In this year of uncertain outcomes and bleak political futures, there's still one thing we can count on: having a grand old time at Dixie's Tupperware Party. Dixie Longate, the redheaded, Jell-O shot–swilling alter ego of Kris Andersson, delivers dirty zingers galore in her celebrated stage show, which has run for eight years since getting its start off-Broadway in New York. But she also adds a big dose of female empowerment to her sassy, Dame Edna-inspired performance, highlighting the role of Detroit housewife Brownie Wise in the company's iconic success.
Since Tupperware is headquartered in Orlando, Dixie says she's thrilled to perform here for the first time, although she has been crowned the company's top saleswoman at their annual O-Town Jubilee before.
So Orlando Weekly chatted with Longate (who remained in full character) about the importance of being neighborly, her favorite drink recipe, and how Tupperware parties were the first social network.
Orlando Weekly: You were just in Buffalo, right?
Dixie Longate: Oh my stars – it was so damn cold up there! I had to dress like I was going to an Eskimo convention. I am so excited to come to Orlando where it's nice and sunny and warm and I don't have to wear no panties or nothin'.
Do you find that Southern crowds react differently to your show than, say, crowds in Buffalo?
Everybody is a little bit different, but everybody has a good time. They spend their money to laugh and drink their cocktails.
I've been doing this all over the world, too. In Australia, I didn't even know if they had food down there! But I open a Tupperware container and they start cheering and laughing before I even say one word. Tupperware in Australia has the fervor now that it had in this country in the '60s and '70s.
That American fervor stemmed from the fact that Tupperware parties gave women a lot of opportunities, right?
Absolutely. You had a bunch of Rosie the Riveters helping out during the war effort making a difference for their community and their country.
After the war, they were told to go back to the kitchen where they belonged. But they didn't want to do that! Tupperware allowed them to grow, and build their own businesses, and drink, and be happy – all through this fantastic plastic.
How did Tupperware change your life?
Before I started selling it in 2001, I was in prison, then living in a run-down single-wide. And now I'm in a double-wide that is so nice.
It's also been an amazing opportunity to travel the world and make friends. Everybody is so neighborly and nice to me, and I love giving people the chance to be friendly and neighborly to each other, too. That makes my heart happy.
What's your favorite piece of Tupperware?
I have a Jell-O shot caddy for church in case the sermon gets boring, and we have this other thing called a Pick-a-Deli, which is used to pickle things and strain out the pickle juice so as to not get your fingers all nasty. Well, I put vodka and fruit in it, and the fruit sucks up the vodka like a little shot, and you eat that ... just don't eat too many!
I was curious about your favorite drink for this spring.
You put any kind of drink in front of me, I'll try it.
Sometimes the drinks my friends make in their bathtubs, oh my stars, they're so amazing. You just sit there drinking on the back porch and looking at the fireflies ... it's the perfect end to every evening. [Editor's note: Dixie was kind enough to share her favorite Jell-O shot recipes with us; find those here.]
How long do you think you'll keep working the Tupperware party circuit?
I've been doing it for 15 years, so I think I'll keep going. I have a new follow-up show to my Tupperware parties called Never Wear a Tube Top While Riding a Mechanical Bull and 16 Other Things I Learned While I Was Drinking Last Thursday.
So there's always something more to try. And everybody's been so neighborly that it never makes me want to stop. Especially when I have people coming up and rubbing on my leg.