'Dixie's Tupperware Party' Takes the Lid off Comedy
Kristina Dorsey., TheDay.com - A Southern-fried Dame Edna holds a Tupperware party in the Oasis Room.
Dec 02, 2009 1:51 PM -
Imagine, if you dare, a Southern-fried version of Dame Edna.
By that, we mean a performer in high-haired drag who can put on a show that's both stand-up comedy and performance art, a quirky combo of scripted bits and audience-inspired improv.
Oh, and in the case of "Dixie's Tupperware Party," you also get an actual Tupperware party tossed into the mix.
"Dixie" - the show and the title character - bounded into the Garde Arts Center's Oasis Room on Tuesday for the first of a six-day run.
And can we just say: What. A. Riot.
"Dixie" is a unique comedy beast, a combo of quirky theatrical elements. She pulls into the whole shebang her personal history (Dixie's parole officer recommended she take up selling Tupperware); oh-so-many double entendres (oh, all right, they're single entendres); and actual Tupperware history and explanation of products (Dixie merrily described the products as "this great crap" but, in the midst of all the wisecracks, made a subtle case for the various pieces).
This all somehow, miraculously, blends to make the show a hoot and a holler.
Dixie is really actor Kris Andersson, and he has perfected the character's sass. He delivers Dixie's rapid-fire comedy with a twang and a wink. She walks a tightrope - not easy in 6-inch heels - between parody and a hint of sincerity. Hey, nobody wants to buy Tupperware from someone who isn't at least a little sincere.
The whole Tupperware angle is a bit odd, but here's how it began: Andersson was holding Tupperware parties to make some money, and it was during those that he created the character of Dixie. He and playwright Elizabeth Meriwether developed a stage show from there, and its 2007 off-Broadway production nabbed a Drama Desk Award nomination for Outstanding Solo Performance.
Ultimately, the Tupperware is a vehicle for the comedy, but you can actually buy Tupperware at the show. Dixie helpfully gives advice on alternate uses for the pieces. A cupcake tray can also hold 34 Jell-O shots, she says, adding, "That's going to serve, like, two people."
The best bits, though, are the unscripted segments where Dixie interacts with the crowd. She can make a sitcom-level segment out of audience members experimenting with Tupperware gadgets.
"Dixie's Tupperware Party" was at The Bushnell before coming to the Garde, and the Hartford theater has already booked it again for May, thanks to popular demand. So get your "Dixie" fix in New London while you can.