Dwight D. Eisenhower has just completed two years as the 34th United States president earlier this year. War has broken out in Vietnam. Edward Murrow and Fred W. Friendly scrutinize the actions of Senator Joseph McCarthy and his Communist witch hunt. Dr. Jonas Salk's polio vaccine is first administered to children as national testing begins. The Supreme Court unanimously bans racial segregation in public schools in its Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka decision. The year is 1954.
On Broadway, the new season is filled with such star-studded shows as Tea and Sympathy (starring Deborah Kerr), Kismet (with Richard Kiley), The Caine Mutiny-Court Martial (headed by Henry Fonda) and Ondine (featuring Audrey Hepburn). Late in the season, three new musicals jockey for the spotlight — Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill's The Threepenny Opera, John La Touche and Jerome Moross' The Golden Apple and a work penned by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross.
The title page in the The Pajama Game Playbill.
(Note the "Air Raid" instructions.)
In the Playbill, among advertisements for cars (the "185-horsepower 'Rocket' Engine" of Oldsmobile's Ninety-Eight or the new standard "Safety Power Steering" of Buick's Roadmaster), women's fashion, the Hotel Astor in Times Square, Trans World Airlines, Tums, perfumes, cosmetics, cigarettes and plenty of alcohol is a half-pager for Playbill's "handy binder" for theatregoers who save their programs.
An ad for Playbill binders.
Management notes in the Playbill.
Shirley MacLaine listed in the understudy page.