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 firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 893-8716.