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Jubilee: Celebrating 25 Years Of Tammie Brown

Photo: Thomas Evans

by: James Judd

Tammie Brown is celebrating 25 years in show business in Jubilee, a crowd-pleasing, mid-career retrospective. Eschewing costume changes or set pieces in favor of getting down with some funk, this new show is a mostly musical look back at her journey. 

Brown rose to prominence on the first season of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Although she was eliminated early in the season, her Norma Desmond style and sometimes indecipherable comments made her a queen to remember. She later returned for a season of All-Stars but her persona isn’t a natural fit for a show that rewards contestants for stepping way out of character. That works well for look-queens, but specific personalities like Tammie Brown can’t veer off into unrelated celebrity impersonations or play parts in sketches that are well outside their personas. It just doesn’t work. Jubilee is a chance for Brown to do her thing the way it is meant to be experienced. Curious audience members and hardcore fans alike will be rewarded for taking a chance on Brown with a rousing hour of uplifting music and fun. 

Brown is first and foremost a songwriter. She’s released three studio albums and a handful of singles. Her music has an infectious ‘80s New Wave quality to it. If Brown and her music had been around at the advent of MTV—and the world had been ready for her—she’d be getting a Vanguard Award about now. 

The music is joyous but social messages run beneath the beats. Sexy Orangutan,which had the crowd bopping in their seats and swatting inflated condoms across the room, aims to educate. “Sexy orangutan, shake it down and do your thing,” Brown sings. “Oh, I forgot, they can’t shake it down because their habitat has been destroyed by palm oil. You know, that insidious substance that is in every little thing you use, darling.” It’s kooky but it works. 

The videos also have a retro vibe. Time Machine, with its surreal blend of cows, monkeys, war footage, and other seemingly random imagery captures perfectly the spirit of the free-wheeling early days of music videos. It’s just the right backdrop for Brown’s impromptu party vibe. One only wishes they could have been seen more clearly. The placement of the screen creates partial obstruction issues for much of the room, and the spotlight often washed them out. 

Brown sings live over her recorded track and the doubling of her voice matches the mood of the music. It also gives her free reign to dance up a storm. There are occasional breaks in the music where Brown paces the edge of the stage, ruminating on all manner of topics—pink dolphins, geopolitics, Jesus—but it’s the music you’ll be bouncing to when you stumble back out onto Commercial Street. 

Jubilee: Celebrating 25 Years Of Tammie Brown is onstage at Red Room, 258 Commercial St., Provincetown, through September 8. For tickets ($45 VIP/$35 General Admission) and showtimes, visit

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Graphic Artist

Ginger Mountain

Ginger Mountain (MS Communications Media, BA Fine Arts/Teaching Certification K-12) has been part of the graphic design team at Provincetown Magazine since 2008. Ginger has worked as a creative director, individual contractor, and freelance designer with clients representing many areas —business software, consumer products, professional services, entertainment, and network hardware to name just a few — providing creative layout and development of a wide range of print media content. Her clients ranged from small local businesses to large corporations and Fortune 500 companies, from New Hampshire to Georgia

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