Loving drag queens is like breathing. We all do it but don’t always talk about it. Sometimes we need fresh, unconditioned air and sometimes we need to see drag queens. But where? While Manhattan remains a fake-eyelash stronghold, Brooklyn has its share of drag nights. And while we’d never tell a drag queen she’s cheap, the truth is some of them are. Free, even.
Sugarland, Williamsburg, 221 N. 9th St. Sundays at midnight
Sugarland is the one and only location in our beloved borough with a dedicated drag night every single week. Sickening Sundays is a seriously crazy drag party that will rock your face off (unless you painted it on with glue, and if you did, you won’t be alone).
This is a drag show to rival them all. With at least seven queens gracing the stage, multimedia, dancing, singing and (naturally) lip syncing, your mind is going to be blown. There is no cover, no drink minimum and they offer drink specials like $3 well drinks, $3 PBR and $1 shots among others.
The T: Sugarland also hosts the Miss Mierce drag competition once a month. If you’ve only seen drag competitions on TV, get thee to Sugarland. These competitions are incredible and worth every penny. And free.
Metropolitan, Williamsburg, 559 Lorimer St., Third Thursday of every month at 11pm
Metroplitan has a drag competition called DRAGNET on the third Thursday of each month from 10pm to 4am. Drag competitions are what separate the men from the lady boys and they make Toddlers & Tiaras look like, well, a drag competition actually. The show is hosted by the lovely Merrie Cherry and welcomes “Hipster Queens … Down Low Queens … Daddy Queens… and every other type of Queen in-between.” There is no cover and they offer half priced draft beers on DRAGNET nights. It’s only once a month, but it’s worth the wait.
The T: This event is an all night party starting at 10pm. The competition is just one part of a packed night. DJ Nicky Fader spins all night long so use your extended-wear lipstick.
Time Out New York Lounge (“TONY Lounge”), Manhattan, 340 West 50th St. Fridays at 11pm
Friday nights at the TONY Lounge (downstairs at New World Stages) is the Friday night drag show to see. It’s a drag double feature with no cover charge and no drink minimum. The TONY Lounge serves $4 sangria, $2 shots and fishy realness. The smallish lounge starts filling up around 10:30pm with a decidedly gorgeous crowd (free to look). At 11pm the opening act begins. Tonight (April 27) is Crystal Demure’s final performance (in The Crystal Fix) before she disappears into the queenly mist for the summer, so do your very best to get there. Sir-Honey Davenport gives you feisty realness in the second act.
The T: Be sure you have dollars to make those queens holler (tips, y’all) and if you volunteer to go onstage, you get a free shot.
XES Lounge, Manhattan, 157 W. 24th St. Mondays at 10pm
XES Lounge looks like an abandoned storefront with its papered-over windows, but that’s for everyone’s protection. XES hosts a few drag shows a week including the amazing sister act of Kittin Withawhip and Frostie Flakes in Sister? on Mondays at 10pm. Theirs is one of the funniest duos around: cheap, unique and offensive with a huge extravaaaaganza of an ending. XES claims Sister? will make you “pee your pants. This writer is confessing to absolutely nothing, but according to Lisa Rinna, the new Depend® Silhouette goes completely unnoticed. XES charges no cover, has a private smoking patio and offers $3 domestic beers. If you volunteer for the girls you get a free shot and a drink.
The T: Too poor to even leave your house? Kittin Withawhip and Frostie Flakes have created a podcast called Coffee With Queens (available free on iTunes) wherein they ki ki about the most recent news headlines. It’s hysterical.
Vlada, Mahattan, 331 W. 51st St. Sundays at 10:30pm
Vlada is a midtown bar dedicated to dragulating your ass off Sunday through Thursday (and when they’re not doing that they throw Habibi dance parties on Fridays! What what!). Vlada hosts a ton of incredible queens including one of the most hilarious and awesome drag queens werqing today, Paige Turner. Paige’s show – SLURP!, Sundays at 10:30pm – is free and fabulous. This queen’s voracious ferocity make her a must see in the New York City drag scene. Her wit is quick like a pussy cat and sharp as a knife. Vlada keeps their drag tucked away upstairs so you could totally pull off some kind of Mrs. Doubtfire situation here by keeping your drag hating friends downstairs and your awesome friends (along with your sequined pullover) upstairs and ne’er the twain shall meet.
The T: One of Vlada’s adorable bartenders has a website, AntiTwink dot com, where you can pretty much plan your entire LGBTQ party calendar in Brooklyn and Manhattan.