Santaland Diaries with Mike Dempsey

Actor and director Mike Dempsey is helping our fair town get in the Christmas spirit this month with his one-man show “Santaland Diaries,” based on an essay by writer David Sedaris.  This Christmas show features festive scenery and props: a decorated tree, gifts, jingle bells, large murals of Santa’s workshop and a toy-making elf, and, of course, a real-life elf (well, Dempsey in an elf suit, at least).  Unlike “It’s a Wonderful Life” or “Miracle on 34th Street,” however, “Santaland Diaries” is not necessarily uplifting nor feel-good, but it is laugh-out-loud funny.

“Santaland Diaries” was inspired by David Sedaris’s time working as a Christmas elf one holiday season in Macy’s department store.   As a middle-aged man working dressing and working as an elf, the job was perfect for this observer of the inane to transcribe into the essay that would bring him into the public eye.   At opening night on Friday, Mike Dempsey took Sedaris’s unique brand of dry and often self-deprecating humor and brought it and the audience to life, eliciting wry smiles and bursts of laughter.

Bandon is lucky to claim Mike Dempsey as one of its own.  A talented actor, director, and playwright, Mike is a member of S.A.G. (Screen Actors’ Guild) and has been on stage and in films for many years.  He could even be seen at Chicago’s famous Second City where scores of famous actors and comedians have gotten their starts over the years.  Locally, Mike has directed several plays at the Sprague Theater, including locally written “Bethlehem Road” last December.

There are three more chances to see “Santaland Diaries:” Wednesday, December 7; Tuesday December 13; and Wednesday, December 14.  All shows are at Brewed Awakenings and begin at 7:00.  The $10 tickets can be purchased at Brewed Awakenings ahead of time or at the door.  The humor is rather adult at times, so consider leaving younger children at home.

Face Rock Creamery 3rd Anniversary Party

This Mother’s Day weekend, Face Rock Creamery celebrated its third anniversary with music, dancing, burgers, hot dogs, panini, local beers, ice cream, and of course, some of the best cheese around.  Several area wineries came with wine to sample, and live music included the local band Done Deal and the very talented Bandon High School jazz band.  The Oregon Coast Culinary Institute brought beautiful samples of decadent combinations of creamy cheese, creamy chocolate and craft beers.


With the third anniversary of the Face Rock Creamery’s opening also came the release of the Face Rock three-year aged cheddar.  This white cheddar is delightfully sharp and delicious and well worth the wait!


In addition to the music and food, there were activities that everyone could enjoy.  Booths included cotton candy, face painting, and a balloon artist, and Mother’s Day massages were available.



The event was combined with a fun fundraiser for the Bandon Swimming Pool whose mission it is to build and maintain an indoor pool for the south coast of Oregon for recreation, safety, therapy, competition, and promote tourism..  Going with the aquatic theme, a dunk tank was set up advertising one throw for $1, and three throws for $2.  Sarah Sinko, wife of Brad Sinko, head cheesemaker at the Face Rock Creamery, was first in the tank and taunted guests to encourage them to try to dunk her.


Face Rock Creamery is the continuation of a long-standing cheese history in Bandon.  Head cheesemaker Brad Sinko who made cheese for the Bandon Cheese Factory before its closing in 2000 has created award-winning cheeses that can be found in many western states.  The anniversary party keeps getting better and better; with their many awards and acknowledgements, Face Rock Creamery has much to celebrate.  Anyone who enjoys cheese hopes that there are many many more anniversaries to come.