Friday, May 11, through Sunday, May 20
Playcrafters Barn Theatre, 4950 35th Avenue, Moline IL
Called “warm-hearted and witty” by the Chicago Tribune and “bouncy and well-crafted” by Variety magazine, the family-friendly comedy Bingo! The Winning Musical will be staged at the Playcrafters Barn Theatre May 11 through 20 – a presentation that's not only a rare musical for the Moline venue, but a rarer one that allows audience members to be part of the show themselves.
With its music and script by Ilene Reid, Michael Heitzman, and David Holcenberg, Bingo! The Winning Musical concerns a group of die-hard players who stop at nothing to make their weekly game. Best friends Vern, Honey, and Patsy brave terrible weather in order to attend the yearly celebration of the birth of bingo and tribute to its founder, Edwin S. Lowe. After a storm knocks out the bingo hall's power, Patsy and Honey remind each other of the ominous night 15 years ago that began the same way, when Vern and her former best friend Bernice had their falling out. But Bernice's headstrong daughter Alison, entering the bingo hall in disguise, is determined to reconnect her mother with Vern. In between the number calling, strange rituals, and fierce competitions, Bingo! finds love blossoming, pals reuniting, and the audience allowed to play actual bingo with the characters on-stage, resulting in a show that, according to the New York Times, “turns Grandma's favorite form of gambling into fun-loving musical theater.”
Directing Bingo! The Winning Musical is frequent Playcrafters participant Nicholas Waldbusser, whose previous productions for the theatre have included The Fox & the Fairway and Good People, and who has acted in comedies including Out of Sight, Out of Murder and Rumors. Heroines Vern, Honey, and Patsy are portrayed, respectively, by fellow Playcrafters veterans Cindy Ramos (Lend Me a Tenor), Sondra Karben (The Red Velvet Cake War), and Sara Laufer (The Christmas Express). And rounding out the cast are Madison Duling as Alison, Sara Meyer as Bernice, and Bill Peiffer as bingo callers in both present-day and flashback sequences.
Bingo! The Winning Musical runs Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m., admission is $13, and more information and reservations are available by visiting Playcrafters.com.