Dixie Returns to The Smith

By Anthony Chase

As unlikely as it might seem, I must confess that I found a show called Never Wear A Tube Top While Riding A Mechanical Bull (And 16 Other Things I Learned While I Was Drinking Last Thursday) to be very engaging. The show stars “Dixie Longate,” the drag persona of gifted comedian, Kris Andersson, as an Alabama housewife, who shares her down home wisdom in a 90 minute show set in a honky-tonk saloon as we wait out a storm.

There are touches of Dame Edna, the drag creation of comic genius Barry Humphries. Like Edna, Dixie’s press release materials make no mention of Mr. Longate’s existence. The fiction is that Dixie is real.

There are echoes of Joan Rivers. Consider Dixie’s joke about most people could try to have sex with two men in a porta-potty, but her foray into the activity ends with, “You’re causing a disturbance, ma’am; please leave the picnic area.” Compare that to Rivers’ “It’s a double standard. A man can sew his wild oats, but a woman makes 50 or 60 mistakes and automatically, she’s a tramp!”

Dixie also shares some of Rivers’ repeated motifs. Compare Rivers’ “Men like ‘em stupid, stupid, stupid,” to Dixie’s cleverly withering jokes about “People are stupid!” Compare Rivers jokes about being a severe and inept mother to Dixie’s unbridled hatred of children. There aren’t enough milk cartons in the world to accommodate all the children she’d like to see disappear. (Her joke. Not mine. But I’ve got to admit … I laughed!)

I did not see Dixie’s previous show at the Smith, Dixie’s Tupperware Party. As with all of the best stand up material, I expect that this current show will continue to evolve as it plays in front of audiences across the country. In its current incarnation, the show is about 12 minutes too long. I also found the pretense of being confined to the saloon during a storm to be one unnecessary fiction too many. Nonetheless, the inspiration for this character is divine, its star is fabulously talented, and the jokes are original and truly funny.

Performances are Thursday at 7:30pm, Friday at 8pm, Saturday at 4pm & 8pm and Sunday at 2pm & 6pm. Tickets are $35. For groups (10+), call 716-829-1153.