Already closed | 1h 45m | East Village

The View UpStairs

From 235 member  reviews
Members say: Entertaining, Relevant, Great singing, Ambitious, Absorbing

About the show

Invisible Wall Productions presents a provocative new musical about a vibrant '70s gay bar in New Orleans' French Quarter. More…

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 through an uncertain future.

Member Reviews (235)


Entertaining, Relevant, Great singing, Ambitious, Absorbing
Avg Score

Uneven, Cliched, Great staging, Entertaining

See it if Interesting historical imagining on real LGBT tragedy. Great staging, costumes. Ensemble songs are great & fun. Touching for the most part.

Don't see it if The mains actor is excruciatingly unlikable. An overdone cliched performance. Acoustics are not the best. Some lyrics get lost.

Also What could have been a boy-meets-boy story becomes an unbelievable swe... Read more Read less

Entertaining, Uneven, Great staging

See it if You like LGBT themed shows. The staging &set design are great and immerse you into the setting & there are some great musical numbers

Don't see it if The lead character is unfortunately not likable and some of the actors are not on the same level. It could also use 15min of trimming.

Entertaining, Intelligent, Great staging, Relevant, Absorbing

See it if You lived through the plague years or have an interest in musicals with a big heart that take on politics and civil rights. Great staging.

Don't see it if You don't like an "informal" setting. This is not interactive or immersive but very cleverly staged so you are right there in it.

Ambitious, Entertaining, Relevant, Raunchy, Good vocal ensemble

See it if Vibrant musical slice of gay history well told (despite tragic ending) Book a little shakey but ultimately holds up Lead couple endearing

Don't see it if One or two songs less would tighten dramatic flow & supporting characters could be more finely drawn Set is a knockout but hinders dancing

Thought-provoking, Great singing, Entertaining, Clever, Relevant

See it if you like to learn about an historical event and be entertained by a hard working cast.

Don't see it if you cannot relate to a story being told with present day intervention.

Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Cliched, Dated, Indulgent

See it if you're interested in forgotten events in LGBTQ history, curious how a real tragedy is musicalized, like stories about close communities

Don't see it if you don't like unremarkable music and passable lyrics in a rock vein, LGBTQ characters as retro-cliches and victims, predictable plots

Also The set is absolutely clever, wonderfully capturing the kitsch of the ... Read more Read less

Relevant, Ambitious, Cliched, Edgy, Indulgent

See it if you're into LGBTQ themes, gay history (stories inspired by real events), and immersive theatre.

Don't see it if you can't stand it when a theme bludgeons you over the head. The writing is super heavy-handed. No subtlety. Loud and proud, I guess.

Great staging

See it if You love fantastic set design since the set is awesome

Don't see it if You want good acting or to care about the characters, since they are one-dimensional and poorly portrayed.

Cliched, Banal, Excruciating, Plodding, Slow

See it if you enjoy musical theatre that is on the amateurish level. The actors work hard, but they are let down by an awful book.

Don't see it if you like a strong book and strong songs to carry the evening. This show does not have either.

Entertaining, Touching, Semi-immersive staging, A little preachy, Good acting

See it if Have some awareness of '70's gay community & want to learn more. Characters are fairly true-to-life "types", w tender stories, some sad.

Don't see it if You know what it's about & doesn't appeal. It's EXACTLY as it purports to be, w some classic musical tropes/songs. Nothing graphic/no nude.

Thought-provoking, Great staging, Relevant, Entertaining, Intense

See it if A tribute to lives lost in New Orleans Upstairs Lounge fire, Orlando Pulse massacre, and recent Oakland Ghost Ship fire is in your heart.

Don't see it if A portrayal of true to life characters just before lives were lost is too poignant.

Entertaining, Resonant, Relevant, Great staging, Cliched

See it if you like new musicals with LGBTQ themes and some moving wonderful performances in a fun immersive setting, off the beaten track.

Don't see it if you're bothered by a choppy plot, uneven singing of relatively unmemorable songs or LGBTQ themes.

Also I saw this show early in the run, and there were some really wonderful... Read more Read less

Entertaining, Cliched, Great staging

See it if A well performed, immersive musical set in a gay bar in New Orleans in 1973. Based on a true incident.

Don't see it if you have no interest in LBGT history. The show is somewhat formulaic, though always enjoyable thanks to winning performances.

