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This Ain’t Your Grandma’s Tupperware Party

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“I’ve had three husbands who all died under mysterious circumstances, but I’ve never been indicted.”
“I’ve had three husbands who all died under mysterious circumstances, but I’ve never been indicted.”

Dixie Longate brings her hysterical show to Houston.
by Marene Gustin
Photo by Bradford Rogne

Dixie’s Tupperware Party rolls into the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts this month with all the class of an Alabama trailer park, which is where Dixie Longate hails from.

And yes, it’s a real Tupperware party.

You don’t have to buy any plastic storage items, but after ninety minutes of Dixie, you probably will. There’s a reason she’s the Number One Personal Seller of Tupperware. She’s hilariously funny, trashy, and inspiring.

And she’s actually a he—show writer Kris Andersson—in a big red wig and skintight dress. I spoke with him recently by phone. Or actually, I talked with Dixie, since he’s always in character.

“The tour is going real well,” says Dixie in a thick Southern accent. “I just love being on the road and meeting new people. This all started when I got out of prison in 2001 and my parole officer said I needed to get a job to get my kids back.” She has three—Wynona, Dwayne, and little Absorbine Jr.

“I’ve had three husbands who all died under mysterious circumstances, but I’ve never been indicted,” she proudly adds.

Anyway, on the advice of her parole officer, Dixie starts selling Tupperware and finds that plastic, women, and lots of booze can add up to great sales.

As the story goes, she decides to take her act on the road in 2007, leaves off-Broadway howling, and then tours the country selling Tupperware and entertaining audiences. Oh, and she left the kids back at the trailer park in Mobile, but she Skypes with them every day. “As long as nothing’s on fire, they’re fine,” she says.

As to her favorite item that she hawks, she says it’s the Rectangular Cake Taker. “Sure, you can carry a cake in it, but it holds thirty-four Jell-O shots just as well,” she explains. “I take it to church with me and it gets me right through the sermon.”

She’s also wild about the wine opener. “I can stop at a red light, grab a bottle from my stash in the back seat, and have that wine open before the light turns green.”

Are you sensing a theme here?

But more than just boozing, Dixie encourages her audience to think outside the box (or plastic bowl) to come up with creative alternative uses for those Tupperware items. She also throws in a little Tupperware history. And, although it’s a one-drag-queen show, she invites audience members onstage for some spontaneous fun. Don’t be afraid to go up—you might get a free Tupperware item out of it.

And while the show has been a hit across the country, this is the first time it’s come to Houston. “I am just so excited to come to Houston,” she exclaims. “I want to see the Space Center and maybe fly around in a spacecraft, and there’s this restaurant I want to go to. It’s called the Big Red . . . oh, I don’t think I can say the last word. But I’ve heard it’s really good.”

That’s okay Dixie, we just call it the BRC (Gastro Pub).

“And I’ll knit. I love to knit on the road and just run around,” she says. “Sometimes I’m runnin’ from the law.”

Oh, the life of a Tupperware saleswoman.

But sometimes she pines for life back at the trailer park. “It’s so neighborly,” she sighs. “If your lawn chair is on fire, they’ll rush down to the gulley for water. And you’re always meeting new people. Every time a hurricane blows through, you’re like, Oh, where did they go? But then someone else moves in.”

Hurricane Dixie blows in to Houston on June 4. And whether you need kitchenware or not, you should go because, as Dixie says, this show is more fun than you can shake a stick at.

What: Dixie’s Tupperware Party
When: June 4–16
Where: Hobby Center, 800 Bagby
Tickets: tuts.com.

Marene Gustin also writes about Hotel Faust and Trey McIntyre in this issue of OutSmart magazine.

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Marene Gustin

Marene Gustin has written about Texas culture, food, fashion, the arts, and Lone Star politics and crime for television, magazines, the web and newspapers nationwide, and worked in Houston politics for six years. Her freelance work has appeared in the Austin Chronicle, Austin-American Statesman, Houston Chronicle, Houston Press, Texas Monthly, Dance International, Dance Magazine, the Advocate, Prime Living, InTown magazine, OutSmart magazine and web sites CultureMap Houston and Austin, Eater Houston and Gayot.com, among others.

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