Time flies with Dixie
By Bradley Storer
Rushing onstage, suitcase trolley in grip, the harangued Dixie Longate enthusiastically waved to the audience at her Melbourne International Comedy Festival show. This drag-diva cousin of Dolly Parton chattered a mile a minute about the horrible flight and how the rest of her luggage ended up in a trailer park in Frankston, while unpacking her signature stocks of Tupperware.
About halfway through Dixie remarked on how her southern accent often makes her rapid chatter unintelligible – she vowed to slow down, but unfortunately the pace of this opening monologue was sometimes so fast I couldn’t understand what she was saying (she used this later in the show deliberately to more comedic effect). The jokes in this first part came hard and fast, but none could seem to land and raise the audience above a quick chuckle, which left me slightly worried.
However, once Dixie got through her opening section and unleashed herself onto the audience the show began to really fly. She eagerly interacted with audience members, and ingeniously used comments from the audience to jump from random tangent to tangent so quickly it was hilariously mindboggling, whether it be bottling lesbianism as a cure for ADD to how gay app Grindr was affecting the war in Iraq.
The disappointingly small audience actually helped make the evening far more intimate in the big venue, as though we were all actually a group of friends gathering to hear Dixie’s outrageous tales. And what a collection of tales they are! Using a shocking fact about Sarah Palin as a jumping off point, Dixie spins anecdotes all related to her world travels as part of her business. The good-hearted and foul-mouthed woman simply has the gift of the gab, relating her experiences on stealing kidneys in Vegas, multi-racial Nativity scenes and how hard it is to get a drink in Britain. She weaves convoluted and epic stories in such a way that they seem entirely spontaneous, and draws the thematic ties of all her tales so cleverly together into a conclusion that leaves you with an indelible grin. An uproarious hour with a woman so charming and witty that it becomes almost saddening to leave.
DATES: 28th March – 14th April
VENUE: Forum Theatre – Downstairs, Cnr Flinders & Russell St
TIME: 8:30pm (7:30 Sun)
TICKETS: Wed-Thurs & Sun $30, Fri & Sat $34, Conc (n/a Sat) $28, Group (8+, n/a Sat) $28, Laugh Pack (n/a Sat) $28, Tightarse Tue $28