Roundabout Announces Harry Connick, Jr. to Star in The Pajama Game

Roundabout Theatre Company (Todd Haimes, Artistic Director), by special arrangement with Jeffrey Richards, James Fuld, Jr. and Scott Landis, is thrilled to announce the Broadway theatrical debut of Harry Connick, Jr. as he stars in a new production of the Tony® Award-winning Best Musical, THE PAJAMA GAME, directed and choreographed by Tony® Award winner Kathleen Marshall, as part of the Roundabout's 40th Anniversary Season.

Performances of THE PAJAMA GAME will begin Friday, January 27th on Broadway at the American Airlines Theatre (227 West 42nd Street) with the official opening set for Thursday, March 2nd. The limited engagement is scheduled to run 20 weeks through June 18th, 2006.

Ticket Information:

Tickets are now exclusively available as part of a subscription to the Roundabout Theatre Company by calling Roundabout Ticket Services at (212)719-1300, online at www.roundabouttheatre.org or at the American Airlines box office (227 West 42nd St.). Single tickets for the production will go on-sale beginning October 2005. Tickets range from $76.25 – $101.25.

THE PAJAMA GAME features a book by the legendary George Abbott & Richard Bissell based on Mr. Bissell's novel, 7 ? Cents, and music and lyrics by Richard Adler & Jerry Ross. The book has been adapted for this production by Peter Ackerman.

The design team for THE PAJAMA GAME includes Derek McLane (sets), Martin Pakledinaz (costumes), Peter Kaczorowski (lights) with music direction by David Chase.

Additional casting information will be announced shortly.

Harry Connick, Jr. (Sid Sorokin) will make his Broadway theatrical debut in The Pajama Game. His concert production Harry Connick, Jr. and His Orchestra - Live on Broadway, directed by Joe Layton was produced in 1990 at the Lunt-Fontaine Theatre. In 2001, he received a Tony® nomination for Best Original Score for Thou Shalt Not, directed by Susan Stroman at the Plymouth Theatre. Harry Connick, Jr., also co-starred as "Lieutenant Cable" opposite Glenn Close in the 2001 TV film of Rodgers & Hammerstein's South Pacific. Additionally, Connick has made an impact in the world of film with performance credits including Memphis Belle, Little Man Tate, Copycat, Independence Day, and Hope Floats. He originally catapulted to national prominence with the soundtrack to Rob Reiner's hit film, When Harry Met Sally, which became his first multiplatinum album and his first big band recording. Harry Connick, Jr.'s recordings have sold over 20 million copies and have earned him three Grammy® Awards. He is also the recipient of a 2004 Emmy® for the Great Performances/PBS concert special Harry Connick, Jr.: Only You In Concert.

THE PAJAMA GAME features the classic songs "Hey There," "Steam Heat" and "Hernando's Hideaway." THE PAJAMA GAME is set in the Sleep-Tite Pajama Factory during a strenuous labor negotiation. At the musical's center is the simmering attraction between a handsome new manager and a lovely union representative. But their budding romance is threatened by the impending strike.

THE PAJAMA GAME opened on Broadway on May 13, 1954, ran for 1063 performances and won the Tony® Award for Best Musical of 1955. A movie version starring Doris Day was released in 1957. The musical was last seen on Broadway in a production starring Hal Linden and Barbara McNair in 1973.

Director/choreographer Kathleen Marshall returns to the Roundabout, where she choreographed their productions of Follies and 1776. She won a 2004 Tony® Award for Wonderful Town.

Performance Schedule Information:

THE PAJAMA GAME will play Wednesday through Saturday evenings at 8:00PM with a Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday matinee at 2:00PM and a Sunday evening performance at 7:00PM. Please check www.roundabouttheatre.org for the dates of the early-to-bed series.

Biographies

Harry Connick, Jr. (Sid Sorokin). Over the past two decades, Harry Connick, Jr. has proven to be among the world's most successful and multi-talented artists. Connick first reached a mass audience as a pianist, singer and bandleader, securing his place in the public eye as a renaissance man and versatile entertainer. His love of music and performing dates back to his childhood in New Orleans, where he studied piano with such luminaries as James Booker and Ellis Marsalis. He first performed publicly at age five, appeared on his first jazz recording at age ten, and released his self-titled major label debut for Columbia Records at 19, only a year after his high school graduation and his move to New York City.

