Hailing from Mobile, Alabama, Dixie Longate is the Tupperware slinging, gum chewing, fast-talking drag persona of Kris Andersson, the writer, actor and producer of “Dixie’s Tupperware Party.” A mother of three who started selling the iconic plastic containers as conditions of parole in 2001, Dixie is a true Southern belle sharing her knowledge of food storage and funny tales for audiences to enjoy.
“Dixie’s Tupperware Party” started as a friend’s suggestion to sell Tupperware in the early 2000s and would later become a hit, performing over 1,700 shows worldwide and stirring up laughs in every crowd. Longate would become one of the company’s top sellers of Tupperware through her performances. The show has become one the longest-running off-Broadway tours in American theater history.
“Never Wear a Tube Top While Riding a Mechanical Bull (and 16 other things I learned while I was drinking last Thursday)” was Longate’s second show concept performed during 2014. Dixie would create a streaming show during the COVID-19 pandemic called “Dixie’s Happy Hour” that ran in 26 cities. After the end of the lockdown, she emerged with another new project, “Cherry Bombs and Bottle Rockets.”
Watermark spoke with Dixie in mid-May ahead of her Tupperware Party at the Garden Theatre in Winter Garden for three nights June 15-17.
WATERMARK: You mentioned prior to our interview that you may be speaking with us with a cocktail in hand, what’s your drink of choice today and is it in a Tupperware cup?
DIXIE: I have leftover cocktails today because I had Cinco De Mayo at my house and it’s always good to make extra because you never know who’s going to show up. They never RSVP, those people, I tell you! That would be sacrilegious if I wasn’t drinking from a Tupperware cup. What if I’m drinking and driving and hit a squirrel, I might spill my drink! With a Tupperware cup I won’t make a mess.
The Tupperware Party idea came from a friend of yours, correct? Tell me a little bit about the show’s history and how it came to be what it is now.
A friend of mine and I were at a Tupperware party years ago and they told me “You should do this! You’d be so good at it.” And my parole officer said I needed a job to get my kids back, so it seemed like a perfect fit. I was having a good time and making money and getting creative food storage so that just made everything better.
I found online that you were listed as a dancer in two iconic ‘90s films — “Titanic” and “Scream 2” — and just had to ask about those. Have you always wanted to be a performer?
Darlin’, you know there are things you do early on in your career. You know how Vanessa Williams was like “Oh, I’m famous,” because she was Miss America and then those pictures came out of her with her boobs out? Those jobs I did way back in the day and they were a super fun adventure. After that the Tupperware buzz came around and I’ve been all over the world doing this. I’ve been to places I didn’t even know had food.
How long have you been doing this show? Have you been recognized by the Tupperware company?
I started selling Tupperware in 2001, gosh. That’s crazy! I put it together as a show and brought it to New York in 2007 and did it off-Broadway. That’s where it got all this traction and attention. I’ve been on the road touring ever since 2008, just doing my best to make people smile and help them with their food storage needs.
I have been at the Jubilee almost every year since I started this, which is the big Tupperware convention. Almost every time I’ve been, they invite me up on stage and I get recognized for my achievements. It makes me smile for them to call my name and for me to walk up on stage with my big tumbler in hand filled with something.
What can audiences expect from the Tupperware party and what does this show mean to you?
It’s a party onstage with games and prizes! I bring people up to get them involved because that’s really part of the fun. It’s a story of empowerment, all told through a Tupperware party. I take everybody, I lift them all up and leave them a little bit smiley-er than they came in. The ultimate message of the show is about who you are and who you can be.
A lot of people look at Tupperware and think “Oh, that’s for old ladies. It’s not something I want to enjoy.” But this really is for everybody. The reason this show has been running for 15 years on the road is because audiences have so much stinkin’ fun. It lifts you up a little bit and I think everybody, especially these days, needs something that speaks to their hearts. Grab your grandma, husband, boyfriend, girlfriend, come on out and see the show. It’s more fun than you can shake a stick at!
What’s your favorite piece of Tupperware?
You know, it’s somewhat hard to pinpoint but I love my Jell-O shot caddy! Sometimes I bring them to church and bust them out if it’s the same sermon I’ve heard before. I send them around during the same time as the collection plate is going so you can take something out of the Jell-O shot caddy and leave something in the collection plate. Everybody wins that way!
I also love my can opener. I talk about it in the program and sometimes I take it to bed with me because it’s just that good of a can opener. I don’t want it too far in case I need to open a can in the middle of the night.
I don’t think there’s a piece of Tupperware that I don’t love, but there’s some that I just use all the dang time.
“Dixie’s Tupperware Party” will be at the Garden Theatre in Winter Garden June 15-17, starting at 7:30p.m. This show is for adult audiences of 18 years or older. Tickets are on sale now at GardenTheatre.org.