Stage review: Dixie puts a new spin on the Tupperware lady
September 13, 2012 8:00 AM
Dixie Longate (aka Kris Andersson) is as colorful as her products in "Dixie's Tupperware Party."
By Sharon Eberson Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
If Dixie Longate knows one thing, it's that sex sells, and, honey, just wait till you hear her sales pitch. Now, don't get your knickers in too much of a twist -- "Dixie's Tupperware Party" is just what the name says. The iconic plastic containers are for sale, and there's a party going on, but Dixie certainly puts a new spin on the traditional Tupperware lady, emphasis on lady.
If you are easily offended by profanity, sexual innuendo or a guy in drag channeling a big-hearted trailer-park parolee, then perhaps this CLO Cabaret party isn't the one to crash. And if you're game for the show but prone to the vapors, don't sit up too close or there's a chance you'll get caught in Dixie's web of double-entendres and embarrassing declarations.
'Dixie's Tupperware Party'
Where: CLO Cabaret, Cabaret at Theater Square, Downtown.
When: Wednesdays-Thursdays; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays; plus 1 p.m. Sept. 27 and Oct. 4; and 7 p.m. Sept. 30, Oct. 7 and Oct. 14.
Tickets: $34.75-$44.75; $50.75 for limited onstage seating; 412-456-6666 or clocabaret.com.
For those of you who pay extra for stage tickets, well, bless your brave hearts. A woman onstage Saturday suffered through all of the lesbian stereotypes the sassy star could muster and took it like a good-natured champ.
Also on Saturday, she chose a fellow named Bill from the audience as the subject of endless harassment. He and a fellow onstage served as stand-ins for the surprising number of men in the packed house.
Oh, and then of course, there was Dixie herself (aka show creator Kris Andersson), resplendent in a blue dress and strappy white heels, flirtatiously tossing her flowing curls while sipping booze (or so we were told) from an airtight Tupperware Tumbler with Drip-Less Straw Seal -- guaranteed not to spill a drop.
Amid Dixie's hootin' and hollerin' were several tributes to Brownie Wise, the woman who pioneered Tupperware parties and became a company executive when post-WWII America was all about sending an army of Rosie the Riveters back to the kitchen.
It's downright poignant when Dixie shows a video of herself being celebrated as a top Tupperware seller at the company's annual jubilee, an enormous esteem booster for the oft-married mom from Alabama.
Just imagine you're Dixie Longate, in need of work, and your parole officer sends you into the world with a shiny, faux crystal bowl by Tupperware. Or you're an unemployed actor in Los Angeles, and your friends dare you to hold a Tupperware party in drag.
The outcome, it turns out, is "Dixie's Tupperware Party," a theatrical interpretation of an ongoing piece of Americana that began in the 1940s. Now, heaven forbid, you can stay home and order online, too, but don't tell Dixie that. She's got a few words for people who do their shopping while sitting at a computer.
At her party, there is no intermission, but there are raffles for small prizes (they may come at a price of some dignity, just so you know) and product demos -- I'm sure Bill will never forget how to use Tupperware's newfangled can opener, and I will never forget Dixie's how-tos involving a corkscrew.
So, as Dixie might say, come on over to the CLO Cabaret, y'all, and park any prudish notions at the door. Be prepared to laugh and blush and, in case you're so inclined, there's a catalog provided to purchase colorful storage solutions on the spot.