In 2016, Ryan and Anthony Stamey would regularly hang out at Petra’s in Plaza Midwood during karaoke night. It was a regular bonding time for the brothers, but eventually karaoke wasn’t enough to keep the two performers entertained, so they decided to take matters into their own hands.
The two approached the late Jerry Brown, Petra’s owner at the time, about hosting their own special event as their draq queen alter egos, Robyn O’Ladies and Charlotte Douglas.
“We had a wild hare,” as Anthony puts it. “Jerry was all about it. He said we could have the bar whenever we wanted it.”
During the 2016 holiday season, the brothers held the first Yule Y’all variety show, a free event from which all voluntary donations went to the RAIN.
In the short time since then, the show has grown exponentially, even inspiring a spin-off show this past spring called Yes, God, a church parody comedy show that ran for three days at Petra’s.
The popularity of Yes, God convinced the Stameys that they needed to seek out a bigger venue for this year’s holiday show. Tomorrow night, the duo will host the third annual Yule Y’all Holiday Show at Visulite Theatre in the Elizabeth neighborhood.
Anthony says the show will be an elevation of past shows. Charlotte Douglas (Anthony) and Robyn O’Ladies (Ryan) will be singing each musical piece live during the Visulite show, as opposed to lip-syncing to pre-recorded songs as in past shows. That’s just a piece of the production the brothers work so hard on for each event.
“Something that’s taken us three years to convince people of is that we’re not a run-of-the-mill drag show,” Anthony says. “We write the entire show, we produce everything ourselves. We want everyone to know that this is not like anything else you’ll see in the Queen City.”
After Yule Y’all, the Stameys will continue to build on their momentum by hosting more events. They’ve already locked down two more big shows at Visulite in 2019, and will continue to host smaller events at Petra’s throughout the year.
“People can expect what we’ve done before but we’re elevating what we’re doing and trying to get it tighter,” Anthony says. “It really is going to feel like a next step for us.”
Below, the two take part in Charlotte’s newest favorite hobby in 2018: electric scooters.
This work by Queen City Nerve is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.