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'The Pajama Game' is 44th annual production of Zion Opera Workshop

  • Prez, Josiah Behrens shares a hug with Mae, Evy Heckman while secretary, Mabel played by Laura Cressley tries to reason with boss Myron Hassler played by Brandon Cressley.
    Prez, Josiah Behrens shares a hug with Mae, Evy Heckman while secretary, Mabel played by Laura Cressley tries to reason with boss Myron Hassler played by Brandon Cressley.
Published February 24. 2014 05:01PM

Zion Opera Workshop will be staging its 44th annual production in Lehighton, "The Pajama Game."

The hilarious musical will be staged Thursday, Feb. 27; Friday, Feb. 26, and Saturday, March 1 at 7:30 p.m. in Smith Hall of Zion United Church of Christ. There is also a matinee performance on Saturday at 2 p.m..

Advance tickets are recommended for all performances. to Present "The Pajama Game" for its 2014 Performance

Tickets can be obtained from any cast member, at Carbon County Music and More, 115 S. 2nd St., Lehighton, or by calling box office manager, Sue Yeastedt at 1-484-629-3116.

The musical is based on the book "7 12 Cents" by Richard Bissell. The musical was created by Bissell and George Abbott, with music and lyrics by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross (the creators of Damn Yankees).

This show was originally presented in 1954 and won the Tony award for best musical that year. It tells the story of factory workers in the Sleep Tite pajama factory in their quest for a 7 and a half cent raise.

In the midst of this ordeal, love blossoms between Babe (played by ZOW veteran actress Jessica Schafer), the grievance committee head, and Sid (played by ZOW newcomer Chris Pavlick), the new factory superintendent.

Shafer is also the stage director for the performance and has appeared in many lead roles in Zion Opera Workshop. Although Pavlick is a newcomer to Zion Opera Workshop, he is no stranger to the musical stage. He has performed in many musical productions in Hazleton and beyond.

The show is filled with crazy and hilarious characters including Heinzie who is played by ZOW's Dave Krum, who has been with the group since 1976, and his comedic sidekick and love interest, Gladys, played by Becky Herd who is returning for her third performance with the group.

Other lead characters include Mae (played by Evy Heckman), Prez (played by Josiah Behrens), Mr. Hasler (Brandon Cressley) and Mabel (Laura Cressley).

Other characters include Poopsie (Casi Reichard), Brenda (Tara Crowe), Max (Doug Rau), Joe (Adam Reichard) and Pop (James Blakeslee).

Rounding out the cast are factory workers, singers and dancers including Martha Cox, Matt Poirer, Noah Smith, Tina Becker, Mikayla Blakeslee, Lexi Young, Tim Herd, Aleigh Smith, Thomas Phelan, Ben Glueck, April Walker, Schyler Cordova, Nathan Kroboth, Sophie Coombe, Erin McGinley, Kristin Campbell, Brian Kesek, Jessie Salinas, Candace Malcowicz, Emily Snyder, Miguel Gonzalez, Parker Fairchild, Chris Short, Autumn Williams, Bethany Evans and Ashley Harrington.

Solo and group dance numbers are choreographed by ZOW's resident choreographer, Deb Strausberger from TNT Dance.

Memorable songs from the show include Hernando's "Hideaway" and "Steam Heat."

As always, the show will be accompanied by ZOW's live orchestra.

Most of the action takes place in the Sleep Tite Pajama factory. The stage at Zion has been transformed into the factory complete with sewing machines as well as various other sets including a realistic looking 1950's apartment kitchen.

The stage design, construction and props are ably handled by Zion Opera Workshop's technical directors, Pati and Duane Reichard with backdrop design by Ben Glueck.

Zion Opera workshop is under the direction of Bradly R. Cressley, Director of Music at Zion UCC.

The workshop was originally formed and directed by Paul Smith, retired Director of Music at the church.

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