With rehearsals commencing next week, Invisible Wall Productions and Sugary Rum Productions in association with Hayes Theatre Co have announced the final cast members of the Australian Premiere of Max Vernon’s hit Off-Broadway musical, The View UpStairs – to be presented as part of the 2018 Mardi Gras Festival from 8 February.
The role of Richard, a kindly preacher and spiritual leader will be played by Thomas Campbell who has recently returned from Edinburgh performing his hit one-man show Misterman. Anthony Larkin (Kinky Boots, The Sound of Music) will play Buddy, the bar’s resident and conflicted pianist, while recent WAAPA graduate Nick Errol plays COPS.
As previously announced, performing in 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 Madison McKoy (Miss Saigon, South Pacific).
Stephen Madsen (Rent, Heathers), currently appearing in Muriel’s Wedding The Musical, will be playing Wes’ love interest, Patrick, while Ryan Gonzalez (Kinky Boots, Strictly Ballroom), who will play Freddie, a Latino drag queen who overcomes shame to achieve self-actualization. Rounding out the cast are Markesha McCoy (The Bodybag The Panto) as Henri, Martelle Hammer (Blue Heelers) as Freddie’s mother, Inez, and David Hooley (Fiddler On the Roof) as Dale.
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, The View UpStairs 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. Costume designer is Anita Yavich (The View UpStairs, Off-Broadway) and set designer is Isabel Hudson (One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest).
Making his Hayes Theatre Co debut is musical director Nicholas Griffin (Disney’s The Little Mermaid) while Hayes Theatre Co favourite Cameron Mitchell (Calamity Jane, High Fidelity) returns as choreographer. Trent Suidgeest (Muriel’s Wedding the Musical), also from the Only Heaven Knows team, 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.
“Vibrant and jubilant. The show swells with heart, a moving homage to LGBT culture, past and present.” – Entertainment Weekly
The View UpStairs
Hayes Theatre Co, 19 Greenknowe Avenue, Potts Point
Season: 8 February – 4 March 2018
Information and Bookings: www.hayestheatre.com.au
Image: (L – R) Thomas Campbell, Anthony Larkin and Nick Errol (supplied)