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Dixie puts on a fine Tupperware party

CLEARWATER — So you've never been to a Tupperware party and couldn't care less about brightly colored plastic kitchen storage containers? No matter. Dixie's Tupperware Party is a down-home hoot, well lubricated by the overworked bartender for Tuesday night's opening at Ruth Eckerd Hall's cozy Murray Studio Theatre, with the audience at tables arranged like a nightclub.

Dixie Longate, the cross-dressing alter ego of Kris Andersson, is a rawboned Alabama redhead in gingham. She sashays on like Gypsy Rose Lee with a wardrobe from the Dollar Store and sets the tone.

"The more you drink, the prettier I look,'' Dixie says.

Here's what you need to know about the show.

Is this for real? "Yes, this is a real Tupperware party,'' says Dixie, who distributes catalogs and takes orders after the show.

But is it theater? Definitely. Dixie is a performance artist with a brilliant idea, riffing on a middle American icon and reveling in its weird ingenuity. Take the Forget Me Not Set, three little containers for leftovers that hang from a refrigerator shelf. Who knew? And then there are her soliloquies to a candy dish, tumblers ("These are ribbed for your pleasure'') and the incomparable Tupperware can opener.

Best line: "I like any piece of Tupperware that comes with its own weapon,'' Dixie says, swooning over the Pick-A-Deli pickle container.

Best bawdy line: "Oh, is that your phone?'' Dixie says, as she plops into the lap of a guy seated with other hapless foils on a pair of sofas onstage.

Could do with fewer: Homages to Brownie Wise, the patron saint of Tupperware, whose portrait sits on an easel and inspires Dixie to wax poetic.

The raffle: Win one and you have to go onstage with Dixie. "C'mon up, hooker,'' she cheerfully calls to a raffle winner.

Should you go? Yes, especially if you need a new can opener.

John Fleming can be reached at fleming@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8716.

REVIEW

Dixie's Tupperware Party

Through Saturday at Murray Studio Theatre at Ruth Eckerd Hall. Running time: 90 minutes, no intermission. 8 p.m. today; 2 and 8 p.m. Friday; 1, 5 and 8 p.m. Saturday. $35. (727) 791-7400; rutheckerdhall.com.

Dixie puts on a fine Tupperware party 11/26/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 26, 2008 7:01pm]

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