Think of the most badass, yet Jesus referential, yet highly irreverent, most challenging, colorful, yet highly hilarious Tupperware party your mother and grandmother were never allowed to be invited to, (that you knew of anyway) times it times ten, and you’ve got Dixie’s Tupperware Party. Set in an ambient dining room (or domestic area with about as long a table as you’d need for any and all plastic wares emanating from any and all real or imagined Dixie Cup-Boards), this lively little soiree will teach us more than we ever thought we would care to know (but now DO care to know) about Tupperware along with, life, ribaldry and a couple of moving lessons on self esteem.
The evening is cloudy and mellow on the Terrace of the Geffen playhouse on this soon-to-be lively Saturday night. My companion and I have arrived early so as to avoid the crowds and snag a table along with some wine and cheese right next to the fashionable and aesthetically pleasing tile fountain. Lanterns and golden Christmas lights wink and giggle in the trees overhead and, for a moment, I feel as though I am port side on a romantic cruise or at the very least, a South of the Border Christmas party (or a Mexican adult version of Disneyland)!
The hall separating the lobby and the theatre houses a fun n’ festive ware and T-Shirt display and in one genius move, it appears ol’ Dixie does not wish to merely entertain us—oh no, she is a business woman at the top of her game as Dixie herself is not just a character in this dazzling show—but also a client—and proverbial Tupperware club for wo/men soon-to-be-president. In her self-penned autobiography within the pages of the bodacious program (which reads exactly like she speaks) she will declare, “I started selling the fantastic plastic crap in 2001 and I have never had so much fun drinking for free in my life. Within a year, I was one of the top sellers in the nation because, well me and some plastic bowls, and a bunch of drunk women somehow equals lots of sales. I have 3 kids; Wynona, Dwayne, and Absorbine, Jr. and 3 ex-husbands. All of ‘em have somehow died, but I ain’t crying about it. I’m way too busy travelling all over the place bringing creative food storage solutions to your town.”
Upon entering the theatre Dixie putters around dispensing mints from a giant Tupperware bowl and inviting a select few lucky audience members on to couches adorning the stage. “She’s got nice boobs,” my cultured companion will utter/udder(?) (a compliment to which she will later respond, “Well Jesus has been good to me.”) while I will not be able to help but stare at her vastly bodacious Peg Bundy-style hair, the length and thickness of which I would have killed for—well anytime…anytime…including now!
The lights will dim and Dixie will invariably tell us in her thick southern (Mobile Alabaman) drawl, “I’m so excited to be here today, I could ride a mechanical bull with no panties on!” (And we’re quite certain she might even hypothetically do more than that—if asked. Say her name real slowly—no no…slower…even slower still. Well, you hear the gently morphed, double entendre this produces—yes? And well…let’s just say Dixie’s a God fearing woman—but really only in light of not playing with what God gave ya to begin with!—even if it IS only plastic! After all, “If Jesus didn’t want us to be happy, he wouldn’t have turned water into wine!”) All the same, in order to completely process her, you might have to just think outside the box a little…or, as Dixie will invariably quip, “…think outside my box!”
Other food/sex related notable quotes will include:
“How many men are obsessed with their meat?”
“Look, boobs and a box!” (Referring to two half tomato holders and a sandwich box which she will strategically place over any and all related areas…)
“When the straw comes out it seals back up like a vagina,” to denote the incredible Kegel-like flexibility and strength of a sealed tumbler’s sippy holder.
“Oh look, both American measurements and metric so you can make foreign foods!”
Oh, and “Hooker”?—Yeah, that’s pretty much her nickname for all of us! “Heeey Hoookeerrrr…”
During the course of our roughly ninety minute journey together, Dixie will stand on a Tupperware cake container—repeatedly. This is how durable it is!, inform us that Tupperware is completely free of BPAs and has a lifetime warranty—hmmm, most excellent facts. Good to know! And repeatedly taunt some poor guy named Steve, hypothetically because he is seated in the front row and allegedly because his wife brought him there and he would have rather stayed at home, forgoing this sociable shopping experience for one perceived more from the comfort of his own home…online…solo…in the dark… Ooops! She will also teach him how to utilize the latest in can openers (“This may be the closest thing we have to Baby Jesus tonight: My Tupperware Can Opener!”)—for roughly ten minutes–to nearly vociferous eye-rolls and chirpy clucks, along with near growled, drawled and deliciously sarcastic, “Oh Jayus Chriiiist!”s Steve just cannot get this!
She will invariably call other ‘guests’ up to the stage, the impromptu banter of which will rouse some of the heartiest laughter of the night as she will reenact the conversations a school teacher must have had with some of her more demanding parents along with quipping, “That must mean the magic is gone…” after a couple admits to celebrating their 46-year wedding anniversary. These completely unplanned moments would have to be some of my favorite during the course of the evening!
There will be audience participation in the form of games with Tupperware products, not the least of which will be “Rimming Wars” wherein one team will toss things in size differential bowls and try to seal the lids around the rims as quickly as possible. Two “lesbians” compete with a gay couple and well…I don’t think I have to really get into who wins…
Ultimately, she wishes to take us back to a time “when you loved to talk to your neighbor and touch your neighbor,” urging us all to hold each other’s hands for a brief spell.
The audience will be more than moved (to the point of tears on my behalf anyway) when she admits to devoting her life to Tupperware after escaping an abusive relationship with a man named Hector and really finding her voice, “Don’t never make nobody tell you, you don’t matter, ‘cause you matter!…”you are a (w)hole”(yes and intentional play on words whole/hole)…and you [just] may smile at someone who needs a smile so bad, it may change their whole day.”
She will sing the praises of Brownie Wise; founder of the Tupperware party and her imagined sales philosophy, “I’m gonna throw a party, ‘cause who doesn’t want to go to a party?” All this somewhat in answer to the post-war attitude hurled at Rosie the Riveter that “You are no longer needed anymore,” just as, with the inception of the Internet, sales and information are less personable than ever and the ultimate idea that “Because of one lady, we had fun at this party [tonight]. When you leave today, do something neighborly. Smile at someone. Open the door for someone…” Never imagining I ever would find anything pertaining to Tupperware the least bit meaningful, I now somehow do–and the world suddenly feels a little smaller and more freshly preserved on this night…
This Kris Andersson written, Patrick Richwood extravaganza that is Dixie’s Tupperware Party runs until August 31st at the Audrey Skirball Kenis Theatre at The Geffen Playhouse. For tickets and information, please visit:
Oh, and any and all Tupperware products will be on sale just off the lobby after the show by and from Dixie herself!