PHOTOS: Scene of infamous anti-LGBT attack comes back to life in new play

John Russell

Next month, the UpStairs Lounge—the scene of one of the deadliest anti-LGBT attacks of the post-Stonewall era—comes back to life Off-Broadway. Previews for composer, lyricist and playwright Max Vernon’s new rock musical The View UpStairs start February 15, but we’ve got an exclusive first look at leads Jeremy Pope and Taylor Frey in their roles.

From the show’s website:

The View UpStairs is a provocative new musical that pulls 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 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. Inspired by one of the most significant yet all-but-ignored attacks against the LGBTQ community, The View UpStairs examines what has been gained and lost in the fight for equality, and how the past can help guide us all through an uncertain future.

Pope stars as Wes, the new owner of the former gay lounge, and Frey plays Patrick, Wes’s love interest. Grammy winner Nathan Lee Graham and The Voice and American Idol veteran Frenchie Davis round out the cast.

The UpStairs Lounge became synonymous with tragedy after a 1973 arson attack resulted in the deaths of 32 people. In 2013, on the 40th anniversary of the attack, the UpStairs Lounge fire was the deadliest LGBT massacre in American history. Sadly, that grim honor has since passed to the June 2016 shootings at Orlando’s Pulse Nightclub.

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