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BWW Review: DIXIE'S HAPPY HOUR at Starlight Theatre

A sodden trip down memory lane

BWW Review: DIXIE'S HAPPY HOUR at Starlight Theatre

Dixie Longate is back, at least virtually, at Starlight Theatre. It's a far reaching, no holds barred, brave ninety minute performance.

Despite the fact that she has become the top salesperson for Tupperware, there is no mention of the burped, plastic, temporary home for all manner of leftovers. This virtual visit to Starlight is a walk down Dixie's imaginary memory lane designed to elicit a few laughs and a semi-maudlin back story about why Dixie is the way she is.

Dixie is, of course, the on-stage drag persona of Kris Anderson. She is the evolution of an early 2000 dare. Kris was bet he wouldn't dare sell Tupperware to a group of waiting ladies while in drag. He took the dare and ended up becoming Tupperware's most successful salesperson.

The premise for this show is that she is going to share drink recipes for the four major food groups passed down from her Grandmother. They are Tequila, Vodka, Rum, and Gin. From there she devolves into the sad tale of her supposed upbringing. She claims to have been an elementary school dropout to take care of an ailing grandmother. Most of the show is designed to work off this framework.

Well, "butter your griddle," Dixie is going to take you on a journey. In this case, she may be "simmering in her own brine." She has made a thirteen year career out of being outrageous.

Kris Anderson has had a really good run as Dixie. She is deliberate trailer-trash probably related somehow to Jeff Foxworthy and his "You can tell a red-neck by......" routines. This is my third experience with Kris. I have seen him twice before as Dixie both live. In person, he is one funny dude. One of his best talents is the way he interacts with his audience. From a distance, the ginger wig, false bosoms, and the high heels, make him a passable version of what he pretends to be. On a close-up TV screen, not so much. He is a hell of a salesperson.

I called the performance brave. As a former actor, I can't imagine trying to write a 90 minute monologue, and performing it for two or three TV cameras. I especially can't imagine trying it as a comedy routine in heels. I am sure that "Dixie's Happy Hour" reads funnier than it plays, but without people in the audience laughing at the jokes, this brave video response to the pandemic falls a little flat for me.

Still, I have to give the man credit. If you love his crazy, a little blue, trailer trash humor and if you can get into his back story of drinking, childhood beauty pageants, Wonder Woman costumes, Be-Dazzlers, sex education, and her aged Mee-maw with a terminal disease, this show could be just what the pandemic doctor ordered.

"Dixie's Happy Hour" continues to be streamed via Starlight through this Sunday, January 31. A digital ticket can be purchased at the Starlight ticket office website www.kcstarlight.com/events/event-detail-production/dixies-happy-hour. We need to continue to support our local theater events especially during a tough time. Parents are warned that some language may not be appropriate for very young viewers.


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