The Pajama Game

The Pajama Game
Music & Lyrics: Richard Adler & Jerry Ross. Book: George Abbott & Richard Bissell. Babirra Music Theatre Inc. (Vic). Co-Directors: Jaison Hoernel & Kerryn Hoernel. Choreography: Kerryn Hoernel. Musical Director: Naomi Osborne. Oct 7 – 15, 2011.

All but a few seats were filled on the second night of Babirra’s The Pajama Game. As the audience settled down through the overture (for which the house lights remained lit), white sewing machines loomed out of the darkened stage, a part of a wonderful array of bubblegum, colourful, no-expense-spared sets and lighting, which complemented the 1950s style of the show perfectly.

The first seconds of company singing was enough to demonstrate that this show was going to be tight and well executed. As the audience watched, tight tuning, harmonies, articulation and diction were all on display. The superintendent of Sleep-Tite, Sid (Andrew Pennycuick) and member of the union Grievance Committee Babe (Sonia Balodis) worked through their star-crossed love over a seven-and-a-half-cents pay dispute in pleasant, though perhaps a bit muted, style. Standouts were Mario Mohorko as the finicky, fidgety Vernon “Hinsey” Hines, and Britni Leslie as Hinsey’s love-interest Gladys, with all of her excellent singing, acting, and dancing talents on show. Peter Smitheram as Prez pulled off both the weather-beaten union leader and the dirty old man well. Specialist dancers executed the detailed choreography with ease.

The band played in excellent style, and matched the cast in excellence; not a note was out of place, and not once were they too soft or too loud.

Jess Heard

Photographer: Gavin D Andrew

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