Sad new for musical lovers: ‘The Pajama Game’ is finishing their performances at the Shaftesbury Theatre. The show started their performances in 2nd May 2014 and the last show will be this Saturday, 13th September. It’s always hard to say goodbye, I know, but don’t be sad, the theatre is closing for a few weeks and is getting ready for the new musical coming from Broadway, the Tony Award winning ‘Memphis’. I’m so excited, can’t wait! But we’ll miss ‘The Pajama Game’; I really love seeing the adverts on the tube, so colourful and cute.
I didn’t know much about the show until the West End Live, I saw their performance on Saturday and Sunday and I was really impressed. My friend Neus and I saw the full company dancing ‘Once a Year Day’ and we were really impressed. We thought that we should see the show. It’s a classical musical and we believed that we could enjoy it very much. And we did, indeed. We went to see the show last Saturday, the 6th September at 7:30, one week before the show says goodbye to the West End. We got our tickets at LoveTheatre.com and we could sit at the third row. I love to see the shows close to the stage, because you can feel the actors and their work properly (it’s not the most important thing, I’ve seen many shows really far from the stage and it’s okay too).
I really enjoyed ‘The Pajama Game’, I think Neus and I had a nice time, enjoying the show. But I cannot say that it’s my favourite musical, but it doesn’t mean that is not good. I liked it, but I wasn’t amazed. The best of the show were the choreographies, especially when the whole company dances together in ‘Once a Year Day’ or ‘Hernando’s Hideaway’. But sometimes was hard for me to understand some of the words when they were singing all together. And some characters used to speak in an American accent and saying expressions that I couldn’t get.
The musical is a classic show based on the novel ‘7 ½ Cents’ by Richard Bissell. The book and lyrics were created by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross. Since the first production of ‘The Pajama Game’ in Broadway in 1954, there have been many productions in London and New York until now. In 1957 Warner Bros released a movie with Doris Day. The story is about a pajama factory called Sleep Tite, where the workers demand a 7 ½ cent raise in their salaries. The main character is Babe, a leader of the Union who fights for the rights of her co workers in Sleep Tite. She falls in love with Sid, the new superintendent of the factory. They start a relationship even being rivals at work.
With this story, you can imagine that it’s not something really deep, but it’s cute, it’s nice, it’s a pure entertainment show. It’s a have fun night and don’t think about worries or anything else, just have fun. And sometimes is what you need when you are going to the theatre. For 2 hours and a half I forgot about everything and I just focused on the show, but I must recognise that I was really exhausted, I had a long day and I thought I was about to fall sleep. I wasn’t bored, not at all, just tired.
I was really surprised with the production. Everything was beautiful, the stage, the costumes were really nice, as the effects too. The scenes were really good; they changed from one space to another so easily, so visual, so clear. The characters appeared from the public all the time, it was so funny. Everything was amazing, I had the feeling that I was in a 50’s musical all the time.
The characters were very good too. I loved Sid so much (Michael Xavier). He is amazing, his voice is astonishing. He has a great range and he dances amazingly well. I liked Babe too (Joanna Riding), she plays a typical femme fatale from the 50’s. She doesn’t agree with anything, she refuses love even when it’s in front of her. I really liked their performances; all the actors in the stage are really good. They make you feel that you are in the 50’s, in a pajama factory fighting for a 7 ½ cents raise. All the actors are charming, extremely funny and talented.
But there’s something I didn’t like. Sometimes it was hard for me to understand what the actors were saying because they were forcing an American English. It was so weird, they used expressions that weren’t familiar for me at all, but I’m sure that most of the public could understand it without any troubles. But it was really frustrating for me.
The songs from the show are classics, but I didn’t know any at all. I suppose that I’m too young for that. But I enjoyed them as well; I really liked ‘Hey You’, sung by Sid and Babe. The songs were good because they were properly located in the story. But the best of the show, for me, were the choreographies. All the actors are amazing dancers, they all dance incredibly well. Songs like ‘Once a Year Day’ are amazing because of the dancers, but I enjoyed ‘Steam Heat’ too and ‘Racing With the Clock’.
I think that ‘The Pajama Game’ is a good show, is pure entertainment. The best were the actors, extremely talented dancers and singers. It’s a shame that some sits were empty in the front rows; it’s not fair for the company and for the public. The theatre could sell these tickets cheaper, I’m sure some people would buy it. It’s sad that the show is closing soon, but it’s so exciting to think that soon ‘Memphis’ will be running in the Shaftesbury Theatre (I hope that for a long time). Good luck to all the cast, musicians and people involved in ‘The Pajama Game’.