American Fiesta: Doing the dishes one more time

Interest from New York producers is prompting a second encore run for Steven Tomlinson's award-winning one-man show 'American Fiesta'

American Fiesta: Doing the dishes one more time

One of the unquestioned blessings of this beastly summer will soon be back to grace the first days of fall. Steven Tomlinson's American Fiesta, which followed its hit world premiere run at the State Theatre last October with a three-week encore engagement at UT's McCullough Theatre in July and August, is swinging by again for a five-night stand starting this Sunday, Sept. 17. While the midsummer remount was successful enough to warrant a third run, the overriding reason for the new revival was interest from prominent theatre types who could help the play find a life beyond Austin. "And when a Broadway producer you admire wants to see the show," says Tomlinson, "you remount it." The writer and performer is characteristically gracious about the possibility of a future for this work, saying he's been "overwhelmed by the support Austin audiences have shown American Fiesta" and that it's due to the State, the UT Performing Arts Center, and hundreds of loyal fans that he may get "the opportunity to share the work with a national audience."

It wouldn't be surprising to see Fiesta make that leap, given the exceptional attention it's already received, both in- and outside the city: winner of the 2006 David Mark Cohen New Play Award from the Austin Critics Table and the 2006 Osborn Award for best new play by an emerging playwright from the American Theatre Critics Association, finalist for the 2006 Harold and Mimi Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award. Still, talk of a Broadway run – or one off-Broadway or off-off-Broadway, for that matter – is premature. More to the point is that Austin gets another opportunity to experience this outstanding work of theatre, this witty and wise meditation on the state of the union – in both political and matrimonial terms – played out against Tomlinson's quest to acquire a complete set of Fiestaware dishes. A repeat visit this summer proved it to be one of the true treasures of the past season, a cooling tonic for our inflamed hearts and minds. If you've already seen it, you know what I'm talking about. And if you haven't, treat yourself.

American Fiesta runs Sept. 17-21, Sunday-Thursday, 8pm, at the McCullough Theatre on the UT campus. For more information, visit

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle