Review: Bingo Ladies

Bingo Ladies hits the jackpot

By Byron Toben

Ah, these lazy, hazy days of light-hearted summer theatre!

The Hudson Village Theatre, in a remodeled train platform in the quaint Montreal satellite town, is in the midst of its pleasant summer delights. It currently features Bingo Ladies the Musical, Grant Tilly’s creation fresh from its Port Stanley premiere.

Director Elizabeth Gilroy has the benefit of guiding this show with a quartet of seasoned performers. All the action takes place at a weekly bingo parlour where the 25-square cards are being daubed by different personalities with different motivations and lucky charms.

Laura Caswell is right on as the 35-year-old unmarried goodie-goodie who hasn’t fully realized her best friend, Elinor Holt’s deep gambling addiction. Mary Pitt provides sardonic relief as the no-nonsense regular who always seems to win several times a night. Mark Allan balances the ladies as the bingo caller with secret dreams of becoming a rock star.

Arguments over lucky seats and zany variations on patterns of alignments keep the calling hopping. The musical numbers, while pleasant and cheery, do seem however to be of a sameness, despite one rock and a brief tango. Most successful musicals vary the genres a bit more — here a ballad, there a bluesy, now a rock, then a folkie… You get the drift.

Bingo Ladies, the musical continues until August 30.
For tickets go to

Images: Michael Green Photography

Byron Toben is a past-president of the Montreal Press Club.

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