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Pajama Game

The Pajama Game is a musical based on the novel 7½ Cents by Richard Bissell with music and lyrics by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross.

The original Broadway production opened on May 13, 1954 at the St James Theatre, and ran for 1,063 performances. It was directed by George Abbott and Jerome Robbins and featured choreography by Bob Fosse. It won a Tony for Best Musical. The original cast included John Raitt, Janis Paige, Eddie Foy, Jr., Carol Haney, and Stanley Prager. This production is noted for starting the career of Shirley MacLaine. A relative unknown at the time, she was selected to understudy Carol Haney’s role. MacLaine filled the role for several months, as Haney was out of commission with a broken ankle. Director/producer Hal B. Wallis was an audience member at one of MacLaine’s performances, and signed her as a contract player for Paramount Pictures.

Pajama Game concerns the battle over a 7.5 cent raise between management and labor at the Sleep-Tite Pajama Factory. Amidst the conflict, a romance ensues between the new superintendent, Sid, and the leader of the Union Grievance Committee, Babe. Not surprisingly, their romance is all the more difficult given their opposing sides in the labor dispute. Eventually, management agrees to the raise, and peace reigns in the factory as well as in Sid and Babe’s love life.

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