'Saints & Sinners Bingo': Interactive comedy presented at Opera House

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014 5:38 p.m.CDT
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(Provided photo)
Vicki Quade is the creator of "Saints & Sinners Bingo," an interactive comedy show about a church fundraiser. The show will be presented at the Sandwich Opera House on Feb.15.

"Saints & Sinners Bingo" is a show about a church fundraiser, being presented as a fundraiser for Somonauk's St. John the Baptist Catholic Church's 2015 sesquicentennial celebration. The show's creator, Vicki Quade, said it's more than just a show. The presentation is an interactive bingo game with a lot of fun and quirky prizes.

"Saints & Sinners Bingo" will be presented, and played, at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 15 at the Sandwich Opera House. Tickets cost $20 each and are available from Denise Ramos at 815-498-9163 or online through Wednesday at www.stjbsom.org.

The premise of the show is that the economy is tough and donations to the church are down. Help is needed to save the parish. So the archdiocese sends over Mrs. Mary O'Brien, a former nun and head of the new bingo fundraising department.

Her idea is to create a calendar of famous saints and notorious sinners. Part of the game includes choosing which saints and sinners will be included on the calendar.

"Not only is it a lot of fun playing bingo for prizes, but the audience might learn something about what it means to be Catholic," Quade said. "It's a lot of fun, but in a reverential way."

A graduate of Northern Illinois University and a former journalist, once working for the local Sycamore News, Quade has written and produced a lot of theater in Chicago, including comedies, bluegrass musicals, improv and magic. She is best known for co-creating the one-woman show, "Late Nite Catechism," which opened in 1993 in Chicago, and holds the record for the longest-running religious comedy in the city's history.

Other titles include "Put the Nuns in Charge!," "Sunday School Cinema," "Saints & Sinners" and "Ho-Ho-Holy Night." She also created a line of bingo shows in 2011.

Quade said she grew up with a spare car in the family that the nuns would borrow occasionally.

"I grew up seeing them, not only in church, but also in my own back yard," Quade said.

"I grew attached to them as women, very smart, powerful women," she said. "They are fascinating and so lovely."

During her career as a journalist, Quade said she wrote about the plight of religious women aging with little or no retirement funds, and no one to replace them.

The shows started as a way to raise funds for the religious women she loves and appreciates. Through her work, Quade said she's become connected to and "adopted" by many orders.

Quade is presenting a second show, "Movie Bingo," at 2 p.m. Feb. 16 at St. Mary's of Sycamore, 322 Waterman St. Tickets cost $15 for seniors age 60 and older, $20 in advance for general admission and $25 at the door. Organizer Roseanne Dwyer said the ticket price includes a casual hot dog lunch at 1 p.m., door prizes and a 50/50 raffle.

Advance tickets are available from Dwyer by calling 630-267-0757, the parish office at 815-895-3275 or the school office at 815-895-5215.

"This isn't a fundraiser," Dwyer said. "It's just a chance to get out, have fun and meet people to break cabin fever."

Dwyer said two years ago, Quade's Nuns 4 Fun Entertainment presented "Put the Nuns in Charge!"

"We had so much fun that we decided to have them back again," Dwyer said. "It's a chance to laugh and enjoy each other's company with a high caliber of professional talent without going to Chicago."

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If you go

WHAT: "Saints & Sinners Bingo"

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Feb. 15

WHERE: Sandwich Opera House, 140 E. Railroad St.

TICKETS: $20 each from Denise Ramos at 815-498-9163 or online through Feb. 12 at www.stjbsom.org. The event is a fundraiser for Somonauk's St. John the Baptist Catholic Church sesquicentennial celebration in 2015.

WHAT: "Movie Bingo"

WHEN: 2 p.m. Feb. 16, preceded by a 1 p.m. hot dog lunch

WHERE: St. Mary's of Sycamore, 322 Waterman St.

TICKETS: $15 for seniors, 60 and older; general admission, $20 in advance or $25 at the door from Roseanne Dwyer at 630-267-0757, the parish office at 815-895-3275 or the school office at 815-895-5215.

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