Saturday, January 17, 2009

A Trip to Middle-earth with Willamette Radio Workshop

I TOTALLY swore I wasn't going to do any blogging on Saturday or Sunday because I have to knuckle down (your special weekend edition cliche) and work on my novel.

But I am weak. I miss you. Besides, I'm dying to tell you about the really fun time the Wild Forrests and I had today. We celebrated J.R.R. Tolkein's birthday at McMenamin's Kennedy School in Portland. We were actually a couple of weeks late - Tolkein was born on January 3rd 1892. I don't think he'd mind, though. It'd be pretty awesome to know that your work is still beloved almost 75 years after the first printing.

The K School is one of our favorite places. It's an old elementary school that's been converted into a magical spot for dining, lodging and entertainment. Classrooms have become sleeping chambers, the gymnasium is a concert and event venue, the cafeteria is a restaurant/pub, and the theatre is a - well, it's a theatre. The decor defies description. Suffice it to say that it is delightfully artistic and electic. Movies and live performances are incredibly inexpensive, oftentimes free. Admittedly, the food prices have climbed steadily since they've opened, so they're making money nonetheless. But with such stellar entertainment, I don't begrudge them the $7.50 for My Precious Onion Rings or even the $8.90 for the Return of the King Burger. (Note: Those are one-day special menu items, so you'll have to wait until next year if you want to order them. Meanwhile, you can still eat there. I assume they have Regular Old Onion Rings in the interim.)

Willamette Radio Workshop is a magnificent group who has performed at the Tolkein celebration and on Halloween at Kennedy School as well as at the UFO Festival at McM's Hotel Oregon in McMinnville. The cast members do a terrific job, led by the dynamic duo of Director/Actor Sam A. Mowry and Writer/Actress Cynthia McGean. Today's show featured The Hobbit. There was a ton of opportunity for audience participation, and the actors all really got into their roles. The gymnasium was jampacked with fans cheering, howling, and making flying arrow sounds ("thup thup thup"). I heart live radio theatre. If you haven't experienced it, you need to.

I TOTALLY swear I'm not going to post anything tomorrow. I mean it! My will is strong. Not one more word until Monday. So scroll down and read my marvelous post from yesterday and please leave a comment. I treasure your words! They prove you've read my post inspire me.

And now, like Bilbo Baggins, I need to find somewhere I can rest and finish my book. Or at least write a few more pages....


Bee said...

That sounds like so much fun! Wouldn't Tolkien be amazed to know that Northwesterners were celebrating his birthday with onion rings?

I've been meaning to visit the pub that Tolkien and C.S. Lewis used to frequent in Oxford. (I'll tell you if I do.)

Just a Plane Ride Away said...

This does sound like so much fun! My daughter and I would have loved this :-) BTW, a friend of mine visited "The Eagle and Child" pub in Oxford last year. Judging by their smiles, they had a great time. (lazy link, sorry!)

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