Start warming up your vocal chords and get ready to shout “BINGO!” when the hilarious, interactive dinner theater experience “We Gotta Bingo,” makes its Chicago debut in June of 2015. In the spirit of “Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding,” “We Gotta Bingo” invites guests to the new Chicago Theater Works (1113 W. Belmont)—located in the heart of the Belmont Theater District—for a night of raucous fun. This exciting new show, directed by Ross Young, allows guests to mix and mingle with a lively cast of characters while eating, drinking and playing bingo all night long!
“After years of searching for the perfect venue, we have finally found the right home to bring this truly unique show to life,” said “We Gotta Bingo” Creator and Producer Bill Collins. “Born and raised in Chicago, it has been a long-time dream of mine to introduce Chicago audiences to the hilarious, wacky cast of characters that were created from my own experiences growing up in the city and going to a catholic school with a mix of Irish and Italian families. This show fits so well into the Chicago culture and we are truly thrilled to be creating this brand new theater space in the Belmont Theater District, where innovative theater is continuously being produced.”
The fun, interactive premise of “We Gotta Bingo” allows audience members to be immersed in a dynamic, riotous show filled with music, comedy and of course, bingo! As guests enter into the German beer hall known as “Der Brew-Ha-Ha,” they are greeted by the lively house polka band as well as the rousing, colorful cast of characters that soon become their dinner dates and bingo partners for the evening. Guests soon learn that they are amongst two rival Chicago parishes, one Italian and one Irish, who are set to merge with one another—against their wishes—and are participating in this bingo bonanza in order to raise money for the imminent union. In between exhilarating games of bingo, all in attendance are treated to an Italian dinner, drinks, dancing, music, mayhem and more.
“We Gotta Bingo” was first presented by the Actors Theater of Minnesota in 2004. Since then, the show has played in various venues throughout the Midwest including Playhouse Square in Cleveland and has delighted more than 100,000 theatergoers of every age. The Star Tribune hails the show as “a hilarious night of Bingo and Beer. ‘We Gotta Bingo’ is great fun!” The Stillwater Gazette states that “We Gotta Bingo” is “a tremendous play” and Lavender Magazine calls it “a wild affair.”
“We Gotta Bingo” is currently casting the Chicago premiere. Please visit wegottabingo.com for more information.
Bill Collins, Creator and Producer
Bill Collins is the Chief Manager of N-42 Productions, Sole Member and Chief Manager of WGB Creative, LLC, and Creator/Producer/Writer of “We Gotta Bingo.” Collins co-founded Actors Theater of Minnesota in 1999 and serves as its Managing Director and Board Chair. Since then he has produced or co-produced over 50 professional stage productions. He has numerous theatrical, commercial and corporate industrial credits to his name and has also worked as a consultant to NBC television where he took shows from pitch to pilot. He founded and currently is the majority shareholder in a very successful night club and cabaret in Saint Paul, Minnesota; Camp Bar & Cabaret.
Michael Dunne, General Manager
Michael Dunne’s introduction to the theater industry came in 1991. After spending more than 15 years in hospitality management and consulting, Dunne was contracted to develop an upscale urban bistro as part of a live theater/restaurant complex in Minneapolis called Hey City Stage and Café. Upon completion, Dunne stayed on at Hey City Stage Company as the Director of Business Operations. Over the course of 11 years with Hey City, Dunne held the positions of vice president and executive director for all Hey Companies and was responsible for the production of numerous theatrical presentations in several US cities, most notably, the runaway interactive hit, “Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding,” which, under Dunne’s leadership enjoyed multi-year runs in Minneapolis, Portland, Oregon and Cleveland. Among Dunne’s other theatrical credits are “Forever Plaid,” “Beehive,” “The ‘60s Rock-n-Roll Musical,” “Smokey Joe’s Café,” “Nunsense A-Men” and “Triple Espresso.” After leaving Hey City in 2002, Dunne formed Amuse-Bouche, LLC, a highly specialized management company to the entertainment and hospitality industry. In 2005, Dunne came to the Actors Theater of Minnesota to assist in the development of “We Gotta Bingo.” He continues to operate Amuse-Bouche, LLC for a variety of hospitality and entertainment clients.
About Chicago Theater Works
The new Chicago Theater Works makes its home in the heart of the Belmont Theater District at 1113 W. Belmont. Designed by Obora and Associates with interior design by Matthew Murray, this versatile space will be transformed into a 200-seat German beer hall known as “Der Brew-Ha-Ha.” The space will be a new staple in the Chicago theater scene run by Bill Collins and Michael Dunne.
Performance and Ticket Information
“We Gotta Bingo” opens June 2015 at the new Chicago Theater Works (1113 W. Belmont). Shows are Thursdays and Fridays at 7 p.m.; Saturdays at 8:30 p.m.; and Sundays at 5 p.m. Tickets ($57 - $75) go on sale at a later date to be announced. Discounted tickets for groups of 16 or more are currently available at GroupTix by calling 773.327.3778 or visiting grouptix.net. For more information about “We Gotta Bing,” visit wegottabingo.com.