A new production of Richard Adler and Jerry Ross' musical, The Pajama Game, will reach Broadway this fall, Adler told Playbill On-Line. The venture is not in any way connected to the Encores! concert staging set to play City Center May 2-6.
Adler declined to name the producer behind the new revival, but said the deal was "definite," and the show would reach Broadway regardless of the critical fate of the Encores! mounting. No cast or director have been hired at this juncture.
The production will be the first Broadway mounting of Pajama Game to feature "If You Win, You Lose," a new song Adler penned a few years back. The tune has been used in many regional productions across the U.S. According to Adler, the number is a refashioning of "Watch Your Heart," a tune inserted in a 1973 Broadway revival of The Pajama Game.
"I reshaped ['Watch Your Heart'] into 'If You Win, You Lose.' It's got a new melody and a new lyric," he said.
"If You Win" takes the place usually reserved for a reprise of one of the score's best known titles, "Hey There." Said Adler: "The reprise of 'Hey There' was suggested by my mentor of the time, George Abbott, to help promote the song. That was 48 years ago. The song needs no help now. I never liked the reprise. So I took it out and put this in... It's the best song I ever wrote." Adler said he offered the new song to Encores! creative team for use in their new concert reading. They, however, opted to retain the original scoring. Adler did not attend rehearsals of the Encores! undertaking, which stars Karen Ziemba and Brent Barrett and is directed by John Rando. He does plan to attend a performance, nonetheless.
The Pajama Game has a book by George Abbott and Richard Bissell, based on Bissell's novel, "7-1/2 Cents." Abbott and Jerome Robbins directed the original 1954 Broadway production, which starred Janis Paige and John Raitt as the romantic leads, and featured the choreographic Broadway debut of Bob Fosse. Fosse took cast members Carol Haney, Buzz Miller and Peter Gennaro and created what became the show's most famous dance number, "Steam Heat."
A film version starred Doris Day and Raitt.
—By Robert Simonson