Sisters bicker, banter at bingo

For its fall production, Yellow Point Drama Group presents The Queen of Bingo this October

You can learn a lot at a game of bingo.

At least at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, where sisters Sis (Jenny Harrison) and Babe (Georgina Duval) bicker and banter with Father Mac (Terry Whittaker) in Yellow Point Drama Group (YPDG)’s fall comedy, The Queen of Bingo.

Written by Jeanne Michels and Phyllis Murphy, the play, which runs over three weekends from Oct. 2-18 at Cedar Hall, is directed by Patricia Zogar.

Zogar says she was attracted to the play because it’s so funny.

“It’s a riot, really — a little bit of a romp,” she said. “Generally, I think for community theatre, comedy is what people are looking for, but it also has some subtle, really nice messages.”

Zogar says she was also attracted to the fact that the play features two great roles for mature women, a segment of society that is often under-represented in the media and on the stage.

One sister is a retired widow.

“She plays bingo because she’s lonely, and she pretty much plays bingo every day,” said Zogar.

The other sister is younger, and she has always been looked after by her older sister.

“She has a weight problem and has an eating disorder,” said Zogar. “This causes her some anxiety, which she brings to the bingo parlour.”

A silver-tongued bingo caller (Torry Clark) announces the plays while the sisters explore everything from hot flashes, diet crazes and family ties to middle-aged singlehood.

Adding to the fun, the audience will receive cards and daubers to take part in a prize-winning bingo game at intermission, competing for a Thanksgiving turkey from 49th Parallel Grocery in Cedar.

Zogar hopes that after seeing The Queen of Bingo, audience members will “remember an evening of real fun, but also think a little bit about the loneliness of the elderly, which is a huge thing in our society, and this whole question of weight and beauty and acceptability in our society.”

“It’s being presented in a very light-hearted way, but it’s something we should all bear in mind,” she said.

Zogar has lived in the Cedar area for a year. She starred in YPDG’s production of Seeing Stars in Dixie and Ladysmith Little Theatre’s production of The Last Weekend, and she has been involved in community theatre for about 35-40 years.

“I’ve pretty much done it all,” she said with a laugh.

The Queen of Bingo previews on Thursday, Oct. 2 and runs Oct. 3, 4, 10, 11, 17 and 18. Doors open at 7 p.m. and showtime is 8 p.m. A matinee performance will be held Saturday, Oct. 18; with doors opening at 1 p.m. and the show at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $17 for adults and $12 for youth, the preview and matinee. Tickets are available at the door at Cedar Hall at 2388 Cedar Rd., by calling 250-753-9292 or by e-mailing ypdgreservations@live.com.

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