Off-Broadway's Bingo Gets a New Player — Klea Blackhurst

News   Off-Broadway's Bingo Gets a New Player — Klea Blackhurst Klea Blackhurst will step into the Off-Broadway musical Bingo Oct. 31, replacing Ann Crumb in the roles of Bernice and Marilyn.

Crumb and the producers parted ways prior to the first preview Oct. 24. Understudy Debra Cardona took over for the first week of previews.

The opening at St. Luke's Theatre is still scheduled for Nov. 7.

Blackhurst's Off-Broadway credits include By Jupiter (York Theatre), Radio Gals (John Houseman Theatre), Oil City Symphony (Circle in the Square Downtown). As a solo performer, she was seen in Everything the Traffic Will Allow, a tribute to Ethel Merman; and Autumn in New York: Vernon Duke's Broadway (both shows are available on CD).

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Bingo, seen regionally, has a book by Michael Heitzman and Ilene Reid; lyrics and music by Heitzman, Reid and David Holcenberg. It is directed by Thomas Caruso. "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 a terrible thunderstorm 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."

Bingo stars Chevi Colton (The Insect Comedy City Center) as Minnie, Tony nominee Liz Larsen (The Most Happy Fella) as Honey, Liz McCartney (Mamma Mia!, Thoroughly Modern Millie) as Vern, Beth Malone (Babes in Arms, L.A. Reprise) as Alison, Janet Metz (Fiddler on the Roof revival) as Patsy and Patrick Ryan Sullivan (42nd Street revival) as Sam/Frank.

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The so-called "winning new musical" had its world premiere production in 2001 at the Hermosa Beach Playhouse, with subsequent productions at the Ordway Center of the Performing Arts in Minnesota in 2001 and the Adirondack Theatre Festival in 2003.

With choreography by Lisa Stevens, Bingo features scenic design by Eric Renschler, costume design by Carol Brys, lighting design by John Viesta and sound design by Lewis Mead. Musical direction and orchestrations by Steve Bishop.

The performance schedule is Mondays at 8 PM, Tuesdays at 8 PM, Wednesdays at 2 PM, Fridays at 8 PM, Saturdays at 2 PM and 8 PM and Sundays at 3 PM and 7 PM. (There are no performances on Wednesday evenings or Thursdays.)

Tickets are $65 and are now available by calling Telecharge.com at (212) 239-6200, or in-person at the St. Luke's Theatre Box Office (opens at noon daily, except Thursdays). For more information, visit www.bingothemusical.com.