Friday night we went to see the play American Fiesta, written and performed by Steven Tomlinson. If you have the opportunity, please go see it. Number one, it is very good. Number two, our theatre productions in town really need the support.
My sister got four tickets for us to go and see it as part of my birthday. I was delighted! Bob-o and I have gotten out of the habit of a real social life the past few years. It seems most of our social engagements fall in one of three categories: Children, Work, or Charities We Support. So, I was going to have a great time, even if the play was not wonderful. I collect Fiesta Dinnerware and so it seemed that the themes he would weave into a monologue would be right up my alley.
I am not a "review" kind of person. I can give a report, but that is not what I really want to do. I have been thinking I should come on here and talk about this play, but I dragged my heels probably in part because I don't want to try and Ebert anything. So what I share with you now, please don't think of as a review.
The play started in perfect darkness and then slowly a single light began to highlight a brilliant red bowl. It was almost a holy moment, deliberate I am sure. A man came out and started to share what feels to be his authentic story. He talked of so many things that I identified with and could relate to my own life.
The play had many diverse themes and yet he skillfully brought them together, like a wonderful stew you could never imagine the ingredients mixing in such a delicious way. He talked about opposites attracting and repelling in relationships. He talked about e-Bay. He talked of the need for approval and understanding from our family. He talked about neurobiology being used in advertising, such as the successful manipulation of neurotransmitters to win political elections. He talked about the popularity of vintage Fiesta being an interesting way to self medicate in times of stress - that it harkens back to childhood memories of grandmom's kitchen and at the same time excites us in the thrill of the hunt for those rare and elusive pieces. He talked about gay marriage and rural Oklahoma. He talked about using "the good dishes" and not putting them up to just admire. He talked about our society being more polarized and the trend of less interaction and tolerance between people having opposing viewpoints. He talked about striving for perfection and the perfection of appreciating the flawed.
I was touched by a lot of what he said and I was sad when the show ended. I don't know if the show really was autobiographical, but I hope it was. Because I want that character to really exist in my world. I liked him. I wished I could invite him over for a home cooked meal.
I would even get down the Fiesta I keep up high and never use.