If you’re prone to sleeping in ratty old t-shirts or skimpy little tanks, now is the time to class up your act — because Childsplay in Tempe is holding a pajama party to celebrate its 35th birthday season. I’ve already started my hunt for flannels featuring a birthday motif — and I’ve snagged a few photos of Childsplay artists wearing costumes ala pajamas to help set the mood.
The pajama party, for “kids, parents and grandparents of all ages,” precedes a special “VIP performance” of Childsplay’s production of “Lyle the Crocodile.” A similar event with a tea party theme sold out in a hurry — so consider yourself warned on this baby.
The celebration takes place Sun, Dec. 4 at Tempe Center for the Arts. The pajama party starts at 2pm and the performance follows at 4pm. Pajamas are encouraged for both party and performance. You can attend both for just $35/person.
I’m told the pajama party features games, finger foods, face painting, pillow case decorating and a pajama parade. Also a raffle — plus a visit from Lyle the Crocodile.
Broadway fans hear the word “pajamas” and immediately recall the 1954 production of a musical called “The Pajama Game,” which was based on a Richard Bissell novel titled “7-1/2 Cents” (a reference to worker demands for raises at the pajama factory where much of the musical is set).
“The Pajama Game,” which features book by Bissell and George Abbott and music/lyrics by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross, enjoyed Broadway revivals in 1973 and 2006. The original Broadway production received a Tony Award for best musical, and the 2006 production received the Tony Award for best revival of a musical.
The musical mixes love and labor disputes as Babe, who heads the workers’ grievance committee at the pajama factory, finds herself in a blossoming romance with Sid, the factory’s new superintendent. Best known songs from the musical include “Steam Heat” and “Hernando’s Hideaway.”
Actor’s Youth Theatre in Mesa presents “The Pajama Game” Nov. 15-19 at the Mesa Arts Center. Take care not to confuse the two pajama-related events — the folks at MAC aren’t expecting a deluge of audience members donning sleepwear.
Note: Actor’s Youth Theatre presents a special pajama party show with breakfast Sat, Nov. 19 at 9am. Folks who attend will pay just $10 to buy a pair of pajamas for Hope Women’s Center, which serves “vulnerable women and teen girls and their families in the East Valley.”
Coming up: Lynn, Jenn and “Larry in Wonderland”
Photos provided by Childsplay and Chris Bowler/Actor’s Youth Theatre