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Employees of the Sleeptite Pajama Factory are looking for a whopping seven-and-a-half cent an hour increase and they won't take no for an answer. Babe Williams is their feisty employee representative but she may have found her match in shop superintendent Sid Sorokin. When the two get together they wind up discussing a whole lot more than job actions! Written by
Just knock three times and whisper low... that you and I were sent by Joe...
When I purchased "The Pajama Game", I felt confident that the same team that brought me my all-time FAVORITE musical, "Damn Yankees", would not let me down. I was right. The dynamic team of George Abbot & Stanley Donen, Bob Fosse's oustandingly quirky choreography, and the wonderfully superb music and lyrics provided by Adler & Ross bring me more satisfaction than the 7 1/2 cents raise when it was given to the Sleep-Tite employees. Doris Day is charmingly witty and All-American in the role of Babe Williams... a role that allows her to radiate that eternal sunshine that seems to constantly course through her veins. Watch her vitality in numbers like "7 1/2 Cents" and "I'm Not At All In Love," her energy and vivacity in "There Once Was a Man", and the romance in her "Hey There" reprise. But let's keep in mind that Doris is also the only cast member not imported from the original Broadway show. (Much as I love Doris... what the heck was wrong with Janis Paige? Rent the film Silk Stockings... I think she would have been perfectly darling!) The show cast is an ensemble of sheer perfection! Reta Shaw is terrific as Mabel, Barbara Nichols and Thelma Pelish are riots as Poopsie and Mae, Jack Straw is superb as Prez, and Ralph Dunn is sublime as Mr. Hasler ("Now that isn't nice!"). John Raitt is great in reprising his role of Sid Sorokin... the man with stars in his eyes and a company to run. Whatta voice! And how about that Eddie Foy, Jr.? As Vernon Hines (aka "Hiiiiinesy"), he's an absolute TRIP! What's better than a drunken knife thrower who is having a hard time trusting his girlfriend? AND he sings and dances. Such an ADORABLE guy with a bundle of talent! However, my PERSONAL favorite is none other than that smashing, electrifying dancer with the absolute LONGEST limbs ever... Carol Haney, as Gladys Hotchkiss.. She is not only BRILLIANT but gives an absolutely FLAWLESS performance, in my opinion. Her dancing is not to be reckoned with... just look at her go in "Steam Heat" (breath-taking choreography and dancing!), and even "Hernando's Hideaway", as well as "Once-A-Year Day." Her comedic timing is uncanny, and with that grainy voice and pixie hair cut, she absolutely STEALS every scene she's in. It's most unfortunate that she died so young and was unable to pursue a further career in movies or on Broadway. All in all, this is a WONDERFUL piece of musical cinema, and I definitely recommend it!
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