Connick achieved widespread success as a musician when director Rob Reiner asked him to contribute the score to his 1989 smash When Harry Met Sally, leading to Connick's first multi-platinum album (also his first big band recording.) At the same time, Connick has built a successful film career, appearing both on screen and soundtracks. After making his acting debut in Memphis Belle in 1990, he has also been seen in Little Man Tate, Copycat, Independence Day, Excess Baggage, Hope Floats, Life Without Dick, and John Grisham's Micky. His music has also contributed to the success of such films as Godfather III, Sleepless in Seattle and The Mask.

As a television performer, Connick has starred in two holiday specials built around his best selling holiday albums "When My Heart Finds Christmas" (CBS) and "Harry for the Holidays" (NBC), and two Great Performances/PBS concert specials "Swingin' Out Live" and "Harry Connick, Jr.: Only You In Concert" for which he won a 2004 Emmy. He teamed with IDT Entertainment (producers of the "The Simpsons") on "The Happy Elf," a one-hour 3D animated holiday TV special which will air this Christmas and be released on DVD. The story is based on his original children's song from the Sony/Columbia Harry for the Holidays release. In addition, he starred opposite Glenn Close in the ABC TV adaptation of the musical "South Pacific" and played the recurring role of Dr. Leo Markus on the NBC hit series "Will & Grace."

All of these achievements – not to mention his album sales of over 20 million, his three Grammy awards, Emmy award, his Tony nomination for music and lyrics composed for the Broadway play Thou Shalt Not, and his performance of Oscar and Golden Globe nominated songs – reflect a creative energy that make Harry Connick Jr. unique in the world of contemporary entertainment.

Kathleen Marshall (Director/Choreographer). On Broadway, she directed and choreographed Wonderful Town (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics and Astaire Awards for choreography; Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle nominations for direction) and choreographed Little Shop Of Horrors, Follies (Roundabout; Outer Critics nomination), Seussical, Kiss Me Kate (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics and Astaire nominations), Ring Round The Moon (Lincoln Center Theater), 1776 (Roundabout) and Swinging On A Star (Drama Desk nomination). Off -Broadway, she directed and choreographed Saturday Night (Second Stage) and choreographed Violet (Playwright's Horizon) and As Thousands Cheer (Drama Dept). For City Center Encores!, she directed and choreographed House Of Flowers, Carnival, Hair, Wonderful Town and Babes In Arms and served as Artistic Director for four seasons. In the West End, she choreographed Kiss Me Kate (Olivier nomination). For ABC/Disney, she choreographed Meredith Willson's "The Music Man" (Emmy nomination). She is on the Executive Board of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers. This summer, she is directing and choreographing Two Gentlemen Of Verona for the Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park.

GEORGE ABBOTT (Book). George Abbott, a theatrical producer, director, and playwright, was born in 1887 in Forestville, N.Y. In 1913, he began in the theater as an actor and, during a career that spanned eight decades, was celebrated as a coauthor, director, or producer of more than 100 Broadway plays, including The Fall Guy (1925), his first authorial credit; Broadway (1926), his first smash hit; and the popular farce Three Men on a Horse (1935, revival 1969). He produced several musicals by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, notably On Your Toes (1936, revival 1954, 1983) and The Boys from Syracuse (1938). His later successes include Call Me Madame (1950), Wonderful Town (1953), The Pajama Game (1954, film 1957, revival 1973), Damn Yankees (1955, film 1958, revival 1994), and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1962, film 1966). From 1948 to 1962 Abbott won 40 Tony Awards. Fiorello! (1959), a musical he coauthored with Jerome Weidman, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1960. He won a Kennedy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1982.

