The storytellers behind the alt-indie band/musical theater company/puppet troupe PigPen Theatre Co. possess a childlike wonder and whimsy that has the power to turn even the most jaded New Yorker into a firefly-collecting, snow angel–making, leaf pile–jumping kind of person, even if just for 90 minutes. The multitalented septet met as freshman at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Drama and have since written and performed in five musical theater pieces, released four acclaimed full-length albums, and directed several of their own music videos/short films. No matter what medium they’re using, the theatricality in their performances is subtle and authentic, never overdone. And the music is always transporting.
The New Yorker described PigPen as “child geniuses at play,” but I compare the young gents to Peter Pan’s Lost Boys…if Neverland had a top-notch music program. I first saw them during a previous residency at Joe’s Pub, where I was immediately smitten by the voice of lead singer Ryan Melia, along with his backing “boy band” made up of non-hipster-seeming guys with serious instrumental and harmonizing chops. Injected with hope and optimism—but not to a sappy degree—their lighthearted, nostalgia-filled tunes would make the ideal soundtrack to your childhood blanket fort. They’ll also make for a refreshing and uplifting night out in Brooklyn; PigPen Theater Co. is performing in concert at Williamsburg’s Rough Trade NYC on October 3. Bring your Glo Worms.
Why You Should Go: To undo some of the lines on your forehead and the wrinkles in your soul.
PigPen Theatre Co.
Rough Trade NYC
64 North 9th Street, Williamsburg
Tuesday, October 3
8 p.m. doors open