As Gay BINGO! launches its 15th season next month, get read to go Gaga.
The first game of the season, on Sept. 11 at the Gershman Y, 401 S. Broad St., is expected to draw a large crowd, with floor seating already sold out.
Robb Reichard, executive director of AIDS Fund, which stages the monthly GayBINGO! events to raise money for local HIV/AIDS service organizations, said the Gaga theme was a perfect fit for its criteria.
“We try to be current and to not repeat a theme, which is hard after 15 years. But we look at things that we’re going to be able to incorporate throughout the evening, so we’ve got to be able to have music and costumes, and it has to be something the audience will latch on to,” Reichard said. “Each spring we ask audience members for suggestions for themes for the following season, and having a tribute to Lady Gaga was a great one that kept coming up.”
Reichard noted that the outrageously clad singer’s versatility also lends well to the game, as the Bingo Verifying Divas will have an array of looks to choose from.
“One of the things I keep saying about this is that there are gay icons out there who would be hard to build a theme around in some way,” he said. “People like Liza Minnelli have clothing or hair that stays the same for many, many years, but then there are people like Cher or Madonna or Lady Gaga, who has so many different looks and costumes and styles, so it makes it a lot more interesting.”
AIDS Fund worked to make the themes for each month of its anniversary season memorable, Reichard said, noting that the timing of Halloween this year will allow the group to hold a rare Halloween weekend GayBINGO! AIDS Fund will also stage its third-annual holiday toy drive game in December, where the items gathered will be delivered to area children affected or infected by HIV.
To celebrate the event’s 15th anniversary, the group will host a “15 Minutes of Fame” GayBINGO! in June, honoring stars who had short-lived success while paying tribute to the longevity of the event.
“We’re thrilled that we’ve had the incredible support of the community for so many years,” Reichard said. “This event has continued on for so many years, which is a tribute to our incredible BVDs, who always keep the audience entertained. They really make this event what it is.”
For more information or to purchase tickets for GayBINGO!, which are $25 for floor seats and $20 for balcony, call (215) 731-9255. Tickets can also be purchased in person at AIDS Fund, 1315 Spruce St., fourth floor.