In what sounds to be a cousin to The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, which it pre-dates, Bingo mixes character songs, quirky contestants, romance and rivalry into an interactive, presentational contest — all during a fierce hurricane.
Aruba Productions and Buddy & Sally Productions are bringing the show in. An earlier version had its premiere in 2001 at the Hermosa Beach Playhouse in California, followed by productions at the Ordway Center in St. Paul, MN, and a starry New York City reading in 2003. It was also seen at the Adirondack Theater Festival in 2003.
Bingo has a book by Michael Heitzman and Ilene Reid; lyrics and music by Heitzman, Reid and David Holcenberg, and is directed by Thomas Caruso. The opening night is Nov. 7.
"In this environmental musical comedy, the audience gets to join in the Bingo game at Hamerin County's St. Luke's Church basement, where they will meet, among others, Vern, Honey and Patsy: three pals that have driven through Hurricane Dora in the name of their weekly obsession," according to production notes. "In between the number calling, strange rituals and fierce competitions, love blossoms and estranged friends reunite, sending everyone home a winner."
Writers Heitzman and Reid co-wrote the song "Throw That Girl Around" from the Grammy Award-nominated Broadway show, Swing! The show has scenic design by Eric Renschler; costume design by Carol Brys; lighting design by John Viesta and sound design by Lewis Mead. Orchestrations are by Steve Bishop.
Heitzman (music, lyrics, book) co-wrote the musical Vices, which he directed. It received eight Joseph Jefferson Award nominations including Best New Work and Best Director. Vices was subsequently mounted at the Mixed Blood Theater in Minneapolis and work-shopped at the Ars Nova Theater in New York City. It is slated to open in San Diego next year.
Reid (music, lyrics, book) is one of the writers of the musical Vices. She co-wrote the song "Throw That Girl Around" with Michael Heitzman and Everett Bradley, featured in Broadway's Swing! Her song "Dinosaur Swing" can be heard on the children's recording "Sing Me a Story," by Bob McGrath of Sesame Street.
Holcenberg (music, lyrics) is currently the musical director and conductor for Mamma Mia! on Broadway and the associate music supervisor for its North American productions. His other Broadway credits include productions of Seussical, Titanic and the Hal Prince revival of Show Boat as musical director as well as Good Vibrations, for which he provided musical arrangements and supervision. He recently music directed Lynn Ahrens' and Stephen Flaherty's Dessa Rose at Lincoln Center as well as the U.S. premiere of their show Ragtime where David received an L.A. Drama Critics Circle Award for Distinguished Achievement in Musical Direction. David also music directed the Toronto production of The Phantom of the Opera.
Director Thomas Caruso is the resident director of Mamma Mia! and directed the world premiere of Off Season, a duet of plays by Terrence McNally and Israel Horovitz at Gloucester Stage in Massachusetts. He directed the premiere of Jack Heifner's play Earth to Bucky at the Bay Street Theatre. On Broadway, Caruso was the associate director for both Bombay Dreams and the musical revival of Follies by Stephen Sondheim and James Goldman. He directed the national tour of Master Class by Terrence McNally, starring Charlotte Cornwell of the Royal Shakespeare Company. In 2002, Caruso directed and composed All American Boy, a new musical for the New York International Fringe Festival.
Bingo will play Monday at 8 PM; Tuesday at 8 PM, Wednesday at 2 PM, Friday at 8 PM, Saturdays at 2 PM and 8 PM and Sundays at 3 PM and 7 PM. (No shows Wednesday and Thursday evenings.)
Tickets are $60 and will be available via Telecharge.com at (212) 239-6200.
For more information, visit www.bingothemusical.com.
In earlier versions of the show, musical numbers included "Girls Night Out," "Honey's Flashback," "I Still Believe in You," "I've Made Up My Mind," "Under My Wing," "Patsy's Flashback," "Gentleman Caller," "Ratched's Lament," "Anyone Can Play Bingo," "Vern's Flashback," "Swell," "Gentleman Caller" (reprise), "I Still Believe in You" (reprise), "B4," "I've Made Up My Mind" (reprise).