HELLO BROADWAY FANS! Can’t believe are only 23 days away from the biggest night of the year, the 71st Annual Tony Awards. We have more of our favorite Broadway toe tappers on OUR TOP 30 TONY AWARDS COUNTDOWN.
At # 23, we take you to a local pajama factory in 1940 that is under hot water. The factory workers are asking the head of staff to have a larger raise of 7 1/2 cents. This is The Pajama Game. The musical features an original score written by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross (in addition Frank Loesser but is uncredited), a book by George Abbott and Richard Bissell, and original staging by Bob Fosse, It’s based on a 1953 novel by Bissell entitled 7 1/2 CENTS.
From the 2006 telecast, Tony nominee and legendary big band singer Harry Connick Jr as “Sid Sorokin”, Tony winner Kelli O’Hara as “Babe Williams”, and the cast of that year’s most recent revival perform a medley of the classics THERE ONCE WAS A MAN and HERNANDO’S HIDEAWAY.
THE PAJAMA GAME originally premiered on Broadway in 1954 at the St. James Theatre where it ran for a total of 1,063 performances. The cast originally starred John Raitt as “Sid Sorokin” and Janis Paige as “Babe Williams”. In addition, the legendary actress Shirley MacLaine got her start appearing in the Ensemble and covering the role of “Gladys Hotchkiss” (usually played by Carol Haney). During a performance going on for “Gladys”, MacLaine was discovered by Hal B. Wallis (who was in the audience) and was offered her contract with Paramount Pictures. The original production of THE PAJAMA GAME was nominated and won all 3 of it’s Tony Awards in 1955 including Best Musical.
The musical was later revived twice on Broadway starting in 1973. It played the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre running for only 65 performances. The cast featured Hal Linden Official and Barbara McNair as “Babe Williams. It did not receive any Tony nominations that season.
The most recent Broadway revival (as seen in this video) happened in 2006 produced by Roundabout Theatre Company playing the American Airlines Theatre for a limited engagement of 143 performances. The cast as previously mentioned starred Harry Connick Jr and Kelli O’Hara. This revival featured a revised and updated book by Peter Ackerman (screenwriter of The Ice Age Movies), new direction and staging staying true to Bob Fosse by Tony winner Kathleen Marshall, additional songs that were cut from the original production added back into the show, and all new orchestrations of some of the beloved classic songs showcasing Harry Connick Jr’s voice. The song HERNANDO’S HIDEAWAY included an additional dance break featuring the music having a swing and jazzier edge (which also featured Connick Jr playing the piano on stage). The 2006 revival was nominated for 9 Tony Awards winning 2 for Best Revival of a Musical and Best Choreography (for Kathleen Marshall).
THE PAJAMA GAME was also a smash hit on the big screen in 1957 produced by Warner Bros. Pictures. The cast starred John Raitt as “Sid Sorokin” and majority of the cast from Broadway reprising their roles on the big screen. In addition, the cast featured Doris Day as “Babe Williams”.
Today THE PAJAMA GAME is a popular show performed in schools, Community Theatres, Regional Theatres, and around the world.
Doesn’t this show make you want to join in the fun saying O LAY!!!
Harry Connick, Jr. and Kelli O’Hara performed “There Once Was a Man”. Harry Connick, Jr. and Megan Lawrence with ensemble performed “Hernando’s Hideaway” on …
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