Metro Weekly

Forget Barbie, Dixie Longate is the Ultimate Plastic Girl

As sassy, Southern housewife Dixie Longate, actor Kris Andersson has been singing the praises of Tupperware for years.

Dixie's Tupperware Party - Photo: Courtesy The Overture Center
Dixie’s Tupperware Party – Photo: Courtesy The Overture Center

“When Tupperware first started, it was a means to get women back into the workforce, after the war, where they had all been ‘Rosie the Riveters,'” says Kris Andersson. “They were relegated back into the kitchen and told, ‘You are not necessary anymore, you’ve outlived your usefulness.'”

Andersson, who has a unique bond with the airtight, plastic storage receptacles, says “Tupperware gave women an opportunity to get back out into the workforce, be bigger members of their family, bigger members of the community, and really grow and do things. That’s why it caught on so fast and why it became so widespread. It was a real siren song for ladies. ‘Look, you have more power than you think! Now, go do something amazing!’

“So, the story I’m telling, at its heart, is an empowerment story — but it’s all told through the early vehicle of empowerment being the Tupperware Party.”

Andersson has been telling the story since 2007 in the guise of alter-ego Dixie Longate, a southern gem with sparkle and sass who hawks the everyday miracles of the storage solution at Dixie’s Tupperware Party. The brisk, 95-minute show — funny, joyful, and personable, which earned Andersson a Drama Desk nomination in 2008 — recently began a month-long run at the Kennedy Center’s Family Theater.

Despite having played the character for 17 years, Andersson has never grown tired of hosting the nightly parties to an audience all-too-eager to be whisked back to simpler times.

“I get to share time with wonderful people every night, so it doesn’t really feel like a job or a hassle at all,” he says. “I never know what kind of people I’m going to interact with, and that’s what keeps it fresh. Thousands of shows into the run, it really doesn’t get old for me.”

The character of Dixie has become so “second nature” to Andersson that he effortlessly slips into it over the course of a half-hour chat.

“It’s the seat of our democracy!” crows Dixie, of her appearance in Washington. “And nothing says ‘Food storage’ more than the seat of our democracy! The Kennedy Center said, ‘We need you here because people need quality creative food storage solutions.’ So, I said, ‘Yes, I will come,’ because I’m a giver, it’s what I do. But to be here at the Kennedy Center, it’s such an honor — it makes me all tingly in my juiciest place.”

Dixie's Tupperware Party - Photo: Courtesy The Overture Center
Dixie’s Tupperware Party – Photo: Courtesy The Overture Center

Recently, however, some cities have not been so welcoming to Dixie. A booking in Memphis, Tennessee, for instance, was canceled over state officials’ various antics attempting to ban drag. “It’s sad,” says Andersson, “because I’m sure the people of Memphis are lovely. But, unfortunately, you’ve got a couple of people in the legislature who decide drag is the most important thing to focus their time and energy on.

“Look, all the women in Hamilton are wearing men’s military garb,” he continues. “Technically, that’s drag — dressing across your gender. But is anybody going to shut down Hamilton? No, of course not. Because at the end of the day, it’s stupid. It’s people taking a stance against something that’s never bothered anybody — until now. There are other things people should be focused on. At the end of the day, it’s a show, it’s a play, get over it. If you don’t want to see it, don’t buy a ticket.”

At the conclusion of each performance, the audience has a chance to purchase actual Tupperware from Dixie — who, in her early years, predating the show, was the number-one seller of Tupperware in the country.

“Our sales are small,” says Andersson. “I am no longer one of the top sellers in the country. I mean, I still do well with the sales, but nowhere near to the degree that I was doing when I was doing actual Tupperware parties.

“When I was doing parties in people’s living rooms as Dixie, the understanding was, ‘You’ve come to buy Tupperware, that’s why you’re at a Tupperware party.’ At the theater, your financial obligation is done once you buy a ticket to the show.”

Dixie’s Tupperware Party runs through June 2 at the Kennedy Center Family Theater.

Tickets are $35 to $69. Call 202-467-4600 or visit

Support Metro Weekly’s Journalism

These are challenging times for news organizations. And yet it’s crucial we stay active and provide vital resources and information to both our local readers and the world. So won’t you please take a moment and consider supporting Metro Weekly with a membership? For as little as $5 a month, you can help ensure Metro Weekly magazine and remain free, viable resources as we provide the best, most diverse, culturally-resonant LGBTQ coverage in both the D.C. region and around the world. Memberships come with exclusive perks and discounts, your own personal digital delivery of each week’s magazine (and an archive), access to our Member's Lounge when it launches this fall, and exclusive members-only items like Metro Weekly Membership Mugs and Tote Bags! Check out all our membership levels here and please join us today!