As the winter holidays approach, we’re facing a season of festivities unlike any other. Usually, this time of year would bring office parties, happy hours, family gatherings, and a whole host of holiday events to help us celebrate the season. Instead, we’re hunkering down in our homes — away from family and loved ones — as we transition into the coldest and darkest time of the year.
But just because we’re house-bound doesn’t mean that we can’t enjoy the trappings of the season and a little light to brighten the gloom that is 2020. And while you may not be able to join friends for an ugly sweater party or your favorite happy hour, there are still virtual options to bring you some joy as the days get longer and the quarantine stretches on.
Here’s a round-up of virtual holiday festivities to keep your season merry and bright.
If you’re searching for an alt-rock Christmas concert, look no further! Legendary NYC band Betty will go virtual this Friday with “(Stuck At) Home For the Holidays” live at the City Winery. The band will be joined by special guests Jane Siberry, Everett Bradley, and feminist icon Gloria Steinem. The concert streams live on December 18th at 8 p.m. EST. While it is free to watch with an RSVP, donations will be accepted for The New Georgia Project, which is raising support for the democratic senatorial candidates in Georgia’s upcoming election run-off.
The San Diego Women’s Chorus (SDWC) is re-showing its holiday concert We Are Lights, which premiered on December 12th. The lesbian-centered, feminist chorus was founded in 1987 and perform music composed and arranged by women and LGBTQ+ artists. The event features virtual performances of winter holiday arrangements that the chorus had performed live at past events. You can still catch the event on the choir’s Facebook page, where the video is available to watch. Donations for the not-for-profit organization can be made on the SDWC website.
The SDWC isn’t the only LGBTQ+ choir going virtual this year. The West Coast Singers, the LGBTQ+ choir of Los Angeles, will perform Tidings of Joy, a virtual concert on December 19th (7 p.m. PST) and 20th (3 p.m. PST). Then, catch the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus for (At) Home for the Holidays on December 24th, which will feature appearances by Broadway actress Laura Benanti and RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 6 winner Bianca Del Rio. Tickets start at $25 and can be purchased through the website. Also, the Washington Gay Men’s Chorus celebrates their 40th year with a virtual rendition of their annual Holiday Show, which you can stream through December 20th. Tickets cost $25, with proceeds benefiting the not-for-profit organization.
If you’d prefer your holiday entertainment to be a bit more subversive, then check out “Slutcracker: The Movie,” a streaming version of the queer/feminist burlesque ballet that’s been a holiday favorite of Boston audiences since it’s premier in 2008. The story, which imagines Nutcracker protagonist Clare all grown-up and experiencing a sexual awakening, blends ballet with hip hop, drag kinging, flamenco, and pole dancing, among other forms. Rentals last for 48 hours and cost $15.
Speaking of drag, what would the holidays be without a few fabulous queens? On December 19th, the American Pops Orchestra (APO) presents Drag Out the Holly: A Holiday Drag Extravaganza featuring RuPaul contestants Jujubee, Alexis Michelle, and Peppermint, along with NYC drag queen star Lagoona Bloo. The event, which streams from 9-10 p.m. EST, is free of charge although donations are accepted for the APO and its partner charities.
And if you can’t wait until the 19th, you’re in luck because the mother of all queens is blessing the season with a special gift for us all. RuPaul is bringing “A Drag Queen Christmas” — which usually tours nationally — to the small screen this year. Co-hosted by Trinity “The Tuck” Taylor and Nina West, the show will feature performances by former drag race contestants Shea Coulee, Sasha Velour, Thorgy Thor, Brooke Lynn Hytes, Jada Essence Hall, and Jackie Cox. The show will also feature special appearances by drag king Landon Cider and drag legend Lady Bunny performing her new single, “Santa’s Spreading Covid Around.”
“A Drag Queen Christmas” is available on demand now through January 31st ($25).