This is our “Once-A-Year Day!”—Happy Fourth of July! The Pajama Game 1957

Happy Fourth of July!  Since many Americans will celebrate this holiday with a picnic in the park, here’s a fun clip of Bob Fosse’s “Once-A-Year Day” from the 1957 film version of “The Pajama Game.”

In a Dance Magazine article (1957), Carol Haney described the “Once-A-Year Day” choreography—both the choreography of the movement and of the camera: “For a scene like the big “Once-A-Year Day” number—the picnic dance which we did on location in a park—Bob Fosse re-choreographed his original dance completely to involve more people and all the space you can cover with a camera. And Stanley Donen, who knows about dance, photographed it in wonderful travelling shots that captured all of the dynamism of the movements and at the same time provided enough air around the performers to make their movements significant. You see, you just can’t set up your camera and photograph a dance…You have to know just where to place it, which angle will make it exciting and alive.”

Age 27 Bob Fosse’s “Humdinger” The Pajama Game, 1954

“A SMASH-HIT MIXTURE OF RACEHORSE AND EXPLOSIVE!” – Time Magazine

“A SMASH HIT – A POWERHOUSE – IRRESISTIBLE” – Variety

“A WHALE OF A SHOW!”   “A SURE – FIRE WINNER!”   “THE BEST AT LAST!”

“BRIGHT, BRASSY AND JUBILANTLY SASSY SHOW!”

The Pajama Game original Broadway production opened on May 13, 1954, and closed on November 24, 1956, after Continue reading

Bob Fosse “Hernandos Hideaway” hand embellished textile, 1954

Possibly production used hand embellished textile, being primarily constructed of a heavy black woven wool material having hand sewn golden metallic sequined letters reading “Hernando’s Hideaway” outlined with corresponding side-by-side bugle beads painted over with a red gloss paint, appears to be nail polish. Considerable amount of surface paint-loss to sequins and beads present, also having fabric corner tears consistent with age and or possible performance use.

“Hernando’s Hideaway” is a tango show tune, largely in Long Metre, from Act II of the musical The Pajama Game, written by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross, published in 1954. The lyrics describe a dark and secretive Continue reading

Age 27 Bob Fosse debut Broadway production program The Pajama Game, 1954

Bob Fosse's first Broadway show, The Pajama Game, 1954 | research property of Brian Cummings

The Pajama Game original Broadway production opened on May 13, 1954, and closed on November 24, 1956, after 1,063 performances. It was directed by George Abbott and Jerome Robbins and featured all original choreography by the then 27 year old Bob Fosse.

Above detail image from the 1954 “Who’s Who in The Cast” original The Pajama Game Broadway program reading in part:

“Bob Fosse brings to his first job of choreography on Broadway a wealth of experience gained as a performer and as a stager of dances for musicals on the summer circuits.”

The Pajama Game original cast included John Raitt, Janis Paige, Eddie Foy, Jr, Carol Haney, and Stanley Prager.

This particular production of The Pajama Game is also known for helping with the stardom of  Continue reading