A Holiday Q&A with Paige Turner

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by Steve Desroches

It’s the holiday season and guess who is hopping on Santa’s sleigh and celebrating her first Holly Folly ever…none other than the Showbiz Spitfire Paige Turner with her brand new holiday show Drag Me to Christmas at the Post Office Cabaret. This oversized Barbie wants a lot this Christmas and isn’t taking no for an answer. ‘Tis the season to be greedy, so come be a misfit, get your stocking stuffed, and celebrate the true meaning of Christmas, Paige Turner style. The show features live singing of over-the-top parodies and holiday classics like Mariah Carey, Bing Crosby, and parodies, as well as original holiday songs written for Miss Turner. A full afternoon of presents just waiting to be unwrapped! Turner took some time to talk in her New York City home while packing for a trip to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, about her plans for the holidays, why she loves just how tacky Christmas is, and how Santa never brought what she actually wanted as a child so as an adult she just bought all the toys she was denied…and then some! (Spoiler alert: she wanted a Barbie doll real bad).

Provincetown Magazine: Are the holidays a particularly favorite time of year for you?

Paige Turner: I know Jesus was born this month, but oohhh Mary, so was Paige Turner. It all started for me at Christmas, and here I am going into my 12th year! Christmas is such a great time to do shows, because there’s instant familiarity for everyone around holiday themes—and Christmas is so gaudy, bawdy, and jam-packed with tinsel, perfect for a Christmas Queen!

PM: Was there a present you really wanted as a child, but was told no because “it’s not for boys”? Or did an open-minded Santa visit your house?

PT: Barbie! Always Barbie! And no I never got one! Growing up in Indiana (the town next to Ralphie’s in A Christmas Story), you can imagine what that was like.  Instead of getting a Barbie, one year, I got the Stretch Armstrong doll. Yes, the muscular guy in the speedo. Needless to say, I never let him out of my sight!

PM: Christmas is a delightfully tacky, over-the-top holiday perfect for drag. How is your house decorated for the holidays?

PT: I love mid-century anything—especially Christmas mid-century. I have random blow molds, Christmas ceramics my mother painted, ornaments from my childhood and even a pink Barbie Christmas tree filled with Barbie Hallmark keepsake ornaments that I collect!

PM: What do you have in store for Provincetown with Drag Me to Christmas?

PT: Surprisingly I’ve never done Christmas in Provincetown, even though I just finished a full season with my summer show. You will get all your holiday favorites, a hell of a lot of parodies, and even original songs written for me by composer Billy Reece.  Lots of presents waiting to be unwrapped that will definitely put you in the holiday spirit! I even have one of my costumes designed after a Barbie Christmas doll. 

PM: What New Year’s resolutions are you making for 2023?

PT: To actually go on a vacation where it’s not attached to a performing gig and four suitcases. Maybe Santa cccwill take me there on his sleigh. Ho, ho, ho!

Paige Turner presents Drag Me to Christmas at the Post Office Cabaret, 303 Commercial St., on Sunday, December 4 at 4 p.m. Tickets ($35) are available at the box office and online at postofficecafe.net. For more information call 508.487.0087.

               

Ring in the Holidays!

Paige Turner is not the only fun you’ll find in town this season. Far from it!

Founded in 1978 to promote Provincetown as a vacation destination to the LGBTQ community the Provincetown Business Guild has over the years grown to also produce events like Pride and of course Carnival each August. As the holiday season is here the PBG is busy producing two other signature Provincetown events: Holly Folly and First Light. This year is in fact the 25th incarnation of Holly Folly, which kicks off December with a weekend of holiday traditions both naughty and nice. And First Light of course welcomes the New Year on the Cape tip each year with parties, shows, and more! Here’s a list of just some of the events planned for each event.

In addition, the Provincetown theater has some events to keep in mind, and take a look at our feature on Sweet Honey in the Rock, performing at Town Hall on December 18, as well.

