Before Tuesday, I had never been to a Tupperware party. I’ve gotten Facebook event invites from “friends” who were hosting one, but I never attended.
I think my mom has been to a Tupperware party, well she had several Tupperware items around the kitchen while I was growing up, and she still uses them today. I have never actually asked where she got the bowls and other storage containers. I assume it was a Tupperware party. Regardless, they have just been an ever-present existence whenever we needed to take baked goods somewhere.
Now, thanks to a night at the Temple Theater in Des Moines, I can now say I have been to a Tupperware party, and it was unlike anything I had ever imagined such an event would be. “Dixie’s Tupperware Party” is a legitimate party. Guests put on name tags and are given catalogs to leaf through as they wait for the show to begin. After the show, you can place orders for any item that catches your eye.
The party’s host is Dixie Longate, who told us at the top of the show she has been doing this for many years. Dixie demonstrated several products, in her own unique and funny way. She also introduced the audience to her hero, Brownie Wise. Wise was the first lady to host a Tupperware party and made it a successful sales model. Earl Tupper, the inventor of Tupperware, made her the vice president of the company in 1951, and Wise became the first woman on the cover of Businessweek magazine in 1954. The history of the Tupperware party fascinated me, however, the star of the show was Dixie, and she was on a roll in Des Moines.
Dixie is a fast-talking, drag queen who’s comedy leans heavily toward the raunchy end of the spectrum. If you are easily offended by bawdy, innuendo-filled jokes, this may not be the show for you. However, Dixie had the audience in constant laughter with her antics on stage. Just when you think you know what she might say, she’ll surprise you with something completely off the wall, and it’s hilarious.
This show is all about audience participation. Dixie will pick out a few people in the crowd early and will keep coming back to them in new ways, each funnier than the last. Her main target of the performance I saw was a young guy, Colton, who had never been to a party before. He was a great sport and played right along with all of her jokes.
Audience participation is what makes the show interesting. While I’m sure every night will have the same general structure, each performance will have its own unique feel depending on who is in the audience that night.
Almost every audience member Dixie “picked on” went with the flow. One of the ladies who won a raffle prize seemed uncomfortable with the attention. She still played along, but I think if she could have run off stage, she would have. The crowd loved it.
Surprisingly, the show also had a heartfelt message to it. Dixie explained a bit about her backstory and how she came to the conclusion that “everyone matters.” In a show full of laughter, it was a nice change of pace and gave the show a nice moment to connect with the party host.
The show turned back up to full blast comedy and ended with a fun competition between two couples, using Tupperware of course. It was an exciting way to end an already enjoyable show.
“Dixie’s Tupperware Party” will be at the Temple Theater until Jan. 7. Tickets are available at desmoinesperformingarts.org.
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