Posted by: sergius 09:18 am EDT 03/13/17

A good, period sounding score, some inventive performances, and an impeccable set design help raise THE VIEW UPSTAIRS from its hoary dramaturgy. Based on the UpStairs Lounge arson, the deadliest attack on gays before Orlando, the show finds uplift in tragedy which, though it's seeming like a bit of a trend these days, is fair enough if the material recognizes its tragic provenance without pandering to it. Even as there is certainly a better show on this subject, what's here is interesting and engaging and, basically, a good beginning. The show's biggest stumble is its inclusion of some contemporary, baldly political references that, apart from being badly written, are entirely unnecessary since what we're seeing is persuasive and clear enough; we don't need the dots connected for us. You could also find fault in the cliched characterizations, but this is 1973, and all cliches begin somewhere. THE VIEW FROM UPSTAIRS handily generates enough goodwill to get past its flaws.

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