NOVEMBER 17 – DECEMBER 4

Tiny Beautiful Things

Provincetown Theater, 238 Bradford St.

A play based on the New York Times bestselling book and podcast by Cheryl Strayed, about hope, healing, hilarity and helium; adapted for the stage by Nia Vardalos. Visit provincetowntheater.org for tickets and more information. 

HOLLY FOLLY

Friday, December 2

Holly Folly Gallery Stroll, 1 – 5 p.m.

Many of Provincetown’s galleries are still open to find the perfect gift during this special holiday stroll – join the members of the Provincetown Art Gallery Association for this annual art event. provincetownartgalleryassociation.org

Holly Folly Follies, 8:30 p.m.

Provincetown Town Hall, 260 Commercial St.

Ring in the season with ‘the gayest show in town’ with a cheery holiday version of the Provincetown Follies, featuring some of  Provincetown’s most beloved performers as they take to the
Town Hall stage. onlyatthecrown.com.

Nutcracker Ball, 10 p.m.

The Vault at the Crown and Anchor, 247 Commercial St.

Have you been naughty or nice? Strap into the holidays with your favorite leather look to celebrate both Holly Folly and the 30th Birthday of Cameron Pierce’s – Mr. Snowbound Leather.

Saturday, December 3

Annual Jingle Bell Run, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Fanizzi’s  to the Provincetown Brewing Company

539 Commercial – 141 Bradford St.

One-horse-open-slay your way down Commercial Street in as little clothing as you dare for this frosty fun-run! Folks will gather at Fanizzi’s for coffee, strip down, and run through Provincetown to the Lobster Pot Tree before climbing into their favorite onesie for a Brew Brunch at Provincetown Brewing Company. ptown.org/fanizzisrestaurant.com and provincetownbrewingco.com.

Whales & Wassail, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Center for Coastal Studies, 5 Holway Avenue

The Center for Coastal Studies will host artisans and artists selling products related to their mission, under Spinnaker, their incredible humpback whale skeleton. There will be a silent auction and small events throughout the day along with wassail and cookies. coastalstudies.org.

Holly Folly Gallery Stroll, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Many of Provincetown’s galleries are still open to find the perfect gift during this special holiday stroll – join the members of the Provincetown Art Gallery Association for this annual art event. provincetownartgalleryassociation.org.

Souper Saturday, 11:30 a.m. – 2:20 p.m.

Tin Pan Alley/Firehouse, 269 Commercial St./256 Commercial St.

The Soup Kitchen in Provincetown’s (SKIP) annual Holly Folly fundraiser! Local businesses donate soul-warming soups to be ladled off at $8 a bowl at Tin Pan Alley. You can also get cold quarts of soup at the Firehouse next to Town Hall. tinpanalleyptown.org/skipfood.org.

Holly Folly Inn Stroll, 1 – 4 p.m.

Pop your antlers into many of Provincetown’s most iconic inns to enjoy warm decor and wintery treats and libations. For full list of participating inns visit ptown.org.  

Snowball Bar Crawl, 1 – 4 p.m.

Wine and wassail your way through the streets of Provincetown with the merriest of revelers. Fugly sweaters, Santa suits and tinsel-toes encouraged. Visit ptown.org for a list of your favorite Provincetown stops on the way to the North Pole.

Holly Folly Tea, 4:30 – 8 p.m.

Red Room, 258 Commercial St.

The weather may be cold, but this tea is still served hot! Don’t miss out on your favorite Provincetown tradition this Holly Folly – all the beats and drinks will keep you cozy at Red Room. redroom.club.

Fugly Holiday Sweater Party, 5 – 6 p.m.

Harbor Lounge, 359 Commercial St.

Put on your ugliest holiday sweater and head over to the Harbor Lounge for great drinks and good laughs.

A Soulful Christmas with Mike Flanagan
& Lauren Scales, 6 p.m.

