AWARD-WINNING COMPOSER OF “THE VIEW UPSTAIRS” AND “KPOP” DEBUT RESIDENCY AT JOE’S PUB EXTENDS THROUGH APRIL 2019
“Fahuuucking brilliant. WHAT an incredible score. I want to go back 10 more times.” — Lin-Manuel Miranda on KPOP
“FABULOUS!” —RuPaul on The View UpStairs
“A rising composer/lyricist/librettist and performer with an ear for joyful melody and an eye for all the quirks of pop and queer culture” — The New York Times
MAX VERNON – the songwriter described by The New Yorker as “equal parts Bohemia and Broadway” — will extend his first ever residency at Joe’s Pub, Existential Life Crisis Lullaby, with concerts scheduled through April 2019 After three sold-out shows this year.
Tickets are on sale now for shows on February 26, March 19, and April 23, all Tuesday nights at 7:00 PM. The final sold-out show of 2018 on Tuesday,November 27 will feature special musical guests including Mary Testa, George Salazar, Robin de Jesus, Erin Markey, Mykal Kilgore, Martha Graham Cracker, Helen Park and Grace McLean. The November evening will be directed by Jenny Koons.
Vernon received the Lucille Lortel Award for Best Musical, three Drama Desk Award nominations, a Jonathan Larson Grant and the Richard Rodgers Award for his musicals The View UpStairs and KPOP, both of which had critically-acclaimed extended Off-Broadway runs last year. KPOP is planning a new major Off-Broadway production in 2019. Following a sold-out debut at the Kennedy Center last year, Vernon has returned to the New York nightclub stage for an exclusive engagement of high spectacle, high fashion, and high belted F sharps.
“The last three concerts have been inspired insanity of the highest order,” says Max. “From assless chaps to the apocalypse, I have loved every moment. After a two month break to catch my breath and exfoliate my soul, I’ll be back though April to keep riding this decadent theatrical tornado. The continuation of my residency will feature more iconic guests than ever, a parade of homemade couture costumes, and brand new, never-before-heard songs from my musicals The Tattooed Lady, Show & Tell, KPOP, The View UpStairs, WIRED, and more.”
In addition to his acclaimed musicals, the residency previews his newest work The Tattooed Lady (written with Obie Award-winning playwright Erin Courtney) alongside other previously-unheard material. The series has featured three directors — Ellie Heyman (September), Jaki Bradley (October) and Jenny Koons (November) — three completely different set lists, and about 300 costumes, many created by Vernon himself. Featuring a cast of Broadway stars, Downtown divas and the next generation of household names, Existential Life Crisis Lullaby is a celebration of tattooed ladies, Korean pop stars, 70’s queer culture, the apocalypse, sentient robots, aging club kids, homicidal hipster cults, and true love.
MAX VERNON, who has emerged as a singular and eccentric voice in the world of musical theatre, was called “a provocative and exciting talent in contemporary musical theater” by The Huffington Post. He is a three time Drama Desk nominee, “Out 100” Honoree, and recipient of the Lucille Lortel Award for Best Musical, Richard Rodgers Award, Jonathan Larson Grant, New York Stage and Film’s Founders Award, New York Foundation of the Arts Fellowship, and the JFund Award from the Jerome Foundation. He has been a Dramatist Guild Theatre Fellow, MacDowell Fellow, and an artist in residence at Berkeley Rep, Ars Nova, Kimmel Center (via The Public Theater), Disney Creative Entertainment, and Rhinebeck Writer’s Retreat, among others. His musical, The View UpStairs, ran 105 performances Off-Broadway and will have ten new productions around the world in 2018-2019; original cast recording on Broadway Records. His other musical, KPOP, enjoyed a sold-out, extended run at Ars Nova this past October and was the most nominated Off-Broadway show of the 2017-2018 season. Notable concert performances include the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Joe’s Pub, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
In a rave review of The View UpStairs, The New York Times stated “Mr. Vernon’s score, which draws from the period’s disco, soft rock and glam sounds, is solid, channel[ing] a vintage camp that is all too rare nowadays.”The New Yorker praised its “sad, beautiful love songs performed by a soulful ensemble cast.” According to Entertainment Weekly, “The View UpStairs is ultimately a moving homage to LGBT culture, past and present.” Reviewing KPOP, New York Magazine said, “by the time the finale of KPOP comes around, if you’re not bopping along to the splashy, buoyant pop tunes by Max Vernon, well … maybe you don’t like puppies or rainbows either.” Billboard exclaimed, “KPOP, like the music it’s named after, explores a wide range of genres and artistic interpretations. The show weaves dozens of bilingual songs into the plot, including a finale performance that features a stand out or two that could easily compete on Korean music charts.”
JOE’S PUB, named for The Public Theater’s founder Joe Papp, opened in 1998 and plays a vital role in The Public’s mission of supporting young artists while providing established artists with an intimate space to perform and develop new work. Under the new leadership of Director Alex Knowlton, this fall begins Joe’s Pub’s 20th Anniversary Season of presenting the best in live music and performance nightly, committed to diversity, production values, community and artistic freedom. The venue also offers opportunities like New York Voices, an artist commissioning program that provides musicians resources and tools to develop original theater works; Joe’s Pub Working Group, an artist development initiative; The Vanguard Award & Residency, a yearlong series that celebrates the career of a prolific and influential artist, who leads their own artistic community; and nationwide programming partnerships. Commissioned artists include Mx Justin Vivian Bond, Bridget Everett, Daniel Alexander Jones, Ethan Lipton, Toshi Reagon, Allen Toussaint and more. The venue’s food and beverage partner is NoHo Hospitality Group, helmed by acclaimed chef Andrew Carmellini. With its intimate atmosphere and superior acoustics, Joe’s Pub presents talent from all over the world as part of The Public’s programming downtown at its Astor Place home, hosting approximately 800 shows and serving over 100,000 audience members annually.