Location: Celebration Theatre @ The Lex

6760 Lexington

Los Angeles, CA 90038

The View UpStairs

The West Coast Premiere of A New Musical by Max Vernon

 

Directed by Michael A. Shepperd

 

Music Direction by Jake Anthony

 

Choreography by Cate Caplin

 

Produced by Andrew Carlberg and Jay Marcus

Previews begin September 15th, 2017

Opens September 22nd, 2017

A hit off-broadway where it closed in May, THE VIEW UPSTAIRS by Max Vernon is a gripping, heartfelt and provocative new musical that pulls you inside the world of historic 70s New Orleans bar The UpStairs Lounge.  This forgotten community comes to life when a young fashion designer from 2017 buys the abandoned space, setting off an exhilarating journey of seduction and self-exploration that Entertainment Weekly calls “a moving homage to LGBT culture, past and present.” Filled with “beautiful love songs" (The New Yorker), it's “an eye-popping roller coaster for the visual senses” with “all of the ingredients for an iconic cult phenomenon!” (Edge Media Network).  Directed by multi-Ovation Award-winning director Michael A. Shepperd (Celebration’s THE BOY FROM OZ).

 

DARREN BLUESTONE* (Patrick)

 

New York: Avenue Q (Princeton/Rod 10th Anniversary Cast), Pride and Prejudice (NYMF), Cinderella (Pre-Broadway). TV: "Transparent", "Jane the Virgin", and "Liv and Maddie". New Mexico born and Carnegie Mellon grad. Excited to be joining Celebration! @DarrenBluestone

 

 

JOEY RUGGIERO (Dale)

Joey feels grateful to debut with Celebration. In addition to screen credits, recent stage credits include Scott Billings in S/He & Me, Jesus in The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, and Roger in Rent. Joey extends a thank you namely to his parents and brother, Alex, Joanne, and Billy.

MATTHEW HANCOCK* (Wes)

 

Was last seen in the U.S. premiere of Trans Scripts, Part 1:The Women at The American Repertory Theatre. LA Theatre credits include Frederick Douglass/Kid 1 in Honky (Rogue Machine Theatre), Carson in Hit The Wall (Los Angeles LBGT Center), Anthony in I and You (Fountain Theatre), Oshoosi in The Brothers Size (The Fountain Theatre). Recurring on Showtime's "I'm Dying Up Here" and Youtube Series "Giants".  BFA from Adelphi University. LADCC winner, Stage Raw winner, Ovation nominee, and NAACP Theatre Award nominee.

BENAI BOYD* (Henri)

 

Benai Boyd is truly honored and humbled to be joining the Celebration family. Having a solid 18-year background in classical training, she has been blessed to grace stages all over the world. Currently working for the last 2 years to create Disney’s Frozen, Live at the Hyperion, the first live adaptation of the multi-billion-dollar production of the Disney’s hit animated film Frozen as well as her recurring role as Gary Coleman in HBO’s Emmy Award nominated show "Big Little Lies".

REHYAN RIVERA (FREDDY)

 

Rehyan is beyond ecstatic to make his Celebration debut, especially in such an amazing piece. He was born and raised in Puerto Rico and is a graduate of AMDA New York. He recently had his choreographic debut with Legally Blonde at the Cupcake Theater. Previous favorite roles include USNAVI, LA CIENEGA, MARIUS and TARZAN.

 

 

TRAVIS YORK* (Cop)

 

Travis is from TX. He has worked with Soho Rep,13P, Actors Theatre of Louisville, NYTW, PS122, The Woodshed Collective, Theatre of NOTE, and Salvage Vanguard, among others. TV/Film: Not enough. He works with rescue pit bulls in his spare time.

 

 

CHALA SAVINO* (Inez)

 

Chala is thrilled to put her vocal chords to work in the West Coast Premier of "A View Upstairs".  Her TV/Film credits include BARBERSHOP THE FINAL CUT (Mariela Cruz),  SOY NERO (Hillary) and EL BULLY (Serena). Regional Credits include In the Heights (Daniela), Cinderella (Charlotte), and The Real Housekeepers of Studio City (Rosario).  This year, Chala studied with Lisa Sunstendt of PRETTY FUNNY WOMEN and has been performing stand up at The Comedy Store and other venues in LA.  Chala would like to thank Orel De La Mota, Hansel Ramirez, and Rachae Thomas for being Angels in her LA journey.   Check out her website at www.chalasavino.com.  Twitter/Instagram @chalasavino

 

PIP LILLY (Willie)

