A REVIEW OF "THE DUMB WAITER" AT VOLCANIC THEATRE PUB
This play hurt my mind. They should have paid me to populate the seats. It seems the entire framework of the play is designed to scare you and place you in a state of fear and negative anticipation. The acting was phenomenal and world class—unfortunately so good that it accurately conveyed the insanity and paranoia of the script.
Some shows leave you with a feel-good feeling, or a lesson, or at least a message. But this show left me with nothing but the feeling like the next moment of my life would be bad—very bad. Oh yes, and it had a message—the very uplifted meditation: "Trust when you know that someone is screwing you over."
"The Dumb Waiter" takes you from gray, to dark, to a black hole. Please bring you depression meds if you want to make it through the night.
Not only that, but there is a continual screaming sound that was playing over a loud speaker at high volume over 15 times. This was atrocious and offensive. Not to mention jolting. I stayed to be polite, but after the second screaming sound, I wanted to leave. I thought to myself "this might turn up." But it's so abstract that it never turned anywhere but toward dissolution. This show literally inspired a state of pessimism in a usually optimistic mind. Nothing like leaving the theatre afraid and unhappy when you came to see some hopefully uplifting art.
Well, thank you Volcano Theatre Pub. You have reminded me how important it is to read about a play before investing my time to go see it. I will be recovering from this psychological state for days.
Again, the acting: amazing. But bring your therapist for a much needed post-show session.
IN REPLY TO SHANE KETTERMAN'S LETTER RE: OSU-CASCADES (7/10)
Mr. Ketterman makes some interesting points in his discussion of the expanding OSU campus (7/10). However, when I moved to Bend some 55 years ago, I don't recall being so disenchanted with the area that I wanted to make major changes. It makes you wonder why some people move here if they "don't like the existing quality of life, the level of open-mindedness, the culture, or the diversity."
Bend had much more of a sense of community than it does now. You could walk downtown and actually meet people that you knew. But, the best and most unique part of living in this area was the beautiful, uncrowded, natural environment. Individuals who now move here from large cities think of Bend as beautiful compared to where they moved from, but the truth is that much has been paved over and that will continue. The power structure in this community is not sensitive to the natural environment and will continue to exploit and "mine" that environment for short-term economic gain. In addition, many natural features are being "loved to death" (think Pilot Butte, Shevlin Park, or the south end of Drake Park). It is only a matter of time before permits are required to visit some of our natural features and parks.
Bend may evolve into something that is better for Mr. Ketterman, but the Bend that I, and many others, loved is quickly disappearing. A college with 5,000 to 20,000 students will only speed up the process. If Mr. Ketterman experiences more than 50 years of change in Bend, maybe one day, he too, will regret some of the loss.
PARKING IN DOWNTOWN BEND NEEDS A MAKEOVER
From here on out I, my family and friends will be avoiding downtown Bend.
I drove in [on June 26] to watch the World Cup Soccer game between France and Ecuador at Sinatra Cafe. I arrived at the Cafe minutes after the start time which was at 1 pm, got ready to leave after the end of the game at 3 pm, used the restroom, and arrived at my car to find a parking ticket on my windshield! The fact that I used the restroom just before leaving caused me to be several minutes over the two hour parking limit. The meter maid was standing just a few cars away from mine, so she had just written the ticket. I can also guarantee you that the so-called 10-minute grace period was not extended to me and my vehicle.
No one in his/her right mind is going to leave an important game during the final minutes because he/she has to re-park the car! Even if I do decide to re-park the car, it does not solve the problem. My car is still downtown taking up a parking space! It only frustrates and inconveniences people who come to the same conclusion as I. Avoid downtown!
I paid the ticket since the fine is less if paid within the first 48 hours, but I, my family and friends will now be taking our business to the Old Mill and elsewhere, where there are no ridiculous time restrictions for parking.
I have also spoken with several down town merchants and they, too, are upset with the status quo. One mentioned that businesses open only during daytime hours have a distinct disadvantage over those open only during the evening. And the reason? Their patrons are restricted by the current parking policy! I suggest that this be remedied by increasing the parking time limit or that there be more tolerance shown to those who arrive just minutes afterwards.
It was my impression that Bend had carefully built a reputation as a friendly, family oriented place to visit where tourists enjoy a simple, positive experience free of constraints and hassles. Instead, from what you showed me, they are barraged with a menagerie of parking options that are confusing, convoluted and ultimately expensive. Parking structure on Oregon Street, Mirror Pond lots, Diamond Parking...and each of these have different options? Does the city really expect this to attract and welcome patrons?
Change cannot come soon enough!
Letter of the Week
Mary - While we could suggest that perhaps you bike downtown, which would alievate a few problems (parking, gas prices, global warming) instead how about the Letter of the Week? Maybe a $5 gift certificate to the fabulous Palate coffeeshop to ease the frustration. And parking is easy there!