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Dixie Longate wants you to find the happy hours you might be missing

Dixie Longate's
Dixie Longate’s third solo show “Dixie’s Happy Hour” will premiere online with proceeds going toward participating arts venues like Segerstrom Center for the Arts.
(Courtesy of Segerstrom Center for the Arts)

Fast-talking Alabama belle Dixie Longate wants to be in your Orange County living room once again. This time it’s for happy hour, but also to raise funds for arts organizations.

Segerstrom Center for the Arts is one of 20 arts venues set to stream the new show “Dixie’s Happy Hour.” Participating theater locations range from California, Texas, Illinois, Ohio and North Carolina to New York.

In the 95-minute show, available until Feb. 21 through Segerstrom, Dixie tells new stories as she mixes up cocktails. She’ll post cocktail recipes before the show on social media so that viewers can start making them ahead of time.

Kris Andersson, the performer and creator of Dixie, prefers to stick to the drag queen persona during interviews.

“Everybody’s life is a little bit upended right now,” Dixie said in a Southern drawl over the phone. “I wanted to inspire everybody to find the happy hours that they might be missing right in front of them.”

Last summer, Segerstrom announced a staff reduction of 63%, with the majority placed on furlough and 20 people laid off. Those furloughed were mostly part-time employees including ushers, box office workers, security and dance school teachers.

“I’ve been really lucky with so many great art centers and theaters opening their doors to me for so long,” Dixie said. “I’ve gotten to meet all these people that work there and a lot of these people have become friends of mine because I’ve been able to come back to certain theaters again, again, again. At least the one thing that I can do is make people laugh, but I can do it in a way that’s going to give money right back to the art center.”

Andersson, who has performed as Dixie at Segerstrom in the past, began appearing in drag in local living rooms to sell Tupperware in 2001. According to a Los Angeles Times write-up, Dixie sold $219,000 of Tupperware earning 25% commission plus bonuses. As word-of-mouth spread about Dixie’s unique sales approach, she started booking party gigs in living rooms.

“Everybody thinks the parties were little old ladies sitting in the living room,” Dixie said. “I had the most raucous fun. Every kind of lady you can imagine was having a Tupperware party.”

In 2004, “Dixie’s Tupperware Party” show debuted at the New York Fringe Festival and eventually developed into a long-running tour. In fact, Dixie was still performing in March 2020 and about to fly to her next gig in Denver when the coronavirus pandemic canceled her performances.

Dixie, who still has a Tupperware consultant page, says she’s crossing her fingers in hopes that she can get 50 theaters to participate in total.

If you watch
What: Dixie’s Happy Hour
When: Feb. 9-21 at 7 p.m.
Where: Online
Cost: $35 general admission
Info: scfta.org

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