 

This writer and actor is single and a Scorpio. Former member of The Second City National Touring Company. He appeared on Frank TV (TBS), viral video hit Gay Hunt, and the feature film, Butch Camp. He co-wrote and co-starred in the comedy web series Failing Upwards. Stage credits include Showboat, Joe’s Garage, Schoolhouse Rock Live! And Women Behind Bars. Follow Pip on twitter @piplilly and on Facebook at facebook.com/OfficialPipLilly/

PAT TOWNE* (Richard)

Pat is an award winning actor and director and was last seen at Celebration in Die Mommie Die!. He's a member of Sacred Fools and was seen in Skullduggery: The Musical Prequel to Hamlet and Stoneface: The Rise and Fall and Rise of Buster Keaton (LA Weekly Award Best Ensemble). Other credits include: Hoboken to Hollywood (Geffen) Frank Zappa’s Joe’s Garage (Pasadena Playhouse), Sketches from the National Lampoon.  Has worked as both an actor and director with Independent Shakespeare Company, Open Fist and was a founding member of Zoo District. TV credits include: "Transparent", "I Love Dick", "Mad Men", "Boston Legal", "Desperate Housewives", "Gilmore Girls", and more.

JAKE ANTHONY (Buddy)

 

Jake works as a vocal coach, composer, and music director in the LA area. Some of the favorites among his LA theater work include Little Women, Splendora and Songs from an Unmade Bed (at Celebration Theatre), Into the Woods, The Mystery of Edwin Drood and The Baker’s Wife. As a composer, Jake has written three musicals: Now and Then a Hero, New York Society for the Suppression of Vice, and Wanting Miss Julie, which received its world-premiere in a production at the Loft Ensemble in Downtown LA in 2016.

 

 

 *Member of Actors’ Equity Association, The Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States. 

PRODUCTION TEAM

 

MICHAEL A. SHEPPERD - DIRECTOR / CO-ARTISTIC DIRECTOR /EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

 

Michael is currently the Co-Artistic Director of Los Angeles’ multiple award-winning Celebration Theatre (CT). CT producing and directing credits include: The Boy from OzThe Color Purple, Four, The Women of Brewster Place, Take Me Out, The Next Fairy Tale, Coffee Will Make You Black, [title of show] and numerous others in his 11 year career at the theatre. As an actor in LA, featured roles include Fences (Troy; Ovation, LADCC Nominations, Lead Actor), Booty Candy (Man 3 ; LADCC, Stage Raw Nominations, Supporting Actor), The Color Purple (Mister; Ovation Nom, Lead Actor), Steel (John Henry, Ovation Award, Lead Actor), Master Harold and the Boys (Sam, NAACP nom, Lead Actor), Intimate Apparel (George, NAACP Theatre Award, Supporting Actor), Choir Boy (Headmaster, NAACP Theatre nom, Supporting Actor). Broadway/Off-Broadway/Regional credits include: Cathy Rigby is Peter Pan (Starkey); Little Shop of Horrors (Audrey Two); Caroline, or Change (Bus/Dryer); 5 Guys Named Moe (Big Moe), Smokey Joe's Cafe (Fred) and The Whipping Man (Simon) TV credits include: Hot In Cleveland, Wizards of Waverly Place, Monk, Criminal Minds, NCIS

 

CATE CAPLIN - CHOREOGRAPHER / ASSISTANT DIRECTOR

 

Cate has produced, directed and choreographed over 200 productions and her work has been seen on television, in films, music videos, commercials and in theatrical venues world wide from the Paris Opera House to the Broadway Stage.  She is a 34 times regional and international Theatrical Ballroom Champion and wrote and directed her first feature film, Mating Dance which won an Accolade Award and can be found on Amazon.com.  Cate has been the recipient of a Garland Award, a Women In Theatre Red Carpet Award, multiple LA Stage Alliance Ovation, Eddon and Scenie Awards and was the recipient of an Award of Excellence from the LA Film Commission for her work as a Writer, Director, Choreographer and Producer. 

REBECCA SCHOENBERG - STAGE MANAGER


Rebecca couldn't be happier to be working with Celebration on this production with this wonderful cast and crew. She previously stage managed Hit the Wall and Search for Signs for the LA LGBT Center. Other recent productions include A Gulag Mouse and Behavior of Broadus, both for Sacred Fools theatre, of which she is also a member. She thanks you for your attendance, and hopes you enjoy the show!

