Friday, Jun 29, 2018 7 PM

UpStairs: A New Orleans Musical Drama

The Valiant Theatre and Lounge
Getting there
6621 St Claude Avenue, Arabi, LA

On June 24th, 1973, the UpStairs Lounge in New Orleans' French Quarter was full of folks. Some, from the Metropolitan Community Church had just discussed a fundraiser for a children's charity. Others were there for the beer bust, and more still for the show happening later that evening. Shortly before 8 pm a disgruntled patron of the UpStairs Lounge intentionally set fire to the building, padlocking the iron gate on the street closed, and ringing the buzzer.
The minute the door opened, a fireball engulfed the lounge, causing the largest fatal fire in New Orleans in nearly 200 years and taking the lives of 32 New Orleanians. The City That Care Forgot became The City That Forgot to Care that night, setting in motion a four decades-long search for justice, answers and remembrance for the victims. Now, NOLA Voice Theatre is proud to bring the original musical drama UpStairs
by Louisiana playwright and composer Wayne Self back to the City where it made its world premiere in 2013. This funny, touching, and respectful drama is historically accurate and the only musical approved and supported by the survivors and the families of the victims. Join us for this important touchstone in New Orleans history, the first production to be produced, cast, and staffed by New Orleanians for New Orleans audiences at the Valiant Theatre and Lounge
in time for the 45th anniversary of the massacre. Tickets range from $25 for Service Industry Night, June 25th, to $45 for the special Anniversary Night performance on June 24th. Early Bird tickets available until May 15th at $30. General Admission tickets are $35, and tickets at the door are $40. A portion of the proceeds benefits Lazarus House. - -
FAQs - - Why is UpStairs important? UpStairs by Wayne Self is the first musical dramatic treatment of the massacre, and the only musical based on the disaster that is approved and supported by the survivors and the familes of the victims. It is almost completely historically accurate, which is one of the main reasons we are bringing it back to New Orleans, where history is of tantamount importance. Previous productions in Chicago, Hollywood, and the
2014 West Village Musical Theatre Festival in New York City have mounted by producers and actors from those areas. This will be the first production of the show to be produced, cast and staffed entirely by New Orleanians for New Orleans audiences. Why have I never heard about this historic fire? The gay rights movement in 1973 was in its infancy, and homosexuality was still outlawed across the nation. News coverage of the fire was sparse at best, and received almost no attention in the national news, due mainly to the fact that the UpStairs was a gay bar. In the last decade, thanks in no small part to the success of
and the work of LGBTQ historians to rescue the facts from the ash-pile of history, the terrible story of the arson and the murders has resurfaced, inspiring several books, articles, and plays. Is this "The View Upstairs"? No. UpStairs
is the first original musical treatment of the fire, and the only musical supported and approved by the survivors and the families of the victims. "The View Upstairs" is a separate musical project with no connection to New Orleans, the survivors, or the families of the victims. Are there ID or minimum age requirements to enter the event? UpStairs
is appropriate for ages 16 and up.
What are my transportation/parking options for getting to and from the event? There is ample parking in the lot directly next to the Valiant Theatre along Mehle Street. There is also bus service through the RTA to and from the theatre at the corner of St. Claude Avenue and Mehle Street. We also suggest Lyft and Uber services to and from the theatre.
How can I contact the organizer with any questions? You can contact us at any time via email at:
We monitor our account throughout the day from 6 am to 10 pm. All emails sent after 10 pm CST will be answered the following morning.
What's the refund policy? Refund requests must be made no less than 24 hours in advance of the ticketed date. No refunds will be made less than 24 hours before the performance.