Mineola High School’s production of The Pajama Game was a big success, thanks to the Drama Club and Thespian Troupe 276. The three performances of the musical occurred on Saturday, March 24, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, March 25, at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
The students of Mineola High School devoted their time to this musical, whether they were leads, a part of the ensemble, or a member of the crew. These hard-working students stayed for drama practice after school and into the late hours of the evening. Once again, their efforts were well worth it.
The Pajama Game is a musical based on the 1953 novel 7½ Cents by George Abbott and Richard Bissell. The musical is about pajama factory workers who are underpaid and resort to a union strike. The lead, Babe Williams is one of these workers, and finds herself falling for Sid Sorokin. The only problem is Sorokin is the new boss of the company whose position requires him to be at odds with Babe and her fellow employees. Leads Babe Williams and Sid Sorokin were played by seniors Sarah Harty and Jake Lenze.
“This role was very different from anything I’ve ever done,” Harty said. “The character development was very challenging, and once I really got it I ended up getting the flu and was out for a week, so that was definitely an obstacle. I’ve never been sick while performing before so that’s something I didn’t factor in.”
A two-act love story, comedy, and musical, The Pajama Game captured the attention of an audience of all ages. The musical had a wide array of musical numbers and even featured a live pit orchestra composed of faculty and students. The Mineola High School Drama Department is known for its dedication and commitment which was shown through the elaborate sets constructed by the FabLab, as well as the costuming and lighting.
Besides the other leads, there were many dancers and extras on stage as well. Since The Pajama Game has many iconic musical numbers such as “Steam Heat” and “Hernando’s Hideaway”, choreography was crucial to the production.
“Choreographing the musical at the high school is such an incredible experience,” said Aislinn Oliveri, the dance teacher and choreographer at Mineola High School and Mineola Middle School. “Every year we try to challenge our students with a different and new style show and this year was no exception. Bob Fosse choreographed The Pajama Game and the dances were extremely challenging, especially ‘Steam Heat’. That is such an iconic dance number and Katrine Gulinao, David Fernandez and Sofia Pereira did an outstanding job with it. We work very hard on technique and the use of expression when performing on stage, and that really showed in this production.”
The students and faculty that are part of the drama community are a tight knit group who stick together on and off the stage. As always, this was an emotional time in the Drama Club because The Pajama Game was many students’ last high school production.
“It is such an honor getting to watch these kids grow and evolve as performers,” Oliveri said. “We create such incredible memories together and have become a family in the process. I am very lucky to be a part of the Mineola drama community and get to create magic on the stage.”
Even though it was the last Mineola drama production for the seniors who starred in The Pajama Game, they have bright futures filled with acting opportunities ahead of them.
“I definitely plan on doing something related to theatre in college,” Harty said. “I plan on minoring in it and I’m definitely going to continue performing for as long as I am able too.”
—Madeline Feehan is a student from Mineola High School