RICHARD BISSELL (Book). Richard Pike Bissell (1913 - 1977) was a native of Dubuque, Iowa. He attended an elite prep school in New Hampshire and was a 1936 graduate of Harvard University. After receiving his B.A. in anthropology, Bissell took a job as a seaman on the American Export Lines and later joined the crew of the Central Barge Company of Chicago. He worked on towboats on the Ohio, Mississippi, Illinois, Monongahela, and Tennessee rivers, rising from a deckhand to a river pilot. When WWII ended he returned to Dubuque and resumed his work for H.B. Glover Company, the garment factory founded by his grandfather a century earlier. Bissell began writing about his river experiences and had his stories published in journals such as Atlantic Monthly, Colliers, and Esquire. Bissell's greatest success came when he wrote a humorous novel based on the activities at the garment factory, 7 ? Cents. The family moved to the East coast so he could turn the book into a musical play for Broadway. Now titled The Pajama Game, it was a smash and soon became a motion picture. This experience provided the fodder for his novel Say, Darling, which also became a Broadway musical. Richard Bissell wrote twelve books and numerous articles over the course of his career.

Richard Adler (Music and Lyrics). Richard Adler was born in New York City in 1921. He co-composed the music and lyrics for numerous musicals including The Pajama Game and Damn Yankees, both of which won Tony awards for best musical and best score. Mr. Adler's score for his musical about Africa, Kwamina, earned him a Tony nomination. Recordings of his biggest hit songs - "You Gotta Have Heart," "Hey There,," "Whatever Lola Wants" "Everybody Loves a Lover" and more - have sold over 30 million copies. During the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, Richard Adler staged and produced numerous Presidential entertainments as White House Consultant for the Arts. He also served as a Trustee for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. from 1964 to 1977. Between 1978 and 1993, Mr. Adler composed numerous symphonic works, including four Pulitzer Prize nominees, Retrospectrum, Yellowstone Overture, Wilderness Suite and The Lady Remembers. The University of North Carolina, commissioned Mr. Adler to compose a celebratory symphonic work commemorating its bicentennial. The work was world-premiered in 1993 and recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Adler was commissioned to compose two ballets for the Chicago City Ballet: Emmy award-winning, Eight by Adler in 1984 and Chicago, a jazz ballet. His score for a ballet based on Garcia Lorca's The House of Bernarda Alba had its world premiere February 1998 by Miami City Ballet and was critically acclaimed. Mr. Adler is the recipient of numerous other awards and honors, including two Donaldson's, two Variety Critics, and The London Evening Standard Award, the University of North Carolina Playmakers Lifetime Achievement Award, November 1999, as well as the coveted National Parks Service Honorary Ranger Award (1984), for which he became the eighth recipient. Others to receive this National Parks Award include Ansel Adams, Pat Nixon, Barbara Bush and President John F. Kennedy, the first to receive it (posthumously) in 1964. Mr. Adler is also a member of the Songwriters' Hall of Fame.

JERRY ROSS (Music and Lyrics). Jerry Ross was born in 1926 in New York City. He studied music at New York University and met Richard Adler in 1950. They had published several songs together when they attracted the attention of writer/publisher Frank Loesser and became his protégés. By 1953, their song "Rags to Riches" rocketed to number 1 on the charts, becoming a long-standing smash hit, recorded by Tony Bennett. Ross began his career in the Broadway Theater with John Murray Anderson's Almanac, a revue for which he and Richard Adler wrote most of the songs. In 1954, George Abbott contracted this promising young songwriting duo to write the score for a new musical about union/management relations at a pajama factory. The Pajama Game won the coveted Tony Award for best score, as well as the Donaldson Award and the Variety Drama Critics Award. Songs from the show included "Hernando's Hideaway" and "Hey There" (a hit for Rosemary Clooney), both of which also topped the Hit Parade of popular songs. In May 1955, the musical Damn Yankees opened and won Ross the Tony Award, the Donaldson Award, and the Variety Drama Critics Award, plus cross-over recording hits for "You've Gotta Have Heart" (recorded by a more well-established Fisher, among many others) and "Whatever Lola Wants, Lola Gets." Both shows ran on Broadway for over 1000 performances. Successful films were made of both musicals, although Ross did not get to see them realized. He died from complications related to the lung disease bronchiectisis on November 11th, 1955. He was 29.

