BWW Review: DIXIE'S NEVER WEAR A TUBETOP WHILE RIDING A MECHANICAL BULL at Shea's Smith Theatre
Hilarious Adventures with Dixie
Shea's Smith Theatre is hosting everyone's favorite Tupperware lady, Dixie Longate, for the rest of this week and anyone yearning for some strong belly laughs, groans, and an all around 90 minutes of hilarity should head downtown. Dixie has been in town before in DIXIE'S TUPPERWARE PARTY, and this time she treats us to her newest show, NEVER WEAR A TUBE TOP WHILE RIDING A MECHANICAL BULL--AND 16 OTHER THINGS I LEARNED WHILE I WAS DRINKING LAST THURSDAY. High brow art it is not, but this low brow comedy is done so right one can't help but be sucked in.
Set in a honk tonky in Mobile, Alabama during a horrific hurricane of a storm, we meet Dixie, who serves as host and storyteller in this one man, errrrr, I mean one woman show. Dixie is played by the infectiously funny and endlessly energetic Kris Andersson. Dolled up in a tacky short dress, ample bosom and red hair for days, Dixie shares her thoughts on how to lead a happy life while often taking suggestions from the audience, who may be called up on stage.
With her southern twang, Dixie's fast paced, high pressured speech is so funny that even she gets so caught up in her excitement that she ends up garbling sentences to unrecognizable slurs, and the audience can't get enough of her. She shares bits of wisdom given to her by her forever dying wheel chair bound mother, often with hysterical malaprops that glide by so quickly, you don't get the laugh until a few seconds later-- But Dixie is so well honed of a character, she doesn't let anything get by her audience. Her facial contortions were spot on when describing fractured adages like, "when a tree falls in the forest, um, well, err, a poor little squirrel loses his home!"
She had the audience rolling in the aisles when extolling the virtues of living in a trailer park, and explaining her theory of why Happy Hours should not only be from 4 - 7 pm. Does that mean the other 17 hours (yes, she said 17 ) are UN-happy hours.?!? Her demonstration of how a true lady rides a mechanical bull, well, you have to see it to believe it, but it does require one free hand to hold a drink.
The attentive audience was filled with all ages, and Dixie plays directly to them, meeting a few through the evening and giving them her personal names, like Captain and Tennille, or Hotdog, and then engaging them in some fun party games, with appropriate prizes.
Dixie is such a polished character, of Andersson's own design, that by the end of the evening you become sucked into her world, full of sincerity, off color humor and general farce. Her quiet moments of how to get through life one adventure at a time, while dealing with really stupid people, seemed so appropriate for this character who, though clownlike, truly seems to have a heart of gold. Dixie made a lot of new friends and admirers in Buffalo, and I hope you get to meet her real soon.
DIXIE plays Shea's Smith Theatre from March 1 through March 6, and is presented by Shea's and Albert Nocciolino. Performances are Tues., Wed. & Thurs. at 7:30 p.m., Fri. at 8 p.m., Sat. at 4 p.m. & 8 p.m. and Sun. at 2 p.m. & 6 p.m. Tickets are $30 for Tues. and Wed. performances and $35 for all other performances. Visit www.sheas.org. For groups (10+), call 716-829-1153