If you love drag entertainers, you’ll find plenty of queens to hail this June during gay Pride month.
It’s no secret that some of the best drag in the city can be found just west of Broadway in Hell’s Kitchen. The Laurie Beechman Theatre, with a little pixie dust from the good Judy’s at Spin Cycle is pulling out all the stops this June. Located just below the storied West Bank Cafe, this a storied venue known for cabaret, comedy and incredible drag performances. “Showbiz Spitfire” Paige Turner (paigeturnernyc.com), Sutton Lee Seymour, and Jackie Cox will bring down the house with their semi-biographical jukebox musical, You Don’t Own Me! See what happens when three fierce drag divas all vie for the spotlight in this hilarious evening of sisterhood and friendship told through music from Sondheim’s Company, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, The First Wives Club and even Hamilton. “Showbiz Spitfire” Paige Turner, known as the Carol Burnett of Drag, is a true mover and shaker in NYC’s community. The creator, producer, and host of NYC’s live drag reality show “So You Think You Can Drag”, is part of the cast of Shade: Queens of NYC on the Fusion Network and can be seen frequently on Atlantis Cruises and touring all over the world. When asked about the upcoming World Pride she shared she’s most excited “that I don’t have to leave my doorstep for once and the gays are coming to me! NYC needs it right now, the city has kind of been in a slump the past couple of years, we need glitter, rainbows, and gays to brighten things up!” Turner adds that “It’s usually my busiest month of the year, so this year is even double that. I love seeing people I’ve met across the world who come for NYC Pride. This year many people I’ve met while traveling are coming in, so that will be fab!”
“Showbiz Spitfire” Paige Turner is no stranger to the Laurie Beechman Theatre’s stage, You Don’t Own Me marks her 10th original show at the venue. Previous shows include Drag Me to the Top, Confessions of an Un-Natural Blonde, Make America Gay Again as well as the frequently sold out Christmas and Easter shows. We asked what makes NYC the drag capital of the world to which she replied, “Well it’s epic. There are so many events that start weeks in advance, not to mention the amount of support from the city and the amazing diversity. I think people feel very included at NYC Pride and they should!” She had some really useful tips for out of towners hungry for drag, drag and more drag, “If you are coming to the city and want to see drag shows, check schedules. Many regular shows are not happening in their usual time slots and especially on Pride Sunday shows are usually dance parties, still hosted by Queens, but not full shows. Check instagrams for bars, queens and DJ’s because it is the most reliable and very up to date, and remember to always make room for a rainbow!”
Looking for some fun earlier in the week, The Golden Gays NYC resume their roles as Dorothy, Blanche and Rose in the fun musical comedy Hot Flashbacks! A Golden Girls Revue on Thursday, June 27. Picture it: New York City, 2019. In a series of hilarious hot flashbacks, Dorothy, Blanche and Rose find themselves singing and dancing their way through The Golden Girls’ most iconic moments; all the while in search of their next #TokenSophia. Will it be you?!” The show stars Jason B. Schmidt as Dorothy, Andy Crosten as Blanche, and Gerry Mastrolina as Rose. The World Pride performance kicks off a national tour with stops in Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Cumberland, Maryland. Also at the Beechman, Twizted Sisterz will offer a gay pride spectacular that distorts, perverts & twists iconic gay pop culture moments. The outrageous Las Vegas-style parody will feature a fabulous foursome of twizted drag divas, current performers include Holly Dae, Bootsie LeFaris, Pixie Aventura, Fifi Dubois, Jada Valenciaga, Chelsea Piers, Pattaya Hart, and Brenda Dharling. Shows are presented on select Fridays at the theatre. Perverted Pride will be presented one night only: Friday, June 28 at 10:00 p.m.
Tickets for all drag performances at the Laurie Beechman Theatre are available by calling 212-352-3101 or by visiting www.SpinCycleNYC.com.
Throughout Pride month, Cheslea Wine Vault, who has a 1,300 square foot event space couched in Google’s Chelsea Market Building, will be hosting four fabulous drag events called Legends of Gay Pride. The event is not to be missed, with such names as Princess Diandra, Dina Delicious, Brita Filter & Jolina Jasmine, Laith Ashley & more. In addition the the legends of drag, there will be a number of up and coming queens representing a new generation of performers from the local community. There’s an open tasting bar featuring Pride Vodka, Tiki Rum, Dulce Vida Tequila, and Spritz by Archer Roose Sparkling Rosé.
