Jefferson Parish Performing Arts Society

Jefferson Parish Performing Arts Society

Jpas 2023 Discoinvite Wip08 Cy

A Musical by Max Vernon

Take a step back in time to the French Quarter in 1973 as the patrons of The UpStairs Lounge help a modern-day millennial reevaluate his concepts of love and freedom.  

Wes, a 20-something social media obsessed fashion designer has returned from New York to his hometown of New Orleans to transform the former Upstairs Lounge nightclub into a retail store. After a nerve-wracking visit with his realtor, he time travels through a burned-out curtain into the 1973 arson-destroyed club. There, he meets the men who inhabited this “underground” venue decades ago. Despite the many limitations and challenges of the lounge patrons’ lives--and the horrifically tragic crime that ends them—their lifestyle ultimately proves to be more honest, authentic, and joyful than his superficial online social life.  Will Wes take these lessons back to the future with him? 

This production contains adult language, sexual content, and violence.

Director and Asst. Choreographer: Jack Lampert

Music Director: Max DoVale

Choreographer: Monica Ordonez

Dance Captain: Justin Hues

Scenic Designer: Marshall Harris

Costume Designer: Eddie Lockwood

Hair and Makeup: Amanda Bravender

Sound Designer/Operator: Eric Porter

Props Designer: Olivia Winter

Production Manager: Nikki Lopez

Stage Manager: Carlie Goodlett


Click headshot for bio


Donyae Asante


Robbins, Ty Headshot Sq

Ty Robbins



Marshall Harris


Rayshaugh Armant Sq

Rayshaughn Armant


Lauren Sparacello Headshot Sq

Lauren Sparacello


Eddie Lockwood Headshot Sq

Eddie Lockwood


Jeannemarcusheadshot Sq

JeAnne G. Marcus


Tom Vaughn Headshot Sq

Tom Vaughn


Justicehuesheadshot Sq

Justice Hues


Matthew Welch Sq

Matthew Welch


Apolloyong Headshot Sq

Apollo Yong


Joel Sunsin Headshot Sq

Joel Sunsin


Andrew Antoine Headshot Sq

Andrew Antoine


Tizampinoheadshot Sq

Ti Zampino


Cade Garafola


Rustyfoxheadshot Sq

Rusty Fox


0067435 Max Vernon 220 Max Vernon - Composer/Lyricist/Playwright

Max Vernon is a Tony Award nominee, 3 time Drama Desk nominee, Out100 Honoree, and recipient of the Lucille Lortel Award for Best Musical, Richard Rodgers Award, Jonathan Larson Grant, Pew Arts and Culture Grant, New York Stage and Film's Founders Award, New York Foundation of the Arts Fellowship, and the JFund Award from the Jerome Foundation. They have been a Dramatist Guild Theatre Fellow, two time MacDowell Fellow, and an artist in residence at Berkeley Rep, Ars Nova, Kimmel Center (via The Public Theater), and Rhinebeck Writer’s Retreat, among others. Their musicals include The View UpStairsKPOPThe Tattooed Lady, and Show & Tell. They have also written/developed work for Audible, Broadway Video, Disney Creative Entertainment, Virgin Atlantic, and Tyra Banks. The View UpStairs (Book, Music, and Lyrics), ran Off-Broadway in 2017 and has since had 30+ productions around the world, including London, Sydney, and Tokyo. KPOP (Music & Lyrics), enjoyed a sold-out, extended run at Ars Nova and was the most nominated Off-Broadway show of the 2017-2018 season. The Tattooed Lady (Book, Music, and Lyrics) had its world premiere at Philadelphia Theatre Company in Nov 2022, simultaneous with the Broadway transfer of KPOP at Circle in the Square. Max is a founding member of the glam rock band, Tony & The Kiki (50k followers on TikTok), as well as an acclaimed singer/songwriter, music producer, and cabaret artist. Notable concert performances include a six-month sold out residency at Joe’s Pub (“Existential Life Crisis Lullaby”), Kennedy CenterLincoln Center, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Read more about Max at Max Vernon: Composer/Lyricist, Playwright, Performer, and Brooch Enthusiast

Thumbnail Jack Lampert 7573 Jack Lampert - Director

A native New Orleanian, Jack Lampert has been active in theatre since he was a young man at NORD Theatre working with Ty Tracy. Jack moved to Houston in 1972, where he was associate director at Stages Theatre, directing many productions including Man of La Mancha, Little Shop of Horrors, and Closer Than Ever. When he relocated to San Francisco with his husband, he was involved with The Peninsula Players and San Francisco University Theatre. In 1996 they moved to the Chicago area where Jack worked on many productions including Sweet Charity, A Chorus Line, Chicago, Oliver!, and Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,  among others, as well as performing as the MC in Cabaret and the devil in Damn Yankees. Upon retirement to Louisiana in 2009, Jack became the Education Director for Baton Rouge Little Theatre now known as Theatre Baton Rouge. There he established The Young Actors Program. In 2022, The Jack Lampert Endowment Fund was established to assist aspiring theatre students.

Maxdovale Headshot Max DoVale - Musical Director

Max DoVale is a New Orleans based pianist, composer, and educator. In the last year, Max has music directed JPAS’ productions of Sweet Potato Queens and Grease, Loyola University’s production of Urinetown, as well as performed in productions of In the Heights, Guys and Dolls, Cinderella, Lion King Jr., and more. Outside of the theatre, Max works at Loyola University as a piano accompanist, plays around town at churches, restaurants, and bars, and teaches piano at several local schools and programs.

Screen Shot 2023 09 08 At 12.31.28 Pm MONICA ORDOÑEZ (Choreographer)

MONICA ORDOÑEZ is a Big Easy Award-winning choreographer based in New Orleans. Originally from Miami, Florida, she graduated from Tulane University with a double major in Dance and Paralegal studies. In 2012, she was selected by the Paul Taylor Dance Company as one of six choreographers to present work at the Marigny Opera House’s in their New Dance Festival. In 2014, Monica conceived Mélange’s mission and cofounded the company with Alexa Erck. She has choreographed numerous Big Easy Award nominated productions that each uniquely integrate storytelling, history, and themes of humanity that inspire, educate, and entertain, often bringing little known stories to the forefront, including Melange Dance Company’s 2014 dance project, The UpStairs Lounge, recently performed at the 50th anniversary commemoration events of The UpStairs Lounge in New Orleans in  2023.