 

MARTHA CARTER - LIGHTING DESIGNER

 

Martha is a lighting designer based out of Los Angeles, California. She received her MFA in Lighting Design from the University of California at Irvine and enjoys collaborating and working with ensemble companies to create new work that incites positive change within communities. Some of her recent credits include: Good Kids, Dog Sees God and Intimate Apparel at Chapman University, Romeo and Juliet at Great River Shakespeare Festival, Evita, and Peter Pan in Panama City Panama; as well as After the Revolution, The Legend(s) of Sleepy Hollow, and A Chorus Line at The Chance Theater.

ALEX CALLE - SET DESIGNER

 

Alex takes a unique approach to directing, producing, and design, utilizing his background in theatre to above all, tell a story. A graduate of the California Institute of the Arts, he has worked on Film, Television, Theater, Themed Entertainment, and Public Art Installations all over the world.  As a theatrical set designer, Calle has designed for a number of renowned regional theatre companies, including The California Shakespeare Theatre, The Eugene O’Neill Theatre Company, The Cuillo Theatre, Florida Stage, and The Colony Theatre. He also has served as a resident designer for LA's Invertigo Dance Theatre since their 2008 season.

ERIC SNODGRASS - SOUND DESIGNER

 

A multiple-award winning designer, including a 2016 LA Drama Critics Circle Award for Celebration Theater’s production of A Boy from Oz, Eric is very happy to be back at Celebration Theater working with his longtime friend Michael Shepperd. He is humbled to have the chance to contribute to this wonderful creative endeavor.

MICHAEL MULLEN - COSTUME DESIGNER

 

Michael is very excited to be working on again with Celebration! He is a multiple award winning designer and has costumed such shows as The Boy from Oz, Dreamgirls, Fugue, Sweeney Todd, American Idiot, When Stars Align, Moon Over Buffalo, God's Gypsy, and Dorian's Descent. He has received such Stage SceneLA Awards as 2015-2016 Costume Designer Of The Year, 2014‐2015 Costume Designer Extraordinaire, 2013‐2014 Costume Design of The Year (Individual Production) for Dorian's Descent, and 2012‐2013 Costume Designer of The Year. He would like to thank everyone involved with this show for being amazing, his friends and family, and you for your support! XOXO :)

 

 

MICHAEL O'HARA - PROPERTIES DESIGNER / MANAGING DIRECTOR / EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

 

Michael O'Hara is once again happy to be working at Celebration where he has done prop work since 2005. Besides Celebration his prop work has appeared at Coeurage, East West, Theatre of NOTE, the Blank, the Road Theatre, among others. He has several upcoming shows around town and he anticipates having a website ready to launch (finally) in the coming year. Michael has also worked in other capacities in theatre both onstage and behind the scenes. He also serves as Managing Director of Celebration.

BRUCE W. ZISTERER - EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

 

Bruce’s production credits include The Boy From Oz, which took home six Ovation awards including Best Production of
a Musical in Intimate Theatre; The Color Purple, The Musical, six Ovation awards including Best Production of a Musical in Intimate Theatre; the world premiere of Pinafore! at Celebration (LA Weekly Award, Musical of the Year, Garland Award, Best Production), Cool My Tongue; 
Gaveston, Favourite of the King; Judy at the Stonewall Inn; Altar Boyz; and the West Coast/LA Premieres of Autumn Canticle and The Homosexuals. Bruce is the recipient of the 2016 LADCC for Distinguished Achievement for Production. This is his tenth collaboration with Celebration. Bruce has a new Chrysanthemum cultivar named after him called “Zisterer’s Ovation”. It is exotic burgandy in color. Thank you for supporting Celebration and live theatre!

CHRISTINE BOYLAN & ERIC HEISSERER - EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS

 

Boylan is a television writer-producer, director and playwright. TV: "Constantine", "Once Upon A Time, Castle", "Off The Map", "Leverage". Currently a co-executive producer on a Marvel series. Theatre: Every Third Thought, The Kid. Heisserer is a screenwriter-director and Academy Award nominee for his screenplay, Arrival, which won the Writers Guild of America award. Film: Lights Out, Hours (writer/director), Final Destination 5, The Thing, A Nightmare on Elm Street.

LATOYA MORGAN - EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

 

LaToya is a graduate of the American Film Institute Conservatory and her work spans the spectrum of film, television, plays, and comic books. Currently, she is Co-Executive Producer on the hit martial arts drama "Into the Badlands" and recently inked a two-year overall deal with AMC to write and develop new series for the network.

