A classic romantic plot

“I Remember You” opens in Bend

By David Jasper / The Bulletin

Published Apr 25, 2014 at 12:11AM

If you go

What: “I Remember You”

When: Opens at 7:30 tonight with complimentary dessert reception at 6:30 p.m.; 7:30 p.m. performances Thursdays through Saturdays through May 10; matinees at 2 p.m. Sunday and May 4

Where: Greenwood Playhouse, 148 N.W. Greenwood Ave., Bend

Cost: $19, $15 seniors, $12 students

Contact: www.cascadestheatrical.org or 541-389-0803

“I Remember You” has a classic romantic comedy setup: Older man meets a younger girl who reminds him of his long-lost love.

Things quickly get serious.

Girl introduces man and mom.

Mom and man knew each other, intimately, many years ago.

Awkward!

Hijinks ensue.

Written by playwright and screenwriter Bernard Slade, “I Remember You” opens tonight at Cascades Theatrical Company’s Greenwood Playhouse in Bend (see “If you go”).

Director Brad Thompson provides more detail on the plot: “A girl named Tracy goes into a New York piano bar to get out of the rain and meets an older-than-herself piano lounge singer,” he said. “They strike up a relationship. They have sort of a whirlwind relationship over 10 days, and then when she brings home and (he) meets her mom, it turns out that her mom and this piano player had had a 10-week affair 25 years ago.”

As you might assume, things hit a pretty big snag for Tracy, played by Carly Sullivan, and her piano-playing love interest, Austin “Buddy” Bedford, played by Tom Atkinson. Austin has an easygoing charm, while Tracy’s mother, Prunella (Alyce Pearce), strikes a more somber chord even as Austin tries to persuade her that maybe it’s not too late for the two of them.

“We get to choose some relationships, and some we don’t. We don’t get to choose who our families are, and sometimes we don’t get to choose who we’re going to end up with. (Fate), destiny, and who we find when we find them, just kind of dictates to us,” Thompson said. “Hopefully, you identify with somebody or at least recognize the content or the quality of these relationships.”

The shag rug, polyester fashions and music bespeak the year in which CTC has set the play, 1978. Don’t be surprised when you hear Styx and other musical acts of the period. If that’s not enough olden days for you, Austin and Prunella also wax nostalgic for their lost youth and time together.

“Slade likes to fold the element of time into a lot of his writing, I have found,” Thompson said. “He wrote ‘Same Time, Next Year,’ and now this one kind of follows that time-importance element, and what time does to relationships.”

While this marks Thompson’s first time directing at CTC, the High Desert Middle School language arts instructor has done theater work locally with Bend Experimental Art Theatre. Prior to moving to Bend eight years ago, he ran a community theater in the Lake Tahoe area.

Thompson has another reason to look forward to tonight. While the show he’s directing opens in Bend, his son, Jake Thompson, who appeared onstage in CTC’s “Urinetown” a couple of years back, will be celebrating the opening of a show he’s directing at Chapman University in Orange, Calif.

— Reporter: 541-383-0349, djasper@bendbulletin.com