PETER ACKERMAN (Adaptation) is the author of the play Things You Shouldn't Say Past Midnight, which ran for six months at the Promenade Theatre. Peter co-wrote the Academy® Award nominated film Ice Age. He recently wrote the scripts for the films Jumanji 2 (soon to go into production) and The Family Jewels.

Derek McLane (Sets) has designed sets on Broadway for Roundabout's The Women, The Look of Love, London Assurance, Three Sisters, Present Laughter, Summer and Smoke. Other Broadway credits include Little Women, I Am My Own Wife, Honour, Holiday and What's Wrong With This Picture?. Off-Broadway credits include The Great American Trailer Park Musical, Rounding Third, Aunt Dan and Lemon, The Credeaux Canvas, What the Butler Saw, etc. Other: Sondheim Celebration (Kennedy Center) and productions at most major resident theatres and operas. Awards: 1997/2004 Obie Awards, Drama-Logue Award, 2003 Michael Merritt Award, 2004 Lucille Lortel Award and five Drama Desk nominations.

MARTIN PAKLEDINAZ (Costumes). NY: Thoroughly Modern Millie; A Year With Frog and Toad; The Boys From Syracuse; Kiss Me, Kate; The Life; Golden Child; Diary of Anne Frank; A Thousand Clowns; Andrew Lippa's The Wild Party (MTC); Kimberly Akimbo; Impossible Marriage; Give Me Your Answer, Do!; Waste; The Misanthrope; Encores! Hair and Carnival. Mr. Pakledinaz also designs for television, leading regional theatres and dance and opera companies across North America, Europe and Asia. Awards include two Tony Awards, the Drama Desk, the Lucille Lortel, Obie, Irene Sharaff Young Master, Michael Merritt, Joseph Jefferson, Helen Hayes, among others.

PETER KACZOROWSKI (Lights). Recent Broadway: A Naked Girl on the Appian Way, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, After the Night and the Music, The Rivals, Wonderful Town, Anna in the Tropics, The Producers, The Music Man, Contact, Kiss Me Kate. Many shows for NYSF, MTC, LCT, Playwright's Horizons, Encores! Opera: Metropolitan Opera, NYC Opera, San Francisco, Houston Grand, Santa Fe, Seattle Opera among many others. Abroad: Royal Opera, Scottish Opera, Maggio Festival, L'Arena di Verona, TeatroLirico di Cagliari. West End: The Producers, Contact, Kiss Me Kate, Jackie, She Loves Me. He is the recipient of the Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics and Hewes design awards. This is his 15th production for Roundabout.

David Chase (Music Director). Broadway: Thoroughly Modern Millie (Dance Music Arranger), Flower Drum Song (Musical Adaptation and Supervision), Anything Goes (Music Director, special concert with Patti LuPone), Follies (Dance Music Arrangements), Suessical (Dance Music Arrangements), The Music Man (Music Director); Kiss Me, Kate (Arranger), Little Me, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Side Show, A Funny Thing Happened….and Damn Yankees. Also: Radio City Music Hall. David has a degree in biology from Harvard University.

Roundabout Theatre Company

Roundabout Theatre Company is one of the country's leading not-for-profit theatres. The company contributes invaluably to New York's cultural life by staging the highest quality revivals of classic plays and musicals as well as new plays by established writers. Roundabout consistently partners great artists with great works to bring a fresh and exciting interpretation that makes each production relevant and important to today's audiences.

The 2005-2006 season marks the Roundabout Theatre Company's 40th anniversary.

The company's 2005-2006 season, under the continuing leadership of Artistic Director Todd Haimes, is dedicated to the community of artists and loyal audience members who have made Roundabout one of New York's most popular not-for profit cultural institutions.

Major support for The Pajama Game provided by The Kaplen Foundation and JPMorgan Chase.

Roundabout Theatre Company productions are made possible, in part, with public funds from the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation; New York State Council on the Arts; National Endowment for the Arts; and New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. American Airlines is the official airline of Roundabout Theatre Company. The Westin Hotel is the official hotel of the Roundabout Theatre Company.

www.roundabouttheatre.org

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