STAGE TUBE: THE PAJAMA GAME from Lipscomb University Theatre

STAGE TUBE: THE PAJAMA GAME from Lipscomb University Theatre

Beki Baker directs and 2011 First Night Award-winning Justin Boccitto will choreograph as Lipscomb University's Department of Theatre brings the Richard Adler-Jerry Ross Tony Award-winning musical The Pajama Game to the stage of Collins Alumni Auditorium November 1-4.

The Pajama Game is directed by Beki Baker, who most recently direcTed Nashville Shakespeare Festival's Julius Caesar that featured an all-star cast of Nashville thespians along with legendary NFL star Eddie George.

"This is a bright and brassy musical, but the labor dispute portrayed in the work certainly relates to the economic struggles our nation is currently going through. There is truth in this story relayed through the comedy," said Baker.

Lipscomb's production of the beloved 1950s musical will feature some of Bob Fosse's original choreography, recreated by Boccitto. Boccito, who was named Nashville's top director of a musical in 2011 in the annual First Night Awards presentation, for Lipscomb's 2012 production of Hairspray, recently made his Nashville stage debut in Blackbird Theater's Red.

Baker's cast features Tyler Ashley and Kristi Mason as the show's central romantic duo, Sid and Babe. In real life, Ashley and Mason became engaged earlier this year, which is sure to add chemistry to their onstage connection. Among other cast members are Andrew Johnson, Sydni Hayes, Justin Tays, Tiana Turner, Elijah Wallace, Emily Faith, Stefani Paige, Leslie Marberry and Grafton Thurman.

Janet Holeman is music director, with Andy Bleiler designing the set, June Kingsbury as costume designer, David Hardy is lighting designer and Hollie Owens is production stage manager, assisted by Haleigh Ker and Brittany Barker.

The Pajama Game is described as "a romantic comedy exploring the dangers of a workplace romance set against the tension of a labor dispute. Labor conditions at the Sleep-Tite Pajama Factory are anything but peaceful as sparks fly between management and the union grievance committee. The situation comes to a head when the workers strike for a seven-and-a-half cent pay increase and set off a battle of the sexes as well."

The energetic score by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross includes the popular musical theater standards "Hey There," "Steam Heat" and "Hernando's Hideaway."  The musical won Tony Awards for best musical and best choreography in 1954.

Lipscomb's theatre department has built a reputation for producing award-winning productions that garner consistently positive reviews. The department provides students the opportunity to participate in an improvisational company, a dance company, to direct one-act plays and to perform in a variety of productions throughout the year. The department's theater-company-in-residence, Blackbird Theater, has been heralded locally as an innovative and original creative team.

The November 1, 2 and 3 performances of The Pajama Game take place at 7 p.m. and the Nov. 4 performance takes place at 2:30 p.m. Tickets cost $15 for adults, $10 for university faculty and $5 for all students. Tickets can be purchased at http://www.lipscomb.edu/theater/Tickets or by calling the Lipscomb box office at (615) 966-7075. A sign-interpreted show will be held November 1. Call for details. 

STAGE TUBE: THE PAJAMA GAME from Lipscomb University Theatre
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Jeffrey Ellis Jeffrey Ellis is a Nashville-based writer, editor and critic, who's been covering the performing arts in Tennessee for more than 25 years. He is the recipient of the Tennessee Theatre Association's Distinguished Service Award for his coverage of theatre in the Volunteer State and was the founding editor/publisher of Stages, the Tennessee Onstage Monthly. He is a past fellow of the National Critics Institute at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center and is the founder/executive producer of The First Night Honors, held during Labor Day Weekend, which honor oustanding theater artists in Tennessee in recognition of their lifetime achievements and includes The First Night Star Awards and the Most Promising Actors. Midwinter's First Night, held the first Sunday in January after New Year's Day, honors outstanding productions and performances throughout the state. Further, Ellis directed the Nashville premiere of La Cage Aux Folles, The Last Night of Ballyhoo and An American Daughter, as well as award-winning productions of Damn Yankees, Company, Gypsy and The Rocky Horror Show, with Ellis honored by The Tennessean as best director of a musical for both Company and Rocky Horror.


 
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