Reviewed bt Kerry Cooper
The Pajama Game is a musical based on the book “7 – 1/2 cents”, by Richard Bissell. First performed on Broadway in 1954 and then made into a very successful musical in 1957 starring Doris Day.
A charming tale of life, love and unions; the action takes place in the “Sleep-Tite” pajama factory. Veteran director Max Rayner, has assembled a large cast to breathe life into ‘NLTC’ latest production with mixed results. Unfortunately, the opening night performance was plagued with technical difficulties. Microphones cutting in and out, with loud feedback and an inconsistency in volume were distracting and unfortunate.
Lead actors Buddy Dawson and Lauren Renee are known for their powerhouse vocals and they did not disappoint; playing lovers Syd and Babe, they injected an energy into the production that lacked the wow factor. Choreography by Linda Lawson was simple and in line with the cast’s abilities.
In what should have been a high-energy show, some scenes lacked pace. There were many scene changes that were done with lights up by back stage crew, which would have fared better happening at the end of scenes in the shadows. Costumes were bright and of the time period, adding much needed colour where lighting and sets failed.
Highlights came in Act 1, with the ensemble number ‘Once a Year Day’ and the cleverly thought out ‘Hernando’s Hideaway dance in Act 2. Lovely comic performances were offered up by Seb Cooper, as Hines, Daniel Vickers as Prez and Nikki Gaertner-Eaton as Gladys.
With all the ingredients for an entertaining evening; I have no doubt this show will pick up as the run continues.