Recently, Gregory and I went to see "The Pajama Game" at the Northwestern Theatre and Interpretation Center. The musical is set in 1954 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa at a pajama factory. The story includes love, labor unions, strikes, and more.
When I was very young, seven or eight, my sister Libbe purchased the album of the musical. We listened to it all the time. I do not remember if I ever saw the musical on stage before the other night but I know all the songs.
My sister and I used to play the various roles in the story and lip sync the songs. After a lot of practice we used to "put on" the show for our parents. I do not remember if we performed for other relatives.
But we had a lot of fun and I do remember feeling like I was "on Broadway" when we were performing.
We would sing "Seven and one half cents" as part of the factory workers strike to demand higher hourly rates. For "I'll Never Be Jealous Again" Libbe played Mabel and I played Hinesi. We would feel sexy (as sexy as an eight year old and his twelve year old sister could feel) singing "Steam Heat" and "Fernando's Hideaway."
Strange how some memories hold on so strongly for a lifetime. It seems like yesterday but my "staring" in the role of Hinesi was actually 60 years ago.