Palette Magazine

South Florida's Best Drag Queen Shows

By Grant James

Putting together a great drag show is no easy task. The queens may seem like a dime a dozen, but in reality, it's a very competitive field. A drag show is an art form that requires practice, time, and a thirst for the spotlight. They are in charge of their makeup, wigs, clothing, and songs – all of which require money. And while at times drag queens aren't paid well (if at all), they still manage to crank out some of the most memorable performances ever seen.

Thankfully, South Florida's drag shows are really the cream of the crop. From beloved locals to national acts, you'll never be bored when catching a show.

If you're feeling a little guilty from Saturday night's shenanigans, head to church. And by church, we mean Lips' Sunday Gospel Brunch. (The club is open six nights a week for dinner as well.) Lips has been a staple in the drag scene for more than seven years now. Originally hailing from New York, the self-proclaimed “ultimate in drag dining” space has since opened additional locations in San Diego, Atlanta and soon Chicago. The price of your meal and show is lumped together to create a fair flat rate (no matter what you pick off of the menu), so that you don't feel cheated if your group splits the bill. Everybody wins!

801 Bourbon Bar is a fantastic spot in Key West, where practically all walks of life are lured in by the always hilarious queens out front. Seriously, there's practically always a bride-to-be stumbling in for a bachelorette party pub crawl.

The queens at 801 are just hilarious. They're tall, lanky and sometimes a little hairy. It's fun and convenient, with shows scattered throughout the day and the prime location of Duval Street. The frozen drinks will cool you down on a hot summer day, and they will have you laughing, cringing and crying until you're off to your next destination.

Tucked away on Ocean Drive in Miami Beach is Palace — an indoor-outdoor bar with a lot of soul. The space boasts that it is the only gay restaurant/bar on all of Ocean Drive. Now in its 26 year, it doesn't seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. Catch their weekend shows for your dose of the nightlife or check out their Sunday brunch, appropriately titled “Brunchic.”

If you're stopping by Wilton Manors, make sure to check out two very big drag spots. On Sunday night, B. bar & Grille (formerly Bill's Filling Station) hosts a drag show called “Trannie Palace,” helmed by local drag favorite Misty Eyez. The femcee dazzles the crowd with her glamorous hair, makeup and glitzy dresses each week before bringing everyone back down to earth with some serious slapstick humor.

The Manor is another popular drag spot in the gay mecca that is Wilton Manors. While The Manor hosts weekly parties and drag shows, the real draw of the club is its national acts. The space has been graced by the presence of Sharon Needles, Bianca Del Rio, Courtney Act and so many more. It's definitely the go-to spot for big name drag queens, so you'll definitely want to check their calendar of upcoming events to stay in the know!

No matter which bar, club or venue you decide on, you're pretty much in good hands. Let's face it — sometimes you just need a fantastic song and dance to brighten up your week. Whether it's during a Sunday brunch or on a random weeknight, you owe it to yourself to visit a drag show once a week.