By Anthony Costello, January 2016 Web Exclusive.
The holidays can be a drag. And, this year, your favorite “RuPaul’s Drag Race” queens are giving that statement an entirely new meaning.
Following the release of their new holiday album, Christmas Queens, which is 16 tracks that range from holiday classics to completely controversial, the queens are taking their show on the road.
The show’s host, Willam Belli, will take the stage with Alaska 5000, Katya, Jinkx Monsoon, Ginger Minj and Sharon Needles, will take the stage Dec. 27 at the Orpheum Theatre to serenade the audience with humorous covers of such holiday classics as, “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” “Jingle Bells,” and “12 Days of Christmas.” And, of course, some less-than-traditional numbers, including Willam’s “A Very Cozby Christmas.”
Willam, who recently filmed his solo show, The MeWMe Show, and started his new season of his YouTube show “Willam’s Beatdown,” gave Echo a few tidbits about the upcoming Christmas show, in typical Willam fashion:
Echo: What have you been up to professionally in the last few months?
Belli: “Oh nothing. Been a slow year. I was rear ended at 40 mph and herniated some discs right before my album, Shartisty in Motion, came out (but it still went to No. 1 without much promotion on Billboard’s comedy chart). So I’ve been trying to work and keep my head up, like Tupac said, while attempting to recover and fight with the insurance company about how much I’m worth. It’s been too difficult to keep up with my current tour schedule so I wrote a book in my time flat on my back doing physical therapy and all the immobile days. It’s coming out October 2016 from Hachette.”
Echo: How did the idea of a collaborative Christmas album come about? How did the other queens get involved?
Belli: Our manager asked us to do it.
Echo: In turn, what made you all decide to go on tour?
Belli: Child support payments.
Echo: What’s it like creating numbers and performances with other queens for a show like this?
Belli: I think rehearsals are cheating. I like to go out there and just fly by the seat of my pants.
Echo: Are you and the queens going to “ho ho” it up with your outfits?
Belli: I never wear anything I can’t run from the cops in.
Echo: Are you taking inspiration from mainstream Christmas/holiday shows? If so how are you giving those elements a drag queen twist?
Belli: Ginger Minj is doing a very Karen Carpenter Christmas, I think.
Echo: Will there be any on-stage collaborations?
Belli: Alaska and I are performing together. We have some songs as #AAAGirls together but Courtney was recently deported.
Echo: Any audience interaction bits/potential for secret guests?
Belli: I plan on doing a casual meet and greet in the handicapped stall during Sharon’s numbers. She’s so loud.
Echo: Will this be a wholesome Christmas show, or a mix of naughty and nice theatrics? If the latter, give us a taste of what to expect.
Belli: I’m drag Krampus.
Echo: “Will you be bringing your E.T. Barbie chic (courtesy of Bianca) look to the stage?
Belli: Yes. She’ll be behind the dumpster.