JACK MORRISSEY - EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

 

Jack has been partnered with Academy Award-winning film writer and director Bill Condon for over twenty years. He has been a producer on Condon’s recent films, including Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, starring Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans and Josh Gad; Mr. Holmes, with Ian McKellen as the Great Detective and Laura Linney as his housekeeper; and The Fifth Estate starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Julian Assange. Their next effort will be The Bride of Frankenstein for Universal Pictures - opening on Valentine’s Day, 2019. 

MICHAEL C. KRICFALUSI- EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR / EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

 

Michael currently is the Executive Director of Celebration Theatre, Celebration Board Treasure as well as past Board President of the Theatrical Producers League-Los Angeles Intimate Theatre. Michael has directed, acted, produced or distributed numerous projects for the stage as well as film and television. He has produced both the multi award winning The Boy From Oz, the award winning The Color Purple,  both of which took home multiple Ovation awards including Best Production of a Musical in an Intimate Theatre, Take Me Out, Altar Boyz, The Daddy Machine, WEHO, The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told and Twelve Angry Men. He has appeared onstage in The Mikvah Monologues at the Wadsworth Theatre, Los Angeles, as well as Twelve Angry Men, Three Sisters and Blood Wedding in Los Angeles and The Trial Off-Broadway. Besides the stage, he has acted in, produced and distributed the film Special Needs. Other film and television credits include Dear J and Deep In The Valley many years ago now. He is probably most recognized for having been a passenger seated behind Wendie Malick, Jane Leeves & Valerie Bertinelli in the pilot for “Hot In Cleveland”.

MICHAEL MATTHEWS - CO-ARTISTIC DIRECTOR / EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

 

Los Angeles: Dream Boy (LA Premiere), Bootycandy (LA Premiere), Homefree (World Premiere), Failure; a Love Story (Coeurage Theatre, LA Premiere, Ovation Nomination Best Director and Best Production), Sons of the Prophet (LA Premiere), Psyche; a Modern Rock Opera (World Premiere), Rabbit Hole (La Mirada), Funny Girl (3D Theatricals, Ovation Nomination Best Director), Peter Pan; The Boy Who Hated Mothers (LA Weekly Nominations Best Director and Best Production, Play; LA Premiere), Very Still and Hard To See (LA Weekly Nominations Best Director and Best Production, Play; World Premiere), The Color Purple, The Musical (Ovation and LA Weekly Awards Best Director and Best Production, Musical), What’s Wrong With Angry? (Ovation Nominations Best Director and Best Production, Play), Take Me Out! (Ovation Nomination Best Director, NAACP Award Best Director) The Women of Brewster Place, the Musical (Ovation Nomination Best Director, NAACP Award Best Director, Ovation Award Best Production, Musical; West Coast Premiere), Stupid Kids (LA Premiere), Beautiful Thing (Ovation Nominations, Best Director and Best Production,Play), The Bacchae (Ovation Nominations, Best Director and Best Production,Play), Broadway: Butley (Assistant Director). Chicago: What’s Wrong With Angry? (Jeff Nominations, Best Director and Best Production), In The Blood (Jeff Nominations, Best Director and Best Production), Porcelain (Jeff Nomination, Best Director), The Judas Kiss (Chicago Premiere), Being 11 (World Premiere), and...for colored girls who have considered suicide.... International: The Bacchae (Edinburgh Theatre Festival, 2010).

JAY MARCUS - PRODUCING DIRECTOR / CO-LEAD PRODUCER

Jay is thrilled to be co-lead producing the west coast premiere of The View UpStairs! Jay also produced (along with Tom Detrinis and Nathan Frizzell), Celebration’s hit summer comedies So Long Boulder City and Tilda Swinton Answers An Ad On Craigslist.  He also associate produced last spring’s Die, Mommie, Die!  Currently, Jay is the VP of film/tv development at director George Tillman, Jr. and producer Bob Teitel’s production company, State Street Pictures.  The company is currently in production on a feature adaptation of the #1 New York Times Young Adult Bestseller, The Hate U Give.  Thanks to Shep for this opportunity, Andrew for being a great collaborator, the Celebration company for volunteering countless hours of bartending, box office staffing, wall painting, and everything in between.  And to this incredible cast and creative team for all their tireless work on this show.

