The Pajama Game Was Worth Far More Than 7 and a Half Cents


Aaron Chong

Madison Charles and Trevor Lind starred opposite each other in the musical.

This April saw the curtain close on another successful DHS Drama season with their production of The Pajama Game, originally written by George Abbott and Richard Bissell. The musical, which takes place in a pajama factory where the workers are fighting for a seven-and-a-half cent raise, primarily follows the love story between a particularly feisty worker (Madison Charles) and the new factory superintendent who just wants to feel at home (Trevor Lind). Other storylines involved the rather unfortunate relationship between the factory timekeeper (Trevor Haar) and a flighty secretary (Priyanka Kedia), the antics of the sleazy union president (Carson Merrick), and the factory strike itself.

The plot, unfolding between two characters situated on opposite sides of a workplace debate, was somewhat underdeveloped, and many scenes had little to do with the rest of the story. That being said, the production itself never failed to be entertaining. Perhaps most noticeable was the fantastic choreography and musical numbers; nearly every major song (all played with contagious energy by the live orchestra) featured impressive dance numbers with the entire cast. The sheer skill in both dancing and acting was especially displayed by students Carson Merrick and Priyanka Kedia.

Matthew Tjokro
Trevor Haar and Hannah Bumanlag perform one of many comedic musical numbers.

Many cast members noted the unique challenges of working with such an old musical–The Pajama Game is a relic of the 1950s, more affectionately known as the “Golden Age of Broadway”. Madison Charles acknowledged that while “the older style of writing and large cast made the process difficult at times, overall it was a wonderful experience.” Trevor Haar, who played the high-strung factory timekeeper, acknowledged the old-fashioned nature of the script for a different reason; being from the 1950s, the script made plenty of sexist jokes that weren’t quite offensive, but probably wouldn’t be accepted wholeheartedly in the 21st century. He said that “while [he] may not agree with a whole lot of the plot on a moral standpoint, the crazy, ridiculous, farcical and satirical nature of this show was something that [he] absolutely adored as an actor.” He, like many other seniors, stated that the overall experience was one that he was proud to end his high school career on.

Many audience members also appreciated the humor that Trevor pointed out. Aleena Zaheer, a Dublin High sophomore, said that one of the most impressive parts of the production was the cast’s ability to keep everyone thoroughly entertained, saying that “even for the repeated and running jokes, like Gladys’ long line of suitors, [she] laughed every time.” The comedic duo of Trevor Haar and Hannah Bumanlag was especially delightful as well.

Aaron Chong
The ensemble cast of The Pajama Game.

While the show is over at Dublin High, the cast isn’t quite done. Dublin High received three nominations at the Rita Moreno California High School Musical Honors: Carson Merrick for Best Supporting Actor, Priyanka Kedia for Best Supporting Actress, and the entire show for Overall Production. All of this demonstrates what we’ve known for years now–the DHS Drama Department is no stranger to producing fantastic shows, and this year’s annual musical was no different.