The Post Office Cafe & Cabaret, 303 Commercial St.

A hip and swinging musical Christmas celebration! postofficecafe.net.

The Anita Cocktail Variety Hour, 7:30 p.m.

The Post Office Cafe & Cabaret, 303 Commercial St.

Provincetown’s own Anita Cocktail host this holiday drag spectacular featuring visiting queens from all over New England. postofficecafe.net.

Hung with Care: A Queer Holiday Burlesque
Spectacular, 8:30 p.m.

Provincetown Town Hall, 260 Commercial St.

Now in its 10th season, and making its Provincetown debut at Town Hall, this original, fully scripted show is a scintillating sleigh ride of yuletide classics featuring performances from some of the nation’s premiere cabaret artists with specialties ranging from burlesque to dance, circus, live singing and so much more! ptown.org.

Anne Hutchinson Comedy Show, 9 p.m.

The Post Office Cafe & Cabaret, 303 Commercial St.

Banished for her revolutionary beliefs Anne Hutchinson is back and is ready to set the record straight and have you rolling in the aisles. postofficecafe.net.

Sunday, December 4

Pajama Brunch, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Bayside Betsy’s, 177 Commercial St.

Join the team at Bayside Betsy’s for the return of their annual pajama brunch to celebrate Holly Folly weekend. baysidebetsys.com.

Holly Folly QAF Bingo, 1 – 3 p.m.

Crown and Anchor, 247 Commercial St.

Come with the full fam to enjoy everyone’s favorite vehicle for fun, drinks, and luck at our Holly Folly Bingo. This annual fundraiser for the PBG will feature eight rounds of exciting prizes from your favorite Provincetown shops and more! ptown.org.

Drag Me to Christmas with Paige Turner, 4 p.m.

Post Office Cafe & Cabaret, 303 Commercial St.

This oversized Barbie wants a lot this Christmas and isn’t taking no for an answer. ‘Tis the season to be greedy, so come be a misfit, get your stocking stuffed, and celebrate the true meaning of Christmas…Paige Turner style. postofficecafe.net.

Sugar and Spice Cookie Party hosted by
Abby Cummings, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Post Office Cafe & Cabaret, 303 Commercial St.

Enjoy live music by Mike Flanagan and fill your stockings with as many delicious baked goods as possible at the Post Office Cafe & Cabaret. postofficecafe.net.

DECEMBER 14 – 17

Townie Holiday Extravaganza

Provincetown Theater,

238 Bradford St.

The popular annual townie talent show, Thursday – Saturday, 7 p.m. and Sunday, 2 p.m. Visit provincetowntheater.org for tickets and more information. 

FIRST LIGHT

Saturday December 31

Ball Drop Bingo, 1 – 3 p.m.

Crown and Anchor, 247 Commercial St.

Come with the full fam to enjoy everyone’s favorite vehicle for fun, drinks, and luck at our Ball Drop Bingo. This annual fundraiser for the PBG will feature eight rounds of exciting prizes from your favorite Provincetown shops and more! ptown.org.

Christine Ebersole with Billy Stritch, 7 p.m.

Provincetown Town Hall, 260 Commercial St.

The two-time Tony-winning Broadway star takes to the stage for an incredible New Year’s Eve concert. arthouseptown.com.

Sunday, January 1

Provincetown Polar Bear Plunge, 11 a.m.

Johnson Street Beach

Join emcees Trampolina Glenellen and Chris Racine for a brisk dip in Provincetown Harbor on New Year’s Day to help raise funds for the Center for Coastal Studies. Register and get the details at polarbearplunge.redpodium.com

Hair of the Dog Disco, 1 – 4 p.m.

Provincetown Brewing Company, 141 Bradford St.

After a raucous night on the town ringing in the New Year, now’s your chance to imbibe and recharge with the hair of the dog at the Provincetown Brewing Company. provincetownbrewingco.com