PHOTO: Babe Williams’ character is portrayed by Tessa Bowick. (Brian Leonard photo)
Lynda Berry donned her blue formal dress, white gloves, white pumps and handbag. And on the arm of her then beau, Carl Christensen, attended their graduation back in the 1960s.
Throughout the years, Lynda Christiansen (yup, she married Carl) also saw the dress on her granddaughter Tessa.
“I raided my grandmother’s closet as a kid,” said Tessa Bowick, a Grade 12 student at Langley Secondary. “I kept it all these years. I used to play dress up.”
The grandmother, now 70, will get see that blue dress on her all-grown-up granddaughter in the lead in the LSS production of The Pajama Game.
Lynda graduated from Brookswood Secondary but did attend LSS for a year and is part of the pioneering Berry family connected with local general stores.
A previous incarnation of her blue dress was a bridesmaid dress for the marriage of Lynda’s sister. (Bowick also plans to wear the dress for her grandparents’ 50th anniversary celebrations in the near future.
In The Pajama Game which runs Feb. 26 and 27 and March 3, 4 and 5, Bowick plays the lead character, Babe Williams, whom she describes as spunky and spirited.
Babe heads the union at the pajama factory and ends up falling in love with Sid, the new factory superintendent.
Bowick will wear the blue dress during the scenes where Babe and Sid are spending their first time alone as a couple. And her grandmother will be in the front row opening night.
Bowick cherishes the dress.
“It’s still beautiful,” Bowick said.
PHOTO: Nathan Copland (Grade 12) plays Sid Sorokin, Jabin Rempel (Grade 9) is Prez, Tio Revelstoke (Grade 9) plays Max and Jamye Gallawan (Grade 12) has the role of Mabel.
There’s more family connections in the show.
The live orchestra (22 community members and two students) includes the aunt of one of the Grade 9 students in the show.
The husband of teacher Patti Thorpe, who works at Trinity Western University, is in the orchestra and brought along some students.
And Emma Garland, who graduated from LSS and is now studying choreography at SFU, returned to do dance duties with the show. Her father is also playing bass in the orchestra.
LSS resource teacher Nicole Simon, who plays with the TWU orchestra, is among the musicians helping with the show.
Thorpe jokes that she pays the band in cookies but acknowleges how much their support is valued.
Thorpe and fellow teacher Brian Leonard are overseeing the production this year and Pajama Game was picked for demographics.
“It has a lot of girl parts, a lot of good strong wome,” Thorpe said. “The parts for guys are good also.”
But the truth about high school dramatics is that more girls try out for roles.
The show staged The Pajama Game a few years ago during the summer camp program.
There’s 32 students on stage ranging from one Grade 7 student from H.D. Stafford Middle School to LSS students in all grades.
There are half a dozen students doing the crew work to pull together this production.
The Pajama Game is not a popular play. It hit the stage in 1954 and was made into a 1957 film with Doris Day.
But its legacy is its music.
“It’s an interesting show because most of us have never heard of it,” she said. “But if you get some people of a certain age and sing ‘Hey there, you with the stars in their eyes’…”
Older people will recognize the songs, including Hey There, Steam Heat and Hernando’s Hideaway.
The Pajama Game
Langley Secondary School presents The Pajama Game
• Feb. 26 and 27, March 3, 4 and 5. 7 p.m. each evening with 2 p.m. matinees Feb. 27 and March 5.
• 21405 56th Ave.
• Tickets: $12 for adults and $10 for students and seniors
• Box office: 604-534-4171, ext. 743 or online at sd35.schoolcashonline.com
PHOTO: The Fosse Posse features Cassidy Hryckiw (Grade 12), Chole Ross (Grade 9), Sara Oliva (Grade 10), Ella Rogers (Frade 9) and Beya Miller (Grade 9). They are among the talent in the LSS production of The Pajama Game. (Brian Leonard photo)