THE PAJAMA GAME harkens back to the days of Dictaphones, official factory timekeepers, and company anthems in a jazzy tale of love and labor relations. But director Joe Ciresi had a much more recent history in mind when he began work on the King of Prussia Players’ production of the Tony award-winning musical. “In 1996, I had the pleasure to meet Mr. George Abbott, who was the original director of ‘The Pajama Game’,” Ciresi recalls. “At the time, Mr. Abbott was 106 and when he shook my hand, it was the handshake of a 20-year-old. Ever since then I have always wanted to direct this show.”
Ciresi brings the golden age of the American garment industry to life through the songs and stories of the workers at the Sleep-Tite Pajama Factory. Out-of-towner Sid (Corey Buller) has barely started his new job as a manager when he clashes with the fiery Babe (Robin Richardson), the head of the union grievance committee. Although they are on opposite sides of the battle over a seven-and-a-half-cent raise for the factory staff, their mutual attraction keeps drawing them together.
Relations are also rocky between sassy secretary Gladys (Patti Mayer) and overly jealous factory timekeeper Hines (Ben Fried). While the mother hen of the group, Mabel (Trudy Graboyes), tries to set things right, skirt-chasing union leader Prez (Philip Seader) finds the tables turned when he’s the one pursued by the tough-talking and man-stalking Mae (Theresa Swartz).
With the debut 1954 script and music as well as 1973 and 2006 revivals to choose from, Ciresi decided to go with the classic version. He explains, “For this production, we stayed with the original script and only made a few adjustments. The feel was that the show was better known in its original form—and it still works really well.”
Romance, drama, and comedy combine in a production that has everything from show-stopping dance numbers like “Steam Heat” and “Racing with the Clock” to the comic ballet “I’ll Never Be Jealous Again” to an on-the-job knife-tossing act that OSHA would never approve of.
The King of Prussia Players present the award-winning musical THE PAJAMA GAME March 1, 2, 7, and 8 at 7:30pm and March 3 and 9 at 2pm at Shannondell Performing Arts Theater in Audubon, Pa. Advance discount tickets are available at www.kofpplayers.org. Reservations are not necessary for tickets at the door, which are $20 for adults, $15 for students under 12 or seniors 65 and older. Group rates (10 or more people) are available for all performances.
Theater/Organization King of Prussia Players
Theater/Organization Website: http://www.kofpplayers.org
Theater/Organization Address: Shannondell Performing Arts Theater 10000 Shannondell Drive Audubon, Pennsylvania 19403 (Map It)
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