Posted on Wednesday, April 13, 2016
It’s a rarity to read The Smith Center and Tupperware in the same sentence. This apparent oxymoron is courtesy of Dixie Longate, who brings her hilarious “Dixie’s Tupperware Party” to the Troesh Studio Theater at The Smith Center May 17-22.
How did all this selling-storage-on-stage start? According to Dixie herself, she moved from Mobile, Alabama to Los Angeles in her trailer with her three kids – not voluntarily, but as a condition of parole. She started selling plasticware in 2001 and caught the eye of some New York Theater producers (but not Hollywood, which, ironically, tends to have more plastic) “and in 2007, I had a big opening in my own show, ‘Dixie's Tupperware Party’ off-Broadway and got a Drama Desk Award nomination for Outstanding Solo Performance.” Several years and more than 1,000 performances later, Dixie has shown and sold her bowls in more than five countries.
What accounts for the success of “Dixie Tupperware Party,” and why does Tupperware work so well in our technical and “sophisticated” 21st century? For one thing, it’s the perfect combination of commerce and comedy. But more importantly, as Dixie explained it in a recent newspaper interview - a rare moment of nonperforming and no selling: “I see so many people burying their face in their phones and disconnecting,” she said. “I always look at Tupperware as the original social network. It's a thing that brings people together.”
It’s also a balance of humor and product practicality. And while Dixie Longate is hilariously over the top, as a Tupperware salesperson, she never forgets to keep the lid on.
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