BWW Review: DIXIE'S TUPPERWARE PARTY at STARLIGHT THEATRE
Dixie Longate'S TUPPERWARE PARTY on the Starlight Stage Indoors is a hoot. Playing in Kansas City until January 19, Dixie is the outrageous drag stage personae of performer and playwright Kris Andersson. It is a 90 minute, multimedia, comic presentation and an actual Tupperware Party.
Dixie tells her own made-up story and the actual history of Brownie Wise, the 1950s inventor of the original Tupperware party. The notion of Dixie and her party was first performed as part of the 2004 New York Fringe Festival. The show made it Off Broadway in 2007 and Dixie was nominated in 2008 for a Drama Desk Award as best solo performer.
Dixie is a trash talking, trailer living, thrice divorced, single mother of three who appears in an outlandish red-ish beehive wig and a gingham dress. The performance begins with Dixie roaming the audience holding a Tupperware serving bowl filled with peppermint lifesavers. Dixie makes sure to meet everyone. She secretly surveys her party attendees for likely victims of her performance pranks. The audience all sport numbered name tags. You'll find out about the name tags later.
Onstage are two couches flanking a folding table filled with Tupperware products. Dixie, it turns out, is a hell-of-a-salesperson. She is randy. She is funny. She is plenty effective. Tucked inside programs are real Tupperware catalogs. Each product that Dixie pitches is carefully numbered and displayed on a large projection screen above the set. Audience members are encouraged to buy items out of the catalogs. Raffles are held at intervals throughout the performance that calls audience members to the stage and awards them token gifts.
Tupperware first appeared in the post-World War II era. Modern plastics were just beginning to appear. Inventor Earl Tupper originally sold his bowls and other items in traditional brick and mortar stores. Single Mother salesperson Brownie Wise had an inspiration. Perhaps Brownie has stumbled on gold. Her sales results proved to Earl Tupper that she was the person to lead the ongoing sales effort. He named her Vice President of Tupperware. Out of Bonnie's brain grew the germ of the idea for Tupperware parties and so began a revolution in home sales.
Dixie's version of the home party on stage is genius. She entertains. She honors women in the workplace. She engages. She has created multiple revenue steams. We know Dixie is actually a man, but the illusion as created by Kris Andersson is complete. After the show, audience members are offered the opportunity to make their orders of Tupperware from Dixie herself.
If you are looking for new bowls or just an entertaining evening, Dixie may be your golden ticket through January 19 at Starlight Theatre inside Swope Park. Tickets are available online, at the box office, or by telephone at 816.363.7827. Dixie's presentation is designed for an adult audience.