Until about a month ago I was a bingo virgin.
A few casual games of bingo might have slipped into my elementary years, but the world of Technicolor daubers, capital gains triggering payouts and better-than-Christmas gift baskets is new to me. And addictive!
Last night at the Heritage House in Westport, the Depot Theatre’s second bingo event of the summer demonstrated just how capricious Lady Luck can be. Not a single winner at our table. And yet at the table next to us, one woman won three games including a cascade of cash and an amazing gift basket full of drool-worthy “green design and home accessories” from Emmet Carter.
Possibly the hottest gift basket of the night was the Essex Ice Cream Cafe’s treasure chest full of of Essex apparel, Adirondack gourmet food and gift certificates to feast at the cafe on Main Street in Essex. I fully intended to go home with that prize, and I am not ashamed to admit that I gave the evil eye to the winner. Luck was not a lady last night! Next time…
Yes, you could say I’ve been sucked in. I’m not ready for the Bingo 12-Step Plan yet, but I can feel the pull. I hadn’t anticipated this when the Depot Theatre relaunched bingo in June.
The monthly bingo events are a tribute to Carol Buchanan who founded the Depot Theatre in 1979 as a project of the Westport Historical Society. She helped fund the first Depot Theatre performances with the proceeds of Wednesday Night Bingo in the early years. This summer the bingo nights are beginning again! (Essex on Lake Champlain)
Yes, there’s plenty of loot to win, and it’s fun. It profits the Depot Theatre, making world class professional performances possible on the Adirondack Coast. It’s a chance to catch up with old friends and meet new friends. But all of these constituent parts fail to explain the enigmatic pull that sneaks into your psychological chemistry in a full bingo hall.
Perhaps a more seasoned veteran than I will be able to put a finger on it. Or maybe by summer’s end I will be able to articulate the mounting intensity as the games progress. In early rounds the room is lighthearted, jovial, optimistic. By the final big dollar rounds, the room is quiet. Players are focused, fists wrapped around daubers hover above their bingo cards. Waiting. Anticipating.
Last night, the biggest payout, $100 was won by Westport Central School teacher Susan Satloff, but many others went home richer than they came. Or laden with a bountiful gift basket. And the coolest part? They were investing in the Depot’s summer entertainment offerings in the process. I think that’s called a win-win. Or a win-win-win.
Mark Tuesday, July 10 on your calendar for the next Depot Bingo. It will take place at the Heritage House in Westport, and it starts promptly at 5:00 PM and lasts approximately two hours. Water and fresh, locally baked concessions will sate your appetite, but you can only win if you play!
More good news? You don’t have to wait for a month to join the Depot family for another celebration. The first show of the summer, Careless Love, opens next Friday with a complementary opening night reception to follow. Party with the performers!
The world premiere of Ryan G. Dunkin’s musical will run from June 22 until July 8 at the Depot Theatre in Westport, NY. This country/blues love story will appeal to fans of Hank Williams: Lost Highway and Always, Patsy Cline.
Sean returns to his hometown after 15 years behind bars for being in the wrong place at the wrong time only to find his true love on the eve of her wedding to his friend. Set to popular songs from the bluegrass songbook, gospel and folk tradition played by 7 musician/actors onstage with fiddle, dobro, banjo, mandolin, and more.
Tickets are $27/person for all ages and all shows during the summer season. Visit www.depottheatre.org or call the box office at (518) 962-4449 to reserve tickets.