While Sunday night’s Pride Island has yet to be announced, Brazil’s most famous drag queen, Pabllo Vittar, will share the stage with the legendary Grace Jones at Pride Island at Pier 97 on Saturday night. In the past two years, the “Sua Cara” singer has been nominated for multiple awards, including a Latin Grammy in 2018, making her the first drag queen to ever be nominated. Vogue dubbed Vittar the “World’s Most Popular Drag Queen” She has collaborated with artists like Diplo, Charlie XCX and Sofi Tukker and was additionally nominated as the “Best Brazilian Act” for the 2018 MTV Europe Music Awards.
RuPaul’s Drag Race fans should head downtown to the ultra-hip Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater on June 14, 15, or 16. Book a table to get up close and personal with the season five winner Jinkx Monsoon for Jinkx Monsoon & Major Scales: The Ginger Snapped. In the show, Jinkx “worries that her best years are behind her. In order to avoid a breakdown of diva proportions, Major must act as both pianist and therapist to the Manic Miss Monsoon. Music and mental health collide in this witty, biting look at the dark side of Drag fame.”
Hungry for more DragRace starlets? Head to the Playstation Theatre on Friday, June 28th for Trixie & Katya Coming to World Pride. In VICELAND’s The Trixie & Katya Show, drag icons Trixie Mattel and Katya Zamolodchikova examine life’s most important issues, from love and sex, to fear and death, one topic at a time. The show is a spin-off of the duo’s YouTube series UNHhhh. The duo rose to fandom on the seventh season of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Voss Events, Inc., the multidisciplinary creative agency specializing in event design and production, promotions, tour management, talent management, influencer relations and content creation will present the show at the PlayStation Theatre with an opening performance of The Odd Hour with Season 11 star Yvie Oddly on Friday, June 28 in the heart of Times Square.
Industry Bar often has a range of weekly drag events like 1999 with Kizha Carr, Shows with Tina Burner, Queen, and Bad Drag Queen with Holly Box Springs. Across the street and upstairs you can catch another local drag legend, Marti Gould Cummings (martigcummings.com) “NYC is home to a wide variety of people so our drag is extremely diverse. We have all styles of the art form of drag and NYC is a home for artists so I think drag really thrives here because of everyone’s creative juices flowing together,” says Marti. Marti grew up on a small farm in Maryland and moved to NYC at the age of seventeen to pursue a career in the performing arts. Marti has toured as a performer all over the world and can be seen on Fusion TV’s SHADE Queens of NYC as well as a regular guest on Bravo TV’s Watch What Happens LIVE. Marti’s Monday evening interactive talk show Stage Fright brings down the house with some of the biggest names of Broadway. Plan on heading to Therapy early to catch a seat (or standing room) for the show. When asked about this year’s World Pride, Marti states “This is 50 years of stonewall so bringing world pride to NYC in this milestone year is a wonderful way to celebrate the people who paved the way for us to even have pride today…Pride in NYC is such a fun week of celebration. My favorite thing about pride is getting to celebrate with my drag family!”
Other drag performers who take the stage at Therapy include Brita Filter, Pixie Aventura, Kizha Carr, JanSport and Showbiz Spitfire Paige Turner’s hysterical Slurp! show. Nearby, Hardware Bar hosts a variety of weekly events including Broadway Mondays with Cacophony and Sutton, The Brita Filter Show, Drag Swap with Pixie Aventura, Shuga Cain Thursdays, The Late Late Show with Marti Gould Cummings, The Shequida Show and more! The often bustling Rise Bar Lounge can often make any night of the week feel like a Saturday. Pissi Myles and Jasmine Rice Labeija host the popular show Messy Mondays, Iconic Queens Brenda Dharling, Bootsie LeFaris, Aquaria, and Marti Gould Cummings show looks, comedy and fierce performances in their regular Legendary Divas show on Wednesday nights. Downtown Club Cumming brings a variety of entertaining and often naughty acts like the Club Cumming Variety Show hosted by Tammy Spanx.
Marti has some great advice for Pride-goers, “Have fun, be kind, tip your queens and remember pride is a celebration but also a protest. We have come a long way and have a long way to go still.”