 

NATHAN FRIZZELL - LITERARY DIRECTOR / EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

 

As an actor, Nathan’s theatre credits include: Celebration: Four (LA Premiere, LA Weekly nomination, Best Ensemble), Beautiful Thing (Ticketholder, Garland nominations Best Actor; Ovation nomination, Best Play), Stupid Kids (LA Weekly Award, Best Ensemble), plus numerous sketch comedy shows directed by Todd Milliner; Los Angeles: He Asked For It (ElevenEleven Productions/Macha Theatre), West Side Story (MTLA; The Hudson Theatre); Eisegesis, SpiderMan: Turn On The Lights, The Exceptional Childhood Center (The Blank Theatre’s Young Playwrights Festival); Regional: Shakespeare In Briefs! (Colorado Shakespeare Festival); International: The Bacchae (Edinburgh Fringe Festival). Nathan currently serves as Producer of Celebration Theatre’s new play reading series “Celebrating New Works” and will be re-introducing the workshop series “CT Tuesdays” in 2016. 

 

ANDREW CARLBERG - CO-LEAD PRODUCER

 

Named by Variety alongside Mindy Kaling, Ryan Coogler and Beau Willimon as one of “Hollywoodʼs New Leaders,” Andrew Carlberg is an award-winning feature film, television, new media, Broadway and Los Angeles stage producer.  His extensive credits include, but aren’t limited to, ABC’s "Castle", DirecTV’s "Full Circle", Broadway’s Romeo and Juliet and Side Show, the Neil LaBute penned feature films Some Girls(s) and Dirty Weekend, and Celebration Theatre’s Ovation Award winning productions of The Color Purple and The Boy from Oz.

MARK GIBERSON - ASSOCIATE PRODUCER

 

Mark Giberson is an award-winning journalist and public relations executive, now retired. He serves on the board of directors of The Barn Studio of Art, is past president of the Flying Samaritans and is the founder of No Boundaries Art Workshops®. He also is an active supporter of the Bald Head Island Conservancy, the Bayshore Discovery Project, and others. A recovering parent of two former teenagers, he is married and lives in Pasadena. 

 

DAVID TRAN - ASSOCIATE PRODUCER

 

The View UpStairs is David’s first venture into associate producing for Celebration Theatre. His production experience stems from years working as an actor, as well as, behind the scenes on various projects as a wardrobe stylist and production assistant. David is thrilled to be a part of this creative journey working alongside his fellow CT company members and this talented cast & crew! xo

 

TOMMY VERGASON- ASSOCIATE PRODUCER

Tommy is thrilled to celebrate two years as a Celebration Theatre company member, and he is especially proud to return as an Associate Producer on The View UpStairs. Big thanks to Celebration for giving him the opportunity to be a part of this beautiful and important work.

ALAN WETHERN - ASSOCIATE PRODUCER

Alan is proud to associate produce at Celebration, after failing out of virtually every other job known to man. Producing both "train wreck" reality tv and indie films alike, much of Alan's portfolio can be seen "late-night, after hours" on dishnetwork. An avid theatre goer, he enjoys staying active, volunteering, and finding time for spontaneous road trips whenever possible. The Oklahoma native is a graduate of OCU’s MBA program, as well as The Los Angeles Film School immersion program, and can best be described as the "Worlds worst cook," a self-ascribed title.

 

JAMI RUDOFSKY- CASTING DIRECTOR

 

Jami Rudofsky is proud to be the Resident Casting Director for Celebration Theatre. Celebration credits include Dream Boy, Bootycandy, The Color Purple: The Musical, The Women Of Brewster Place, Take Me Out and many more. She also co-cast Hit The Wall for the LGBT Cultural Arts Center. She casted the long-awaited Netflix reboot of Gilmore Girls. Additional film and television credits include: Showtime’s Masters of Sex, the YouTube Red original series Sing It! and Deserted. She’s so honored to be back working with the Celebration Theatre Family!

 

DAVID ELZER PR- MARKETING / PUBLICITY

 

David Elzer/DEMAND PR represents Actors Co-op, Cabrillo Music Theatre, Celebration Theatre, Circle X Theatre Company, Colony Theatre Company, Independent Shakespeare Co., Laguna Playhouse, La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, NoHo Arts Center Ensemble, Ojai Playwrights Conference, Open Fist Theatre Company, Road Theatre Company, Rubicon Theatre Company, Theatre of NOTE, Theatre Tribe and VS. Theatre Company. He loves working with the very talented Celebration team and is thrilled they have a new home - thank you for supporting Celebration and L.A. theater!

 

© 2020 Celebration Productions LLC 

MISSION: We entertain, inspire, and empower with innovative productions that celebrate the LGBTQ community.

 

Celebration Productions Corporation is a non-profit organization under section 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code. All donations are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law (EIN 82-1111453)