“On December fifth, you’re going to be razzle dazzled,” exclaimed activist and drag performer Tammie Brown. It’s true: Brown and a number of drag performers will grace the Octapas Café stage. Soon making her Olympia debut, Brown gained prominent notoriety in 2009 when she appeared on the first season of RuPaul’s Drag Race. She then appeared on RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars in 2012. She’s performed drag for 20 years now, so what better way to celebrate two decades of drag than with a show called Holiday Sparkle? “I’m excited to connect with everybody,” said Brown, “and entertain from my heart.”
Hosting the event is drag performer Clare Apparently, a Pacific Northwest queen from Portland, Oregon. She’s collaborated with Brown before, on the web series Camp Wannakiki. Longtime collaborator Michael Catti, Brown’s duet partner for seven years, will join Apparently and Brown in the festivities.
Brown is a firm believer in bringing local performers into her shows. Olympia performers Dutchess Beck, Raquel Hunt and Gigi Kimochi will be incorporated into this event. Brown and producer Justin Buckles made it a point to include local performers in every city they tour.
This holiday show features original acts and songs written by Brown over the past decade. “I wanted to write some holiday songs that were multicultural,” she said. “We don’t just deal with Judeo-Christian Christmas or whatnot.” The songs she selected showcase elements of Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and even Inuit culture. Brown is expected to perform two new holiday numbers from her latest album, SCHUBERT, as well as a sing-along to her Christmas classic “Coal in Your Stocking.”
Brown explained how drag is beneficial to communities, noting its performers have always been pioneers. Brown herself weaves activist lyrics into her songs in hopes of making a change with her performances. “Since time and beginning,” she said, “drag has been around. It’s always been something fun for people. There’s talent in that, in drag. ‘Drag’ flares out to so many different things … We can bring nurturing and healing to the environment.”
She pointed to her hashtag #queenwithacause as an example. Brown songs “Queen Killer” and “Sexy Sexy Orangutan” are, respectively, about violence against transgender people and the deforestation of oil palms. Brown adds, “My favorite part of drag performance is being able to express what I wanted to do, to express myself fully in what I’ve been able to create and organically be.”
7 p.m. or 10 p.m. (21 and over), Thursday, Dec. 5
414 Fourth Ave. E, Olympia