A stranger comes to Williamsburg, a town where the entire population drowns their sorrows in the alcohol provided by their beloved mayor, Whiskey Pants.
Should you see it?
Whiskey Pants is an absurdly ambitious musical, with lavish costumes, an ample cast, a live band and a large helping of group numbers. It has a lot of moving parts, and somehow, Mind the Art Entertainment pulls it all together beautifully. If you’re going to see only one musical at the Frigid Festival, this is it.
Since “the event,” the townsfolk, in addition to the mayor of Williamsburg himself, have lived by drinking all day and forgetting their worries. In just one hour, Whiskey Pants creates a very full alternate universe that is equal parts quirky and dystopian. Here, people have forgotten their occupations, elections are replaced by drinking contests and dreaming is highly discouraged.
There are no weak links in the ensemble; a wobbly harmony appeared once in a while, but overall the singing was strong and the performances believable. The most impressive vocals came from Nicholas Connolly as the titular mayor, and Rachel Drayke was compelling as the daughter who longs to be more than just a whiskey drinker. The stage never feels cluttered despite the multiple group numbers thanks to Christian De Gré’s capable direction and Mariel Lowe’s choreography. The live band plays magnificently, and Mary Spencer Knapp is charming as the accordion-wielding narrator. Serrena Gay and Joseph Reese Anderson’s writing is smart, funny and moving. De Gré’s music and orchestrations are catchy and lush.
My only complaint about Whiskey Pants is that it ended too soon. I’m hoping that we will someday be treated to a full-length version, as some moments could do with more fleshing out. Even as is it, Whiskey Pants is sure to remain one of my festival highlights as a strong musical that looks great and sounds even better.
What did you think of Whiskey Pants: The Mayor of Williamsburg? Join the discussion in the comments below!