Entertaining, Relevant, Funny, Cliched, Dated

See it if you want a little show that can. When its on target, it explodes with wit and enchantment. Serious at times.Nathan Lee Graham is amazing.

Don't see it if don't like in your face, Literally in your face, shows about the gay life with many cliched characters.

Slow, Great set design, Ambitious, So much potential

See it if you want to see a new off-Broadway musical. This show is worth seeing for the fabulous set design and talented actors.

Don't see it if you don't like shows that try too hard or take the easy way out. This show uses "funny" quips to avoid facing the uncomfortable.

Also Sadly, this show doesn't dig deep enough. It merely skims the surface ... Read more Read less

Entertaining, Great singing, Quirky, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if You enjoy rock musicals that are both enjoyable as well as socially relevant. Great performances by a talented cast. Serious issue but fun

Don't see it if you are offended by open expression by members of the gay community or you prefer heavy drama to fun singing.

Overrated, Entertaining

See it if Wish to know about a historical event in an inventive staging.

Don't see it if Tired of cliché characters.

Absorbing, Relevant, Resonant, Thought-provoking, Disappointing

See it if You want to learn about an episode in LGBT history that deserves attention done in an engaging immersive manner

Don't see it if You expect perfection , cast is uneven and not particularly strong vocally . Saw two understudies which may have been the issue

Also They want people to care about the topic and have a great piece in the... Read more Read less

Clever, Absorbing, Great staging, Hilarious, Intense

See it if you want to visit your SOUTHERN past and sit for a spell.

Don't see it if you have NO IMAGINATION or ounce of whimsy about you!

Funny, Must see, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Deeply moving

See it if fun music, campy comedy, deeply-touching & historical scripts touch your heart. Teared-up 5x w/reminders of long-gone friends & loved-ones.

Don't see it if you want perfection & you don't have a feeling-bone in your body. It's not perfect, the 4th wall's obliterated, but it gives you a huge hug.

Great staging, Relevant, Resonant, Enlightening

See it if you are interested in a little known tragedy that occurred in a New Orleans gay bar in 1973 told through the eyes of patrons in musical form

Don't see it if you are not a fan of serious gay subjects done in musical form.

Ambitious, Entertaining, Great singing, Indulgent, Thought-provoking

See it if You love ensemble musicals. You want an investigation of the hardships of the past vs today's challenges.

Don't see it if You dislike shows with an element of fantasy. You want shows that promote change and action.

Ambitious, Confusing, Disappointing, Excruciating, Based on important history

See it if Have an interest in LGBTQ history (and yet are not easily offended by the hyper-stereotypical portrayal of gay men).

Don't see it if You have high expectations for acting, singing, writing, or production quality.

Also This production is tedious -- poorly constructed and badly produced. I... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Great music and lyrics, Entertaining and funny, Evocative, Relevant

See it if You’d like a glimpse of gay bars and life in a pre-AIDS world; wit, camp & community contrasting with our isolated smart phone present.

Don't see it if You're completely homophobic can't suspend disbelief, don't like smart musicals sparkly lights or camp with serious intent under the glitter

Also Music & lyrics by is a short list, and so by any measure, Max Vixon’s ... Read more Read less

Dated, Ambitious, Cliched, Relevant, Slow

See it if you like polyester pants. Or want to support new original work

Don't see it if you expect modern references to actually be modern. Or characters burried in cliche bother you.

March 7th, 2017
“The show consists of Wes learning valuable lessons about gay and lesbian history, as well as the importance of connecting in real life…The show, directed by Scott Ebersold, becomes bogged down in heavy-handed lecturing toward the end, and favors quips over plot. But Mr. Vernon’s score, which dra...
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March 3rd, 2017
"A lot of disparate characters to pack into a one-act musical, which may be why they're painted and (mostly) played in such broad strokes under Ebersold's unsubtle direction...Clearly a passion project for book writer, composer and lyricist Vernon. He's definitely got talent: His eclectic '70s-st...
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March 3rd, 2017
"'The View UpStairs' sags at times. A few minor characters’ forgettable songs could easily have been cut, ideally to make room for more of the absolutely scene-stealing, uproarious bits from 'old queen' Willie...Still, the show swells with heart, and its characters and the history they represent ...
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February 28th, 2017
"Vernon is egalitarian in his songwriting, giving everyone a number (although not all are of equal quality)...As fun and informative as these songs are, we can never quite escape the sense the playwright-composer is desperately trying to get us to learn something from this experience, making the ...
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