The show opened on Broadway on May 13, 1954, and soared at the box office to run for 1,063 shows before closing. In fact, it was such a hit, the Richard Adler and Jerry Ross musical was picked up by Warner Brothers, who made only one replacement to the original Broadway cast, adding in Doris Day. At the 1955 Tony Awards, Pajama Game walked away with the award for Best Musical, as well as awards for Carol Haney as Best Featured Actress In A Musical, and for Bob Fosse as Best Choreographer.
Doris Day in the movie.
There have been two revivals on Broadway. The first was in 1973, and the cast included Hal Linden, Barbara McNair, and Cab Calloway. Sadly, the show closed after 65 performances. In 2006, the show returned to Broadway with Harry Connick, Jr., making his Broadway acting debut, Kelli O'Hara and Michael McKean. It ran for four months, but still managed to take the Tony for Best Revival of a Musical, and Best Choreopgraphy for Kathleen Marshall. The show had seven other nominations, including one for Connick.
Harry Connick, Jr, on Broadway.
The story of the show revolved around The Sleep-Tite Pajama Factory, where the workers are putting in there all. Then Sid comes along, a new manager, who enters into negotiations with the workers. Sid manages to ask Babe on a date, and although she seems to rebuff his advances, siding with the workers. On another romantic front, Hines, an efficiency expert, professes his love for Gladys, secretary to the president, who doesn't like his jealous ways. Sid's secretary, Mabel, tries to help Hines with his problem, and you get the following song, I'll Never Be Jealous Again, sung by Reta Shaw and Eddy Foy, Jr. in the movie.
Sid gets a bit forlorn, as once again he is rejected by Babe. In his office alone, he sings Hey There alone to himself, with just his dictaphone to listen. The following is from the movie, sung by John Raitt, who reprised his Broadway role. Mr. Raitt is also known as the father of blues/rock guitarist Bonnie Raitt.
Next we are at the Sleep-Tite company picnic, which certainly fun in an of itself. Prez, who is negotiating on behalf of the workers, makes a pass at Gladys, who turns him down. Hines is less than efficient when he gets drunk before putting on a knife-throwing act. Prez has moved on, makes a pass at the boisterous Mae, who eagerly says yes. Sid drives Babe home, who tries to slow things down with small talk, which works for a bit, but not long. Soon the two are admitting their love for one another. When they return to the factory, their differences appear strong once again. And the union has ordered a work slow-down, causing further friction between Babe and Sid. His demand the workers get back to work angers her so she loses her temper and breaks one of the machines. Sid is forced to fire her, ending the first act.
At the opening of the second act, Gladys tries to cheer up her fellow-strikers and performs Steam Heat with some of the working men of Sleep-Tite, during a union meeting. This is Carol Haney showing why she won the Tony Award and was cast in the movie.
After the meeting, a meeting of the Grievance Committee is at Babe's house, figuring out the strategy for the strike. Prez and Mae seem to be cooling off once the alcohol is not involved, and Sid comes to the house to try to mend the relationship with Babe. While she might love him, Babe spurns him once again. Here is Doris Day singing Hey There (Reprise) form the movie.
Hines is offended by the slow-down, so several of the ladies try to reassure him it is against the company, not him. Sid, on the other hand, has been thinking about what Babe had to say, and suddenly finds himself on the side of labor, not management. He takes Gladys to a nightclub, Hernando's Hideaway, to find out about the company books, hoping to help the workers. The following was recorded during the 2006 revival by a fan, with Harry Connick, Jr, showing was he had a Tony nomination.
Hines and Babe happen upon the couple, and assume the worst. Babe storms out, and Hines worse jealous fears have seemingly come true. But Sid ends up with the books, and discovers the owner of the company is already charging for the raise, but pocketing the money himself. Hines burst in on Gladys, venting his jealousy by breaking out the knife-throwing, missing Gladys on purpose. Only the knives also just miss the owner, who is sure someone is trying to kill him. This gives Sid a chance to save the day, convincing the owner the attempts on his life will stop if he gives the workers their raise.News spreads fast, and the factory returns to work in earnest, and Babe, moved by Sid's negotiating for the workers, confesses she really loves him. To celebrate, everyone goes back to Hernando's Hideaway and live happily ever after.