"Pajama Game" a light-hearted romp

"The Pajama Game" is a light-hearted, amusing musical at the Carson City Community Center. You won't want miss it because it is one of those shows where the second bananas are as important -- and maybe even more fun -- as the leads.

Not that the two leading actors, Heather Dornoff and Ryan Rothchild, don't carry their end of the show; they do, with strong, true voices and commanding stage presences.

But the supporting cast that steals the show. Lynn Heller as Gladys and David Tillitt as Prez are a knockout duo in their scene, with Heller limber-legged and rubber-faced and truly inspired into slapstick.

Then there's Jennifer Spector as Mae and Tillitt again in an in-the-aisle duet.

Finally, consider Stephanie Dixon as Mabel and Jerry Lowe as Hines in a delightful song-and-dance number that stunned the audience (not quite a full house Friday night, but word-of-mouth will surely pack the house for later performances).

Of course, Dornoff and Rothchild are the backbone of the show, keeping the thin plot line moving along nicely. No problem with either; it's just that their roles are limited in wit and color.

The musical is based on the Richard Bissell '60s comic novel "7-1/2 Cents." The plot concerns the efforts of the employees of the Sleep-Tite pajama factory in Iowa to win a 7-1/2 cent hourly raise and the refusal of the curmudgeon who owns the factory to give it to them.

There's lot of fun music for the orchestra and dancing, created by Gina Kaski-Davis, in "Pajama Game," some of it reflecting the choreography of the late Bob Fosse. The second-act opener, "Steam Heat," is a wonderful- segment of dancers using derby hats and hand moves to great effect.

"Pajama Game," with music and lyrics by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross and book by George Abbot and Bissell, is presented by the Western Nevada Musical Theatre Company as a Western Nevada Community College production.

If you go

What: "Pajama Game" by Western Nevada Musical Theatre Company

When: Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m.

Tickets: $14 general, $12 for students and seniors, $8 for 17 and under, and $4 for under 5. Tickets at Comma Coffee at 312 South Carson St. in Carson City, Maytan Music on South Center St. in Reno; or they may be charged by phone at the WNCC Performing Arts Office, 775-445-4249.


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