By its title "Willy Nilly: A Musical Exploitation of the Most Far-Out Cult Murders of the Psychedelic Era" ("being tastefully presented to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the infamous Manson murders" as the program reads) would seem to be the perfect FringeNYC finger to give to the summer of the mainstream establishment's "Hair" on Broadway and "Taking Woodstock" onscreen. And to its credit this Piper McKenzie Production is some merry prankster-ish fun. With its enthusiastic cast sporting over-the-top hippie wear, colorful set that makes the most of minimalism with cardboard flowers and wooden stools, and rockin' musical numbers that allow the actors to fill in the design's visual gaps with exuberantly executed choreography, "Willy Nilly" moves as fast as its psycho guru lead does in assembling his Manson-like tribe. That is, "like a hotbed Brigham Young," according to the D.A. character played by the musical's playwright/lyricist/composer Trav S.D. who also notes that the Family's "names have been changed for the author's amusement."
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