical, will be playing Wes’ love interest, Patrick. Fresh from the hit Kinky Boots is Ryan Gonzalez (Strictly Ballroom), who will play Freddie, a Latino drag queen who overcomes shame to achieve self-actualization.

Rounding out the cast are Markesha McCoy (Rock of Ages – Las Vegas, The Bodybag The Panto) as Henri, Martella Hammer (Blue Heelers) as Freddie’s mother, Inez, and David Hooley (Fiddler On the Roof) as Dale, with the remaining roles to be announced at a later date.

The View UpStairs draws you inside the UpStairs Lounge, a vibrant ’70s gay bar in the French Quarter of New Orleans. This forgotten community comes to life in all its gritty, glam rock glory when Wes, a young fashion designer from 2017, buys the abandoned space, setting off an exhilarating journey of seduction and self-exploration that spans two generations of queer history. While Wes gets to know the joys and struggles of this exuberant and flamboyant community, he too learns about his place in the world.

Inspired by one of the most significant yet all-but-ignored attacks against the American LGBTQI community, this provocative new musical written by Max Vernon examines 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.

Following the popular and critical success of Only Heaven Knows earlier this year, Shaun Rennie returns to Hayes Theatre Co to direct this sensitive, original piece. Set and costume designer is Isabel Hudson (One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest) while Hayes Theatre Co favourite Cameron Mitchell (Calamity Jane, High Fidelity) is the choreographer. Trent Suidgeest (Muriel’s Wedding the Musical, Only Heaven Knows), returns as lighting designer as does Neil McLean (Xanadu, Only Heaven Knows) as sound designer.

From the opening piano chords of this Off-Broadway sensation, the five-piece band and cast of ten blasts into the glam rock world of the 1970s. In our ever-changing world, The View UpStairs looks at the then and now to explore our ideas of love, regret, defiance and resilience. With a ‘badass’ goose bump-raising score, the story induces both laughter and tears. See why Ru Paul said the show was “FABULOUS! It was fantastic.”

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

The View UpStairs plays at the Hayes Theatre Co: 8 February – 4 March 2018. For more information, visit: www.hayestheatre.com.au for details.

Image: Henry Brett and Stephen Madsen star in The View UpStairs – photo by John Nicolaidis

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