This review and accompanying pictures are from Larry Wagner, photographer and itinerant theatre critic.
Gloriana has a hit! Pajama Game is that kind of musical that you leave humming the score, something that rarely happens with modern musicals. Ann Woodhead’s directing is nothing short of masterful. I was shooting publicity shots at the dress rehearsal on Tuesday and the show was a mess. I couldn’t imagine how it could be all together in just a few days. Yet on Saturday, the opening night, the show was on and it was wonderful.
The word that best describes this show is “engaging”. Watching the boy gets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl sequence is fun, watching the dancing is fun, seeing the interplay between the characters is fun. The show is just plain fun.
The play was originally on Broadway in the 1950s. It is the story of labor versus management. The plot is simple – will labor get it’s seven and a half cent per hour raise? Would the union win? Would the grievance committee, Babe, (played by Sarah Wagner) win over the production superintendent, Sid (Justin Pyne)? Would the hard-boiled plant manager, Hasler (Mervin Gilbert), soften his “I’m a fighter” stance? Would jealous lover and efficiency expert, Hines, use his knife throwing skills to the detriment of anyone? Well, maybe not so simple.
The plant employees are an attractive, talented lot, singing and dancing and doing a pretty darn good job of it. The casts sings songs that you may have actually heard—although those of us a bit longer in the tooth probably recall them better—Hernando’s Hideaway, Hey There, There Once Was A Man, and Steam Heat were the ones I remembered.
Do not miss how Justin Pyne, one of the leads, is also the music director and plays in the orchestra – all at once and you don’t even realize he is doing that!
The show has now started, and here’s the schedule:
- Shows Fridays, Saturdays 7:30pm, Sundays 3pm
- Thursday Performances September 17 and 24 7:30pm
- Benefit Performance for Arts For All on September 10–7:30pm
- Must close September 27!