2018-10-11 / Scene

The Queen of Bingo coming to The PIX on Oct. 19-20

LAPEER — “Sis” and “Babe,” two sisters on the other side of 50, want to add a little fun and excitement to their lives... but where to find it? Bingo!

Theatergoers young and old will howl with laughter as two zany guys, playing two crazy gals, explore the worlds of bingo, family ties, diet crazes, widowhood, hot flashes and winning in the rollicking stage comedy, The Queen of Bingo — to be presented at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 19-20 at the PIX Theatre in downtown Lapeer.

Audience members get in on the fun during the “Middle Bird Special” — a real bingo game where some lucky audience member wins a free 10 lb. frozen turkey at every performance.

Professional actors Rowan Joseph and Shane Partlow love playing bingo in real life, but on stage it’s a real drag. “I’ve played bingo for years but this is the only time I’ve ever played a woman,” said Joseph, who portrays the younger, diet crazy, brassy and sassy sister, ‘Babe’.

“Doing this role has given me an even greater sense of respect for the opposite sex. If you ask me, every man should have to walk a mile in another woman’s bra at some point in his life,” said Joseph. Joseph is appearing as one of the two sisters in the play after having directed both the Off-Broadway (New York City) and Chicago productions of the hit comedy.

“I, on the other hand, have walked a LOT of miles in my heels as Sis,” said Shane Partlow. Partlow has been starring for 14 years in the successful touring production of the play, appearing at dozens of theatres across the U.S., as well as Canada. “Playing my role has given me a better understanding of the issues a lot of older women face —being a widow, not wanting to depend on your children all the time, even dating,” he said.

Joseph and Partlow feel that much of the show’s success has been due in large part to the gals in red and purple who frequent performances wherever it’s presented. “The Red Hats are definitely our Guardian Angels,” said Partlow. “Even more so than Bingo players.”

Joseph agreed. “Bingo players don’t seem to have discovered this play yet,” he said. “But they certainly love it when they do. Our favorite performances are the ones where we know we have Bingo players in the audience. They get every single joke. They scream when Sis takes out all of her paraphernalia, especially her good luck charms. They can relate to the gripes that ‘Babe’ and ‘Sis’ have with ‘The Caller’ and other players. Bingo players always comment on just how true to life it all is.”

“We are always extra careful in all of our advertising and promotion not to make fun of the game and those who play it,” Partlow explained. “One of the problems we’ve faced is that some of the theater critics in New York and L.A. took such a negative attitude towards the play and even the game of Bingo itself; unlike Chicago and other smaller cities and towns where the show has been a huge hit. The truth is that most people lead simple, honest, ordinary lives and what’s wrong with that? Sometimes people just want a good belly laugh, which is exactly what the show and the characters we play offer.”

Tickets in advance are $27 for adults and $25 for students, seniors, and veterans. At the door, prices will go up to $29 for adults and $27 for students, seniors, and veterans. To purchase tickets in advance, visit the PIX Box Office located inside Gallery 194, Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets may also be purchased over the phone at 810-664-4824 or online at www.centerfortheartslapeer.org.

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