BINGO!

Children’s Theatre musical celebrates Midwestern institution

Emily Anderson, photos by Andrea Paulseth

How a typical deal goes down in the seedy Bingo underworld. Bingo: The Musical is the tale of three avid bingo players, all of whom you probably either a) have in your family, or b) are.
 
How a typical deal goes down in the seedy Bingo underworld. Bingo: The Musical is the tale of three avid bingo players, all of whom you probably either a) have in your family, or b) are.

We all know the image that comes to mind when we think of the stereotypical bingo hall and the white haired players that occupy it. Although it is only a stereotype, the Eau Claire Children’s Theatre is bringing a musical to The Oxford stage that plays right into it.

Bingo: The Musical is the hilarious tale of three avid bingo players who are exactly what you’d expect them to be. Vern, Patsy, and Honey are best friends. Every week all three meet at the bingo hall to play their favorite game. Bingo: The Musical takes place during the storm to beat them all. Despite the weather, Vern, Patsy, and Honey (brought to life by Angela Hierlmeier, Brenda Lee Locher, and Diane House, respectively) are determined to make it to that bingo hall. Other than arriving late, everything is as it should be until Alison (Caitlyn Lloyd), a young stranger with a secret, enters the bingo hall and causes quite the stir.

It is revealed that this wacky trio used to be a quartet. Missing from the hall is their fourth, Bernice, (played by Cathy Reitz), who was exiled from the group and the bingo hall. Alison is a catalyst that forces these three friends to face their past.

Even the audience gets to be a part of this show. Throughout the performance, audience members will play bingo right along with the actors, receiving cards and daubbers at the start of the show. John Leonauskas plays Sam, the bingo caller for both the audience and cast – plus the only male in the entire production’s cast. While you may think that the game is just for your grandma, this musical, coming to The Oxford Jan. 20-22 and 27-28, definitely isn’t. Written by Ilene Reid and Michael Heitzman with music by David Holcenberg, this musical comedy is great for all ages.

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