Directed by B. Michael Quale
Inc! Plays The Pajama Game
"7 1/2 cents doesn’t buy a lot" was true in 1954 and still is. The Pajama Game, Entertainment, Inc!’s next production, is a reprisal of the tale of labor troubles at the Sleep-Tite Pajama Factory. The production showcases the musical talents of some of the original Inc! cast members including B. Michael Quale, Ted Lindseth, and Renee Rogness.
A strike is imminent, and the head of the factory, Myron Hasler (Lindseth), has the workers "Racing with the Clock." The union, led by Prez (Travis Gudmunsen), demands a raise of seven and a half cents an hour. As tensions increase between management and the union, a work slow-down is staged and sabotage planned with threats of firings as consequences.
But all is not labor turmoil and strife. The show also has romantic sparks. The handsome new factory superintendent Sid Sorokin (J. C. LaBar) falls for the leader of the union grievance committee, Babe Williams (Paula Swenson). Efficiency expert, Vernon Hines (Quale) and Gladys Hotchkiss (Rogness) are in love and at odds when she is chased by Prez. With songs such "Hey There," "There Once Was a Man," and "Hernando’s Hideaway," the audience will root for these lovers as much as the union roots for higher wages.
Other cast members include Kathy Evenson (Mabel), Allison Irgens (Mae), Steve Christensen (Max), Doug Hoffman (Charley), DaeMynn Stevens (Joe), Susan LaBar (Brenda), LeeAnn Clark (Virginia), Kayla Stamp (Poopsie), Darcy Klasna, Oral Johnson, Liz Seven, Mona Craft, Kevin Duttenhefner, John Oleksik, Liz Durham, Erin Stohler, Sara Walz, Beth Ryan, and Mallory Nygard.
Performances of The Pajama Game will run two weekends at the Old Armory in Williston: May 8-9 and 14-16 at 7:30 P.M. and May 10 and 17 at 2:30 P.M. Call 701-577-3179 to make reservations!
Based on the Richard Bissell novel 7-1/2 Cents, the score is by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross. The Pajama Game was first produced on Broadway in 1954, and ran for 1,063 performances, winning a Tony for Best Musical. The original cast included John Raitt, Janis Paige, Eddie Foy, Jr., Carol Haney, and Stanley Prager. This production was the starting of Shirley MacLaine’s career. She was Carol Haney’s understudy for the role of Gladys. MacLaine filled that role for several months when Haney broke her ankle.
The film version was created in 1957 and featured the original Broadway cast except for Janis Paige, who was replaced by Doris Day.
The 2006 revival won the Tony for Best Revival of a Musical with Harry Connick, Jr., as Sid, Kelli O’Hara as Babe, and Michael McKean as Hines.