UpStairs: A New Orleans Musical Drama

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.

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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.  General Admission tickets are $35, and tickets at the door are $40. A portion of the proceeds benefits Lazarus House.