The Pelican Players will take bingo to higher, fun-loving heights the last week of August with their latest performance, “The Queen of Bingo.”
The comedy highlights two sisters – Sis and Babe – played by Jeanne Naish and Mary Ann Newton – who are obsessively in love with the game. For Sis, the eldest, it’s the comaraderie of being with others that makes bingo fun. Babe is a competitor, and for her the game is all about winning.
“The play is the perfect Sun City Center piece, said Linda Halpern, show director and Pelican Players president. “Bingo is a big, big deal around here.”
Since the early 1980s Sun City Center has been entertained with a wide variety of plays, including “The Odd Couple,” “Nunsense,” “Arsenic & Old Lace” and “Par for the Corpse.” The Players perform three performances of three shows annually at the Borini Theatre in Kings Point, with attendance averaging 600 to 700 per performance. The plays attract people from Apollo Beach, Riverview, Wimauma and south Tampa.
“We hope to increase our shows to four a year,” said board member and actor Donn Keith. His resume includes being a photo journalist in Viet Nam, artistic director at the Liberty School of Theatre in Hollywood and high school theatre principal. Now retired in Sun City Center from the visual and performing arts, Keith said he enjoys working with Halperin and the club to provide a higher level of shows for the community.
Halperin, who hails from New York, believes baby boomers are bringing in skills and talent that make for better, higher quality shows.
“We have talented people who design and build sets, work backstage, handle props, make costumes and help dress the actors as they keep up with scene or act changes,” she said. “Each production is truly a group effort!”
Last April a free Readers Theatre was set up for beginners and less-confident actors. They perform before a live audience and read from actual scripts.
Twenty percent of the profits from all performances go to the Pelican Players Scholarship Fund, a lifelong endowment established in 2013 through the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay. Distributed by the University of South Florida, the scholarships gives students the opportunity to achieve a higher education in the performing arts. Over the past 18 months $17,000 has been contributed. Outside donors may also contribute.
Annual membership in the Pelican Players is $10.
For additional information on “The Queen of Bingo” and other upcoming plays, visit www.pelicanplayers.org or call Judy Michael at (813) 633-3868.
Dosi Loverro is a freelance writer who can be reached at [email protected]
If You Go
WHAT: Pelican Players performance of “The Queen of Bingo”
WHERE: Borini Theatre, 1900 N. Clubhouse Lane, Kings Point
WHEN: 7 p.m. Aug. 28-30; and 1:30 p.m. matinee Aug. 30
COST: $12 per person
INFORMATION: Visit www.pelicanplayers.org or call (813) 633-3868.