WHISKEY PANTS: The Mayor of Williamsburg at HERE Review

October 10, 2017

WHISKEY PANTS: THE MAYOR OF WILLIAMSBURG is the kind of musical that you won’t soon forget, or more importantly, you’ll hope you hear more about.

 

It’s a visually stimulating theatre experience that has so many beautiful elements that your eyes and ears won’t know what to do next.

 

This lovely, talented cast is in character from the moment you enter the theater, whiskey in hand! The costumes are colorful, creative, and immediately help build the character’s personality. They approach you (if you are lucky) and engage you, each seemingly claiming certain audience members for their own. Not a single person in that audience didn't seem to be smiling. These young actors do a fine job of pulling you into their world before you even sit down. They are “drunk” on whiskey and soon you will be drunk in their existence.

 

The space is decorated in a sort of major, post-apocalyptic aura that comes to life as soon as the musical starts. It’s a cross between Mad Max and Hamilton, with back-lit wood palettes all around, and a square wooden platform that serves as center stage, taking on new shapes as wooden box crates scattered around the stage are fashioned into scenery in perfect synchronicity by cast members. This may be a real world to them, but for me it lost all physicality fast and quickly became ethereal.

 

The story centers around the aftermath of some major event in the near future where everything has gone to hell, and yet a utopian society of whiskey-guzzling survivors have settled in Williamsburg to start a care-free life with no worries, no memories of the cruel past, and plenty of whiskey for everyone. Yes, there are hangovers (and songs to go with that), wayward folk, a few damaged souls, and it's all far from perfection they would have you believe exists. But it's still quite exceptional by the foggy standards of everything else out there. 

 

Created by Christian De Gré, Joseph Reese Anderson, and Serrana Gay, Whiskey Pants had it’s world premiere in 2015 at New York’s FRIGID Festival where it was the sold-out hit of the festival, receiving three awards, including audience favorite. This new environmental production is a part of SubletSeries@HERE: a curated rental program, which provides artists with subsidized space and equipment, as well as technical support. 

 

Centered around a coming of age young painter who faces a life choice to either give up on her dreams and embrace her father’s carefree life or lose him (he’s the powerful Mayor of Williamsburg), the story is described as a new musical about hope, family, whiskey, and reconciling the dreamer within. As beautiful as this notion seems, I am personally not sure all that matters. To me, the score, the songs, and the vocals are what makes this wonderful production magical. All else is gravy.

 

The orchestration is clever, crisp, fresh, different and stimulating. The songs are powerful and balanced, carrying the story from lows to high for the duration of the story. The operetta is in constant motion, not a beat missed, not a wasted reaction or expression. The cast is focused, and they gel like a well oiled machine, delivering emotional performances through out. The direction is phenomenal. "No intermission" means that you get pulled deeply into this story until the very end. (It also means you should pee before the show starts, especially if you are drinking whiskey)

 

Vocally, the cast is nothing short of impeccable, with every single performer a talent to watch. The cast features Bernard Holcomb, Caitlin Mesiano, Charlie Tingen, Chloe Fox, Claudillea Holloway, Eric Michael Parker, Jeffrey Hodes, Michelle Ireton, Nicholas Connolly, Sarah Cohen, Sarah Koenig- Plonskier, Stefanie Londino, Tony Mowatt, and Vincent Hale. I was blown away. By all of them!

 

Treat yourself to this musical before it closes on October 28th!

 

DATES: September 28 - October 28; Wednesday - Saturday at 8:30PM/Saturdays & Sundays at 4:00PM

 

VENUE: HERE, 145 6th Ave. (Enter on Dominick, 1 Block South of Spring);

For Tickets & Information: hurry, andvisit here.org or call 212-352-3101

 

TICKETS: $35/$50; http://here.org/shows/detail/1938/ 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DATES: September 28 - October 28; Wednesday - Saturday at 8:30PM/Saturdays & Sundays at 4:00PM

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