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The Pajama Game is a joy at Artistry

The Pajama Game with music and lyrics by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross, currently playing at Artistry, is a classic musical comedy. It is a fun, well paced story, with catchy tunes and plenty of laughs. I couldn’t help but feel like the show felt like Spring – blooming with new life.

The story of the Pajama Game is based on the novel 7 & ½ cents by Richard Bissell, it centers around the union at the Sleep Tite Pajama Factory in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and their desire to get a deserved 7 & ½ cent raise. Throw in a blossoming romance between the head of the grievance committee, a proud union member, and the new Superintendent, trying to keep his job in management, and you’ve got yourself a show!

I was thrilled when I heard that Artistry was going to performing The Pajama Game – I fell in love with the catchy tunes after the 2006 Broadway revival and was excited to see them performed live on stage. I came in with high expectations – Artistry’s history of high quality performances and productions had me expecting nothing but the best and I was not at all disappointed. Directors/Choreographers Allyson Richert and Ben Bakken put together a show that is a joy to watch. It is filled with a top notch cast with stellar design elements that all work well together (click here for a link to the program that lists all talented production/design team).

The eleven member orchestra conducted by Evan Tyler Wilson provided a strong back bone for the show – filling the Schneider Theater with beautiful music. The show was lead by Falicia Nichole as Babe and Eric Morris as Sid. Their voices are both rich and strong, beautifully carrying the iconic love songs of the show Hey There and There Once Was a Man. But they are both true triple threats – their acting had me feeling for both of the characters and helped me to be truly invested in the show.

One of my favorite things about The Pajama Game is the number of supporting characters that get their own developed stories and have their own very fun, often comedic musical numbers during the show. Two major standouts were Serena Brook as Mabel and Carl Swanson as Hines. They were both very fun to watch throughout the show and their performance of I’ll Never Be Jealous Again was a major highlight of the night.

The Pajama Game is a musical comedy with real stakes – workers fighting for equal pay, which is an all too familiar story. But because it is a musical comedy you can watch it relaxed, knowing that everything will end up okay. It is a show that both feels grounded in the real world and can provide an escape – which is a hard balance to strike. I had a great time seeing The Pajama Game and I encourage to you to enjoy the show as well.

The Pajama Game is playing at the Schneider Theater and Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts until May 14th. Click here to find more information about the show and to purchase tickets.

*Photos courtesy of Tommy Sar


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