“Another outstanding dance performance … Neckyfarow graces the stage with her form and talent as she dances with her ‘dream’ suitors.”
Liz Gassimi, Home Reporter and Sunset News Read the review.
Bridging the Arts in West Brooklyn
By Liz Gassimi
Home Reporter and Sunset News
Well, with the classic New York abruptness, it’s time to put away your parkas and take the Bermuda shorts out of mothballs because the warm weather is here … at least for now; who knows what will happen next week?
One thing I know for sure will definitely happen next week is that you will have only one more chance to get tickets for the Narrows Community Theater’s production of that great Broadway classic, “The Pajama Game,” which celebrates 50 years since its debut on The Great White Way. As usual, the NCT’s attention to detail and incredibly talented cast help set this production above what one might expect from community theater. The songs are snappy, the actors hit all their marks, and the star crossed lovers, Sid and Babe, are played handsomely by those NCT favorites, John Heffernan and Eileen Monahan.
John Gallagher turns in a terrific performance as the short-tempered, bellowing factory owner, Mr. Hasler, who sets everyone in a tizzy with every order he barks. He rushes across the stage, making anything and everything spin out of his way, and earns some laughs when he puts his employees to sleep with boredom at the company picnic.
Also gathering some chuckles are Dawn Barry Hansen as the oily-voiced secretary, Gladys. Later in the show, Hansen shows us her stuff in the dance number set to “Steam Heat.” Hansen – in an abbreviated black tuxedo – and a couple of chorus boys set the stage on fire with soft shoe-style choreography and even some very well-executed a capella singing. The show is filled with notable musical and dance performances guaranteed to knock your socks off.
A special kudos goes out to Ninetta LoPinto, playing Mabel, and Al Whidden, playing Hines. Their duet, “I’ll Never Be Jealous Again,” is just a treasure – their harmonies building and layering to perfection. They even perform a sweet little dance number to complete the picture.
As Prez, the company Lothario, Zack Abramowitz really shows his stuff. Abramowitz’s comic timing is terrific as he tries to romance several girls at the factory. His attempts to explain to one wide-eyed female after another that his marriage is “…practically over…” are hilarious; he even adds the gesture of trying to wrench his wedding ring off, adding to the comic impact. Also proving himself as an able singer, Abramowitz uses his sweet tenor voice to turn out a wonderful version of “Her Is.”
Another outstanding dance performance is delivered by Natalie Neckyfarow as Dream Gladys in the Jealousy Ballet, a dream sequence wherein Hines tries to imagine how worrisome it would be to be married to his love, Gladys. Neckyfarow is obviously a trained dancer, and graces the stage with her form and talent as she dances with her “dream” suitors.
Also deserving of a special mention are Megan Josefiak as the comely Poopsie, and Mickey Sullivan as dear Pop, Babe’s loving father.
I was saving the best for last: Heffernan’s Sid and Monahan’s Babe are just delightful. These two talented actors and singers have played romantic leads opposite each other in several NCT shows, and “The Pajama Game” proves they still have it. Their chemistry is wonderful – not to mention Heffernan’s strong tenor and Monahan’s lovely contralto – and it’s no wonder they’ve been cast opposite each other over and over. I’d see the show again and again just to see Sid hold Babe and sing to her about his love and devotion. When they gaze into each other’s eyes, you’ll believe it’s for real.
“The Pajama Game” plays again this weekend, May 14 and 15 at 8 pm, and May 16 at 3 pm in the Fort Hamilton High School Auditorium, 85th Street and Narrows Avenue. Call 718-482-3173 or email to NCTheater@aol.com for tickets.