Featured Artists and Faculty
Every month visual artists, musicians, actors and other performers, as well as members of the Johnson State College faculty liven up the Dibden stage and galleries. Read below to learn more about artists that Dibden is hosting, or explore the links to the left to find out about other featured artists, events and faculty.
The Pajama Game
April 23 -25, 2009 at 7 p.m.
“The Pajama Game” will be performed at the Dibden Center for the Arts. The play will feature musical director Lisa Jablow and visiting director Ann Harvey. Harvey is originally from Duxbury and has been back in the state for about four years after working in New York City.
Her resume includes working on both musical theater and Shakespearean productions — she served as the executive director of the Riverside Shakespeare Theater — not only in N.Y. but also Mich., and with the Lost Nation Theater in Montpelier.
She is also a JSC grad, in the music department and received her M.A. from Long Island University. The play was written by George Abbott and Richard Bissell with music by Jerry Ross and Richard Adler, based on the novel “7 1/2 Cents,” also by Bissell. The tale is about the less-than-perfect working conditions in a pajama factory, causing a workers’ strike. And of course, a love connection between the two main characters, Sid Sorokin and Babe Williams, who just happen to be the company superintendent and union grievance committee leaders, respectively.
Aside from the original Broadway run, a movie and two Broadway revivals have taken place, the last of which starred Harry Connick Jr., best known for his singing career and as an actor on the TV series “Will and Grace.” The show has won multiple awards, including a number of Tony Awards, for the original and 2006 revival.
The decision to put on this play came down to the students. Harvey explained that Jablow presented the students with a list of possibilities, and this was the winner. After looking at the group of students, Harvey said she and Jablow felt it was a good fit. Jablow said this show’s music follows the standard framework for musicals written during the time period, she called it the “postgolden age"; a “numbers” show following a patter of dialogue, music, dialogue, music and so on. The music, she said, is very tuneful and accessible.
Both Jablow and Harvey were present at the auditions for the play, and Jablow said that while singing just is not the strong suit of some people, all of the actors in this show are pretty talented. Jablow said that a musical can be more engaging than a spoken play. A spoken play “demands a certain kind of focus from the audience that a musical breaks up because periodically people spontaneously break into song, you know, so it sort of relieves the tension.”
By Jessie Forand
Used with permission from Basement Medicine (March 26, 2009 issue)