Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Dixie’s Tupperware Party  

Off-Broadway sensation comes to Mississauga!!!


the only Canadian stop on a North American tour


more fun than

“a gaggle of lesbians at a home depot sidewalk sale”                 



If you’ve never been to a Tupperware party and feel a little shy about sitting in someone’s badly decorated living room waiting for a rimming demonstration while sipping cheap chardonnay from a plastic goblet, well have no fear, the best Tupperware party in town is taking place at the Living Arts Theatre in Mississauga, and believe it or not, there is an actual rimming race where contestants learn how to properly apply the tops to their favorite Tupperware items. 


Ms. Dixie Longate, fresh from the trailer parks of Mobile Alabama, with a vocabulary as racy as a blue movie, and sexy innuendoes that would make a gaggle of lesbians blush, entertains with breakneck pacing and non-stop side splitting energy for ninety minutes of authentic Tupperware fun.


There’s a Tupperware order form and a generous portion of pretzel mix at each cabaret style table in this hilarious one ‘woman’ show running in beautiful downtown Mississauga, only a 37 minute car ride from the CN Tower with your google map held tightly in one hand and your food storage fantasies firmly imbedded in your plastic loving consumerist psyche.


Endorsed by the Tupperware Brands Corporation, with representatives as famous as Ms. Brooke Shields featured in their catalogue, Dixie’s ‘cross-dressed’ approach to hostessing is a refreshing, good old fashioned interactive, semi-scripted, slightly improvised evening of first rate solo drag performance. But stop yourself before presuming that Dixie would ever admit to being in drag. She only gives interviews in character, and her comic professionalism has the audience in stitches the minute she enters the room. My guest said his face hurt by the end of this Lucille Ball-like roller coaster ride chuck full of scripted wit, improvised wisecracks, and interactive whimsy.


Dixie’s seamless southern inflected delivery rolls in and out of frequent bursts of the most stylized and comically effective form of repetition, mixed with an almost stuttering-like quality. The result is so infectious that one becomes totally entranced by her vocal artistry. She is an amazing performer-cum-hostess to simply watch and enjoy as she floats across the stage in red and white checks and a lovely floral apron. But if that’s not enough then there’s her relentless ribald humour, mixed eloquently into an actual Tupperware sales party.  You might find yourself coming home with the ever-popular #484, the Open House Chip-N Dip Bowl. Who can resist a food storage container that, as Dixie says, “Holds more than most lesbians can eat in an entire playoff season.” Or if you’re looking for something a little less food focused and slightly more titillating, then try the vegetable holder (cucumbers anyone?) that, as Dixie suggests, can be kept at your bedside for very special autoerotic occasions.


Perhaps the most surprising thing about the show is the fact that Tupperware Canada actually endorses the whole shebang and takes orders in the lobby. Dixie herself has been awarded banners of excellence at the annual Tupperware Jubilee Convention, and she includes ample amounts of plasticized history in her party as she shares information about original founder, Earl Silas Tupper, who brought these food containers to the public in 1946. Heidi Wise began to develop the ever popular - 1950’s and beyond - Tupperware Party marketing strategy that many of us fey baby boomers remember as being a part of our dear mama’s home life. All those ladies in the living room, fawning over the latest piece of durable molded plastic, what was a poor disenfranchised gay boy to do but join the girls and coo over a condiment tray or two.


Dixie inserts some drama into her reminiscences near the end as she moves into somewhat more dramatic tones regarding an abusive husband, and even visits the racialized aspects of her southern origins in one line when she says she had an idea that “struck her like a police night stick during Black History Month.” Ultimately Dixie’s message becomes one of hope and hilarity that promotes self-identity and a strong sense of independence and camaraderie - albeit camaraderie that never loses sight of the chance to make a caustic comic quip whenever the saucy spirit moves.


A force to be reckoned with, and presently on a North American tour, with Mississauga as her only Canadian stop, Dixie’s show runs at the Living Arts Theatre until January 31st.  This Tupperware party promises to be nothing like the ones you remember mama throwing, unless of course you were lucky enough to have a gorgeous southern drag queen for your mother!


until January 31st, 8:30 p.m. - RBC Theatre - Living Arts Centre, 4141 Living Arts Drive, Mississauga, Ontario

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