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Dixie's Holiday Tupperware Party

Theatre Review by Warren Hoffman

"Look, Watch, Look, Watch, Look, Watch," squawks Dixie Longate, the star, party hostess, and honest-to-God seller of Tupperware products in the no-holds-barred hilariously funny show Dixie's Holiday Tupperware Party. Running up and down the aisles of the Fez, screaming with excitement, tongue hanging out of her mouth, Dixie is eager to reveal the multi-fuctional and often non-traditional uses for the famous plastic storage containers and kitchen products. She demands our utmost attention, and with her filthy language and ingratiating charm, the audience is more than happy to give it to her.

A hit from this year's NYC Fringe Festival where it won the 2004 Fringe Award for Overall Excellence in Solo Performance, Dixie's Holiday Tupperware Party is making a limited return to New York, just in time for some holiday shopping. And if you thought that Tupperware was just some outdated item for bored housewives, think again. That isn't just a cupcake tray Dixie is peddling, no, it also doubles as a serving tray for Jell-O shots. And those popsicle makers you remember from your childhood . . . perfect for frozen screwdrivers! Dixie might be "the new face of Tupperware," much to the horror of Tupperware execs, but after hearing her raucous stories of murder, adultery, wild sex, and boozing, you'll never think about storage containers the same way again.

The brainchild of all this over-the-top madness is Kris Andersson who (in drag of course) plays Dixie, trailer park trash from Mobile, Alabama whose parenting skills are questionable and whose track record with husbands (who are all dead) is abysmal. Andersson is a masterful actor, a "downtown Dame Edna," whose skills of improvisation, audience interaction, ad-libbing, and rubber-faced comedy are immensely entertaining. But don't think you can take the kiddies to this show; Dixie is foul-mouthed, lewd, and as far from politically correct as you can get. And boy, if that doesn't make for a fun evening.

Attired in a checkered dress, silk scarf, and white "cha-cha" heels, Dixie is the epitome of fake Southern charm. (Perhaps someone should tap her for the upcoming Broadway revival of Steel Magnolias.) Gamely taking improvised questions from the audience about Tupperware products, Dixie can turn on a dime; aggravated hellcat one moment and unctuous saleslady the next, adding to the evening's wild roller coaster feel. Andersson's rapid-fire delivery of jokes, though at times so fast that he obscures some punch lines, only adds to Dixie's eagerness and frenzy to impress the audience with the magic and wonder of Tupperware. Repeating the major selling points of each item innumerable times until the words become nonsensical, Dixie lackadaisically spits out the catalog numbers of her goods with such calculated slurring that one has to wonder if that really is alcohol in her no-drip Tupperware tumbler with seal (Item number 5537) from which she sips. Directed by Thomas Caruso, the show never stops to catch a breath and you can't turn away for a minute or you're sure to miss one of Dixie's priceless mugging expressions.

While introducing the benefits of each Tupperware item, Dixie also breaks up the proceedings with raffle ticket drawings which involve calling a typically befuddled audience member on to the stage where she dishes out sexual innuendoes while giving away sample products. Like Dame Edna, Dixie knows how to turn the screws into her "victims" and even when audience members are a tad unwilling to participate, Dixie isn't afraid to poke fun (all in the name of plastic storage products!).

It's easy to see why Dixie won both her Fringe Award and the many stars and medals that adorn her outfit, attesting to her impressive career as a high-selling Tupperware saleslady. The audience bought up not only Dixie's crass and side-splittingly funny anecdotes and stories, but also bags of her plastic crap (as she calls it), because, hey, who doesn't need a $30 can opener that doesn't produce sharp edges on the can? Rumors are in the air that Dixie might have an extended off-Broadway run in the near future, but until that happens, Dixie's Holiday Tupperware Party is the perfect way to indulge in the all-American penchant for dysfunctional holiday cheer and overpriced plastic junk. Salad spinners anyone?

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Fez
Dixie's Holiday Tupperware Party
Through November 27
Running Time: About one hour with no intermission
Fez is located inside Time Cafe at 380 Lafayette Street at Great Jones
For tickets call 212-533-2680 or visit www.feznyc.com