With Winter approaching (sort of), Northern Light Theatre Company are letting us cuddle up with them, with a good, old-fashioned, feel-good, musical comedy/romance classic, The Pajama Game.
The musical is based on the novel 7 ½ Cents by Richard Bissell. The book is by George Abbott and Richard Bissell; the music and lyrics are by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross. First staged in 1954, The Pajama Game won three Tony awards, including Best Musical, and won another Tony for Best Revival in 2006, a testament to the fact that love, music, and politics are as hot as they ever were. In 1957, it was made into a film with most of the original Broadway cast, but with Doris Day as the leading female.
The show features hit songs including Hey There, Hernando’s Hideaway and Steam Heat which have also become pop standards that climbed as high as number one in the US charts.
The story deals with labour troubles in a pajama factory, where workers demands for a seven-and-a-half cent raise are going unheeded. In the midst of this ordeal, love blossoms between Babe (Lauren Renee), the grievance committee head, and Sid (Buddy Dawson), the new factory superintendent.
Buddy kindly shared some of his thoughts on the show and Northern Light’s up coming production with Glam Adelaide.
“The reason that I love The Pajama Game is because it is at the heart of Golden Age Musicals, the story line is easy, the music is swinging, the love is pure, and the dialogue is wonderfully nuanced” says Buddy.
“Sid Sorokin is a really interesting character as he puts up a very strong front for the characters surrounding him, but breaks through it in song gorgeously in the first act with New Town and Hey There. He is a flawed man trying to fit into a society that demands softness, while working in a position that demands rigidity.”
Northern Light’s production of The Pajama Game is directed by Max Rayner (Kiss Of The Spider Woman, The Full Monty), choreographed by Linda Lawson and co-musically directed by Tammy Papps and Bec Mason. All of whom, Buddy has nothing but praise for. “Max has been really excellent to work with; he understands the need to let characters develop organically, while providing strong direction whenever it is needed to reach his clear vision. Bec Mason has done an awesome job as debut MD, under the guidance of Tammy Papps, and formed a strong relationship of respect with her cast; whilst Linda has been really good to work with, ingraining a great amount of characterisation into moves that pay homage to the Golden Age of Musicals.”
As well as starring Buddy and Lauren, this production features many familiar faces from many Adelaide shows, including Angus Smith, Rose Vallen, Chris Bussey, Nikki Gaertner-Eaton, Amber Platten and Aled Proeve.
When asked why people should see the show, Buddy sums it up beautifully. “The Pajama Game will not make you lean back and muse upon the struggles of life or ask you any difficult questions, but it will do something much more important. It will allow you to escape to a place where fun swanky music reigns supreme, where love can bloom in the most unlikely of places, and pajamas can be made for any type of dreamer”.
WHERE: The Shedley Cafe Bar Theatre, Elizabeth
WHEN: March 24, 25, 31 April 1, 7, 8 at 8pm and April 1, 8 at 2pm.