Theatre / The Pajama Game

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"The Pajama Game is the game I'm in,
And I'm proud to be in The Pajama Game. I love it!
I can hardly wait
To wake and get to work at eight.
Nothing's quite the same as The Pajama Game!"

The Pajama Game is a Broadway Musical scored by Jerry Ross and Richard Adler and based on the novel 7½ Cents, by Richard Bissell. Workers at the Sleep-Tite pajama factory are demanding a seven-and-a-half cent salary increase. Caught in the middle of this labor/management dispute are Katherine "Babe" Williams and Sid Sorokin, Star-Crossed Lovers stuck on opposite sides of the conflict. Can their relationship survive the negotiations?

The original production ran from 1954-1956, winning three Tony Awardsnote  and there have been two revivals since: one in 1973, and another in 2006 (which won another two Tony Awardsnote  and was nominated for an additional seven). A film adaptation was released in 1957, starring all of the original Broadway cast except for Janis Paige (Babe), who was replaced by Doris Day.


The Pajama Game contains examples of:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Prez to Gladys and Brenda, then Mae to Prez.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: See above and below; Prez persistently hits on every woman he sees, whether or not they're interested. Then he flirts with Mae, and she's too interested.
  • Blatant Lies: Prez's song "Her Is" is full of these. He sings to Gladys that he wouldn't flirt with anyone else like this and that the compliments he's giving her aren't just pickup lines...and after she rejects him, he sings the exact same thing to Mae (except Mae is into it). The choreography for the reprise is also exactly the same.
  • Bowdlerization: In the film version, some of the raunchier lyrics of "I'll Never Be Jealous Again" were changed.
  • Chekhov's Gun: In one of his first scenes, Hassler shouts at Gladys for leaving his (securely locked!) ledger alone for five seconds so she could use the bathroom. The ledger becomes very important in the second act.
  • Clock King: Hines takes pride in his obsession with the clock, even singing a musical number called "Think of the Time I Save" about the corners he cuts for the sake of efficiency (including sleeping in all his clothes and eating all the parts of his breakfast mixed together).
  • Dream Ballet: Hines's "Jealousy Ballet", in which he imagines what life would be like married to Gladys.
  • Fashion Show: At the end.
  • Fat Girl: Mabel. It says so in the script.
  • Hates Small Talk: "Small Talk" is a song about Sid doesn't want to talk small talk, he wants to make out with Babe.
  • He Is Not My Boyfriend: Babe does a whole musical number, "I'm Not At All In Love."
  • Implausible Deniability: Discussed in "I'll Never Be Jealous Again." Mabel invents increasingly explicit hypothetical scenarios implying that Gladys is cheating (but denying it each time) in order to test Hines's resolution to trust her.
  • Irrelevant Act Opener: "Steam Heat. It's supposedly entertainment at the union meeting, but it's really got nothing to do with the plot.
  • I Take Offense to That Last One: In "I'll Never Be Jealous Again," the first two scenarios are that Gladys shows up with mussed shirt and stockings (smeared lipstick, in the film), and that Hines goes to visit her and is confronted with an open window and a pile of men's clothing. To both of these, Hines responds, "I would trust her." In the last scenario, he sees her hugging a sailor who she says is her cousin from overseas...
    Hines: HER COUSIN FROM OVERSEAS! DO YOU EXPECT ME TO BELIEVE...
  • Joe Sent Me: The password to get into Hernando's Hideaway is "Joe sent me."
  • Karma Houdini: In the end, it's revealed that the Board of Directors has already granted the raise, and Hassler lied about it so he could keep the extra money for himself. His punishment? He has to stop doing it. That's all.
  • Knife-Throwing Act: Hines does one at the company picnic, but he has to stop in the middle because he's too drunk to aim safely. Luckily, nobody is hurt.
  • Panty Shot: The film version has one during "Once-A-Year-Day".
  • Sexy Secretary: Gladys, much to her jealous boyfriend's chagrin.
  • Sexy Shirt Switch: In the Fashion Show finale, Babe and Sid walk out onstage wearing a single set of pajamas. Babe wears the top half.
  • Shipper on Deck: The other girls in the factory are shipping Babe and Sid. Babe sings "I'm Not At All In Love" to rebutt them, but they end up together anyway.
  • Shirtless Scene: Sid gets one for the Fashion Show.
  • "Shut Up" Kiss: Invoked in "Small Talk".
    Why don't you stop all this small talk?
    I've got something better for your lips to do
  • Solo Duet: "Hey There". Sid sings a duet with a recording of himself on a dictaphone.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Sid is the factory's superintendent and Babe is the head of the union's Grievance Committee, placing the two sweethearts at opposite ends of the quickly-escalating conflict between labor and management.
  • Title Drop: Right in the opening. "The Pajama Game is the game I'm in, and I'm proud to be in The Pajama Game."
  • William Telling: Heinsy tries to do this in his knife-throwing act. While visibly drunk.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: In "Seven And A Half Cents," the characters tally up how much money they'd earn off of their 7.5-cent raise in the long run. They get it wrong.
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