The North American premiere of Simon Callow's British staging of The Pajama Game will be folded and packed away July 24 at Toronto's Princess of Wales Theatre.
The musical, which began at Birmingham Repertory Theatre in England in April 1999, will move to London's Victoria Palace Theatre Sept. 14. Leading the cast will be Leslie Ash, replacing original Birmingham star Ulrika Jonsson, and Graham Bickley as Babe and Sid, co-worker-lovers who spar in the 1954 Broadway musical comedy about union unrest and romance at an American pajama factory.
The production is designed by abstract artist Frank Stella (who permanent works already decorate the Princess of Wales) and choreographed by Birmingham Royal Ballet artistic director David Bintley.
The Toronto staging, presented by Ed and David Mirvish, included most of the British cast. Canadian actress Camilla Scott, who appeared in Toronto's Crazy For You, starred as Babe opposite Bickley. The cast and set now returns to England, but Scott stays put.
The Toronto staging opened June 17. It was billed as "a musical comedy about love at work." The musical, with book by George Abbott and Richard Bissell, and songs by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross, is based on Bissell's novel, "7 1/2 Cents."
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-- By Kenneth Jones