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Theater review: ‘Dixie’s Never Wear a Tube Top While Riding a Mechanical Bull’

Dixie Longate in "Dixie’s Never Wear a Tube Top While Riding a Mechanical Bull"
Dixie Longate in "Dixie’s Never Wear a Tube Top While Riding a Mechanical Bull" Star-Telegram archives

Dixie Longate has come a long way since she first started hosting Tupperware parties for paying audiences in theaters. That experience, called Dixie’s Tupperware Party, has played to soldout audiences of whoopin’ and hollerin’ women (mostly, but some men too) at Fort Worth’s McDavid Studio for several years.

It introduced them to a character — Dixie Longate, the alter ego of male writer and performer Kris Andersson — who lives in a trailer park in Mobile, Ala., and has plenty of salty and Southern-fried advice for her devotees. Looks like the Tupperware fun was just the warm-up for Dixie’s newest, lengthily titled show Dixie’s Never Wear a Tube Top While Riding a Mechanical Bull (And 16 Other Things I Learned While I Was Drinking Last Thursday), having its world premiere at McDavid.

As the title suggests, Dixie discovered a few things after one night of drinking with her friend Georgia Jean, sort of like how people become philosophers after smoking a doobie or two. Thankfully, she wrote them down and is happy to share them with the world.

Things like “we need way more happy hours.” After all, life’s too short to only reserve three out of 24 hours to being happy.

Dixie spends 80 minutes explaining the results of her epiphany from the confines of a honky-tonk where she works, littered with Christmas lights, liquor bottles, kitschy signs and, yes, a mechanical bull quartered off by caution tape (set design by Lisa Orzolek). She peppers that with sidetracks and some audience participation (don’t worry, it’s relatively harmless). Her followers eat it up, but newbies should be warned that the language can be strong and some of the jokes could be deemed inappropriate in our overly PC world.

But she delivers them, and the whole show, with a down-home earthy realness that’s not condescending, and is especially lovable coming from a big smile under that big, red hair. In Dixie’s early years of performing her Tupperware show, she sometimes spoke too fast and slurred words — it’s that big brain thinking faster than her mouth can open and close — and she has turned that into an adorable, on-purpose flaw. So a word like “situation” sounds like “sitch-ee-A-shun” or just ends in garbled sounds followed by a swig of hooch from a (of course) Tupperware cup with straw.

Even as her stories go off on other tangents, Dixie always brings it back to her list of newly discovered life lessons. When it’s over, you’ll understand why tigers, Julie Andrews and fireflies all work into the narrative. And after all the raucous laughter, she brings it home with a story that borders on the overly sentimental but feels genuine.

Turns out, for all of her wacky realizations from that drunken night, Dixie does offer up some real food for thought. It’s nothing you haven’t heard before, but probably not in this way. What’s not to love?

Dixie’s Never Wear a Tube Top

▪ Through Nov. 22

▪ McDavid Studio, across from Bass Hall, Fort Worth

▪ $35-$45

▪ 817-212-4280; www.basshall.com

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