Willam Belli on Bringing RuPaul’s Drag Race Contestants to Phoenix for the Christmas Queens Tour
Willam Belli to host Christmas Queens tour, stopping at the Orpheum Theatre in Phoenix on December 27.
Courtesy of Murray & Peter Present
In addition to stocking stuffers this holiday season, Phoenicians will have a chance to catch their favorite drag stars — stuffed in their own stockings — as they take over Orpheum Theatre.
The cream of RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant crop arrive in Phoenix on Sunday, December 27, with a slew of Christmas tracks from their album Christmas Queens. Yes, a full-length, Christmas-themed record that features some memorable tracks like "This Is How We Jew It" by Detox, "Ratchet Christmas" by Jiggly Caliente, and “12 Days of Christmas" done only the way Katya can do it.
Held at the historic Orpheum Theatre, the Christmas Queens show will be a like a holiday variety hour gone bananas. Expect roof-raising performances, face-melting makeup and costumes, and definitely some jokes about baby Jesus.
Fan favorites on this festive-as-fuck tour include Ginger Minj, Sharon Needles, Alaska Thunderfuck, Jinkx Monsoon, and the congenial Katya. Who better to wrangle these women than the beloved Willam Belli?
Drag Race fans remember Belli as a mega-talented contestant from season four, and the only queen ever disqualified in the show's history. For others, Belli is a comedy-centric pop artist, actor, and host of the web series Willam's Beatdown.
Curious what all this means for your final weekend of 2015? New Times caught up with Belli, who's hosting the Christmas Queens show, by e-mail to discuss the tour, side projects, and of course, dropping balls.
What led to the new concept of recording an entire Christmas album with RPDR contestants?
We wanted to do a manger-themed snuff film, but PETA wasn’t having it. So our management team at Producer Entertainment Group found a new way to make the baby Jesus cry.
How do you envision the performers’ fans enjoying this full-length Christmas album?
I think everyone will enjoy the songs of whoever they like. The good news is that the theater is retrofitted to make all the music sound delightful as long as you stop at the bar a lot.
Your track "A Very Cozby Christmas" is a hilarious premise. How/when did the concept for this take shape?
Bill Cosby was once Philadelphia’s chosen son but he tipped my Grandma a penny once at a diner she worked at. I’m not a fan of him or his dirty, druggy pudding popping ways — so I figured a song about acquaintance rape would relay my sentiments about him.
Will the tour feature songs only from the Christmas Queens album?
I haven’t bought the album because iTunes says I don’t know my password, but I’m hoping I get to hear all the songs I want to. I’m not doing "Cozby Christmas" because it’s a duet and my singing partner Rocky Heron can’t come on the road because we’re broke ass queens.
Are you and the other performers able to keep up with separate projects while on the Christmas tour, i.e. The Beatdown?
We are all glued to our phones, iPads, Etch-a-Sketches, any kinda anything with a battery. I FaceTime with editors and try to keep my routine of doing at least one thing that’ll propel my career each day.
Any reason you may be looking forward to the Phoenix date?
Last time I was in Phoenix, I went out to look for my fake friends just to get some attention and everyone in line was super nice and shared their drugs.
Do you anticipate performances scheduled for after December 25 to be less…festive, due to the holiday having passed?
No way! The holiday season for me goes from Halloween to Mardi Gras with a small break after my balls drop [on] January 1.
Anything you’d like to add about the album or the tour?
Wait till you hear what us girls have cooked up for Groundhog’s Day. Face down, shadows up, That’s the way we like spring up.
Murray & Peter Present Christmas Queens on Sunday, December 27, at 8 p.m. at Orpheum Theatre, 203 W. Adams St. in Phoenix. Visit www.ticketforce.com or call 602-262-7272 for tickets, and maybe some $75 VIP reserved seats, which include a meet-and-greet.
Get the Arts & Culture Newsletter
Find out about upcoming performances, exhibitions, openings and special events happening in the Phoenix art and theater scene.