Bingo: Not Everything is as it Seems
There is great fun to be had on a night out at Bingo with the ladies at the Port Stanley Festival Theatre. But just when you think it’s only a silly musical comedy, you are hit with a thought-provoking message about judging others. And there is also a warning about gambling addiction.
Bingo Ladies is a new Canadian musical comedy written by Grant Tilly. Originally from Calgary and now living in Toronto, he is a singer/songwriter, actor and writer, with a knack for witty dialogue, as evidenced by the conversations the Bingo Ladies have. He also has a knack for music and lyrics as the songs and the story are woven together.
Carol and Sandi have had a losing streak at the bingo hall, so they sit next to Irene, the Bingo Queen, who regularly wins. Lou, the bingo caller, is a former heavy metal band member, who catches Carol’s eye. A lot of thoughts are shared and truths are told during the course of the evening, and the ladies learn that not all things are what they seem to be.
To get this premiere off the ground, the Director Liz Gilroy has assembled a superior cast, well experienced in eliciting laughs from the audience.
Mary Pitt is perfect as the oxygen tank toting Bingo Queen, just crotchety enough to be funny and funny enough to be a likeable. Lisa Horner is Carol, whose credit card debt shows she has an addiction problem and all her good luck trolls aren’t helping. Horner is flawless in the feisty role, and belts the original songs with great energy. Laura Caswell is delightful as Sandi, who can’t win at bingo or love. Mark Allen as Lou rocks out of the songs and charms the audience.
All four actors deliver the lines well, whether on their own or in the songs.
The set is a complete bingo hall – so realistic you can almost smell the smoke – if it wasn’t for the sign saying “No Smoking – May 31, 2006.”
Take in this new musical after a day on the beach in Port Stanley, and enjoy the realistic action of a bingo hall, and its effect on the four characters. You will also be in for a few twists and turns as the plot moves on. Watch for the clear (and happy) conclusion.
Bingo Ladies continues at Port Stanley Festival Theatre until July 26. Call the box office at 519-782-4353 for tickets or visit www.portstanleytheatre.ca
Photo: Laura Caswell, Mary Pitt, Lisa Horner. Photo by MG.
Book, Music and Lyrics by Grant Tilly
Directed & Choreographed by Liz Gilroy
Musical Direction by Michael Walmsley
Performed by Mary Pitt, Lisa Horner, Laura Caswell, Mark Allen
Port Stanley Festival Theatre
July 9 to 26, 2014
Reviewed by Mary Alderson