The Student News Site of Great Neck North High School

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The Student News Site of Great Neck North High School

Guide Post

The Student News Site of Great Neck North High School

Guide Post

The Pajama Game: Anything but Sleepy

On Nov. 17, the Junior Players held opening night for their first production of the year, The Pajama Game.

Set in a 1950s pajama factory, The Pajama Game follows the story of Sid Sorokin (Sam Friedmann ’24), a new factory superintendent, and Babe Williams (Clara Goldman ’24), the leader of the Union Grievance Committee. The unlikely pair fell in love during a labor conflict at the factory. From Nov. 17 to 19, North High’s Junior Players brought this story to life right here on our stage.

The cast, crew, and pit orchestra pictured on the show’s second night (Credit: @juniorplayers_gnnhs on Instagram).
The scene above depicts Williams and the Grievance Committee and their encounter with Sorokin, the new superintendent (Credit: Mia Malhotra).

“The difficult part about playing Sid is not just the quick changes, music in act one, or the immense amount of lines but rather finding a sense of depth to the character,” said Friedmann. “Because of this, my goal during the rehearsal process and especially during each performance was to convey a deeper, more emotional side to Sid’s character while still being light and playful as the show is meant to be.”

Sid is a character of many dimensions, and figuring him out was a key part of making the performance seamless. “Being able to make this character my own was by far my favorite part of the process,” said Friedmann. 

Friedmann and Goldman’s performance was admired throughout the audience. “The success of the narrative relied heavily on the believability of our principal actors portraying romantic partners,” said Mr. Giordano, performing arts teacher and director of the play. “Fortunately, our two lead actors demonstrated remarkable focus and professionalism, delivering performances that truly stood out and added authenticity to the storytelling.”

When it came to choosing The Pajama Game as North High’s first play of the year, Mr. Giordano took the decision into careful consideration. “Theatre educators must consider the four years that students spend in high school when selecting productions,” he said. “In seeking a departure from the familiarity and style of Les Misérables, I examined the repertoire chosen during the seniors’ freshman and sophomore years. It became evident that opting for a production from Broadway’s Golden Age (1945-60s) was essential. With this knowledge, the decision to stage ‘The Pajama Game’ became a logical and fitting choice.”

The scene above depicts the union members at a rally demanding a 7-and-a-half cent pay raise (Credit: Mia Malhotra).

With North High’s last performance from “Broadway’s Golden Age” being “Anything Goes” in 2019, the process of preparation for the Junior Players crew was filled with both challenges and opportunities. “Incorporating choreography was a novel experience for our students, as they hadn’t previously participated in a production with dance breaks,” said Mr. Giordano. “This added an exciting and dynamic dimension to our rehearsal process, creating a unique learning atmosphere.”

The opening scene of The Pajama Game, performed by junior Owen Flood playing Vernon Hines (Credit: Mia Malhotra).

Junior Owen Flood reflected on his experience portraying Vernon Hines. “The role was very fun to play,” said Flood. “I most enjoyed working with my cast mates and seeing the show come to life.”

On the Wednesday before opening night, a teaser was held from periods 7 to 9. This time frame provided an opportunity for the junior players to pique interest and encourage other students to watch the play on one of the showing dates. 

“The in-school preview performances added to the excitement of the experience because some North students didn’t even know that we do productions like this here and were amazed by the talent,” said Mr. Giordano.

Junior Derick Zheng enjoyed the teaser. “I thought the teaser was a great way to spread awareness about the play and encourage others to attend,” he said.

Students praised the junior players for their hard work and dedication that went into three successful showings.  

“As someone in the audience, you can tell how much work has been put in by the whole cast and crew. The singing, acting, chemistry, and comedy were all spot on,” said sophomore Naomi Zarnighian.

The pit orchestra also played an integral part in the production. Conducted by Dr. Esther Noh, members of the pit orchestra had to work together with the actors and stage crew in order to coordinate the timing of music during important scenes. Additionally, the play begins with the orchestra playing an overture, something unique to plays in the 1950s. The overture comes before any acting and consists of samples of music from scenes in the play. 

The pit orchestra, conducted by Dr. Esther Noh, photographed during The Pajama Game Overture (Credit: Mia Malhotra).

Congratulations to the Junior Players on a successful production, and we can’t wait to see what you will accomplish next! For anyone wondering, we asked Mr. Giordano about the next Junior Players production, and here is his response:

The next Junior Player’s production is a dramatic, documentary-style theatre play, the title of which is a secret. However, what I can say is utilizing discussions with eyewitnesses, close acquaintances, initial responders, and the investigators delving into the matter, Junior Players will unfold the narrative of a peculiar incident in a documentary fashion. As the threads intertwine into an escalating perilous network, it becomes evident that this occurrence may not be entirely confined to history. The play is disconcerting, thrilling, and remarkably creative. You’ve never seen anything quite like this show. Can you keep a secret?

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About the Contributor
Ian Loo, Associate Editor
Ian Loo is one of Guide Post's associate editors. He is currently the concertmaster of Great Neck North High's Symphony Orchestra. He also participates in many performing groups including the Nassau Principal Orchestra of MYO, All-County, and LISFA. If not practicing violin or hitting the ski slopes, he enjoys traveling, browsing Zillow, and spending time with friends.

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