The Pajama Game by GEOIDS
The Pajama Game by GEOIDS at The Bridewell Theatre
The Pajama Game is a musical first performed in 1954 and tells the story of the factory workers in Sleep-Tite, a pajama factory. The workers are fighting for a pay rise of 7 1/2 cents but new couple Babe and Sid end up on opposite sides of the picket line.
The first thing that struck me about GEOID’s production of The Pajama Game was how strong the principles all were. Babe Williams was played by Lois Howarth and her love interest Sid, was played by Will de Renzy-Martin. Howarth struck a great balance between Babe’s serious side as the head of the grievance committee and a love struck young woman. Her vocals were also clear and impressive, in particular in her duets with Sid, ‘Small Talk’ and ‘There Once Was A Man.’ de Renzy-Martin complimented Howarth well and together they were a delight to watch. He also had a loveable manner about him even when trying to be the nasty superintendent.
Nathan Pollpeter played the jealous, bumbling Hines, worried that his partner Gladys was going to cheat on him. He had the job of opening the show and he did so with such character and confidence the audience knew they were going to be in for a good evening. He simply oozed character and ‘I’ll Never Be Jealous Again,’ his duet with Mabel, played by Tess Robinson was one of my favourite numbers of the show.
Overall the ensemble were strong and each had a character that came through. At times I would have liked some of the choreography for the featured dancers to be more challenging and possibly channel Fosse even more in numbers such as ‘Steam Heat.’
The set was well designed and left a lot of playing space, perfect for this cast of 28. The worn brick effect created the feeling of being in and around the factory well and the sound effect of the constant hum of sewing machines whenever they were in the factory itself was a nice touch.
My main criticism of the show is more in relation to the show itself and how there is a lot of superfluous action before the plot really gets going, leaving act 1 with a rather lengthy running time. This is, of course, not fault of GEOID’s and they did a good job with the pace to ensure that the show did not drag even further.
Geoids should be commended for such a high quality production, especially in their principles which look to defy the word amateur and helped result in an enjoyable experience discovering this show.
The Pajama Game is running at the Bridewell Theatre until Saturday 10th November. To find out more about the show visit their website.