Miss Richfield 1981’s Bingo Bonanza For The Holidays at the Illusion Theater

Miss Richfield 1981 in Bingo Bonanza For The Holidays at Illusion Theater. Photo by Lauren B. Photography.

Miss Richfield 1981 has ridden her rusty and trusty Buick sleigh into downtown Minneapolis and double parked it outside the Hennepin Center for the Arts (no cop with any instinct for self-preservation would dare ticket her).  She is now ensconced at the Illusion Theater, performing her louche and rowdy Bingo Bonanza For The Holidays (528 Hennepin Ave, 8th floor; through Dec 19).

Ms. R, it must be said, has achieved a certain age.  But unlike many, who would allow themselves to devolve into flabby battleaxe-hood Ms. R remains feisty and svelte, quite capable of taking the Illusion stage and delivering two and half hours of cheeky, hyper-energized and often crude entertainment.  She’s quick, smart and creative, and still sports her trademark lipstick, oversized glasses and of course her jet black bouffant (a little too much fullness in the sides?  I thought so; you might disagree).  She attacks – no, no, wrong word – involves, that’s it, she brings the audience into her performance.  And she’s still wickedly funny, if perhaps just a touch long-winded.

Bingo Bonanza (written by Russ King) involves, as you might guess, Bingo games, with super-valuable prizes.  Miss Richfield ushers players up onto the stage.  Insults fly: “Any Jews in the audience?  Raise your hands, please.”  “You three homos, stand up.” There are also wonderfully fractured Christmas carols, an acted-out 12 Days of Christmas (too long, imo) and the show ends with Miss Richfield’s stentorian singing.  I won’t reveal the details of the song, except to say it’s a hoot and a half.  Illusion’s Michael Robins directed, though Lord know how he managed to get a word in edgewise.

If brash and brassy drag queens aren’t your cup of tea, well, maybe Miss Richfield isn’t for you.  Otherwise, go.  The price is right and she is very very funny.

For more info about John please visit his website.

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