Saturday, April 21, 2007
As the child of two rabid Fiestaware collectors, I can appreciate the urgency Steven Tomlinson brings to his search for the perfect mixing bowl or water pitcher. American Fiesta, his one person show currently at the Vineyard, tries to explain how his obsession grew: after his parents voiced their disapproval over his decision to marry his partner in Canada, Tomlinson wanted to escape to the world of his childhood; specifically, he remembered being enamored with one of his mother's Fiesta bowls when he was six years old. The author and star affectingly blends talk of his renewed interest in the items with discussions about the 2004 Presidential election, the phenomenon and promise surrounding gay marriage, and the cerebral reaction to certain cultural ideas into a very satisfying 80 minute monologue. The questions asked here are potent ones, addressing whether it is better to retreat into your old world or forge forward into your new one. In the end, the stories told are as vivid and colorful as the crockery on display.