From towering glamazons to beefed-up kings, Chicago’s drag scene has no shortage of dazzling stars.
Queens such as Shea Couleé and Denali Foxx have blown up beyond Chicago and adorned our televisions on the infamous Rupaul’s Drag Race. Kings like Tenderoni are making the king scene more visible with each performance. With so much talent in one city, there are abundant opportunities to experience something special in the world of drag. For a quick taste of Chicago drag excellence check out this music video featuring a host of notable drag performers.
For the uninitiated, drag is generally an artform where people dress up and perform in a highly stylized way. Drag gives individuals a chance to play with gender in a way that leans heavily into the binary with the goal of teasing out stereotypes and providing a platform for subversiveness. Men often take on personas of drag queens and women tend to adopt drag king personalities, though there are no hard rules on who can dabble in either category. The formula for the creation of a drag king or queen is a stage name that packs a punch plus an associated personality that comes out to play when an individual performs. A lot of preparation goes into each character – from makeup to costumes no detail is spared when kings and queens are putting their looks together which truly makes it a category of art.
Given that good drag is alive and well in Chicago we’ve compiled a short list of drag happenings in September that you should certainly check out if you’re looking to get your drag fix. Read on to learn more!
- Dim Sum + Drag @ Furama
On the last Sunday of every month, Furama Restaurant in Uptown hosts a drag brunch featuring a changing cast of Asian drag queens and kings such as Masala Sapphire and Auntie Chan. Come ready to feast on dim sum dishes and delicious performances that will keep you captivated. Shows typically last 1.5 hours and tickets can be found on Eventbrite. September tickets aren’t currently up yet but check back on A Queer Pride’s page for updates. Furama Restaurant is located at 4936 N Broadway.
- STRAPPED One Year Anniversary @ Berlin Nightclub
Every first Friday at Berlin nightclub STRAPPED takes over the space to celebrate lesbians and lesbian adjacent people with performances and DJs. September’s STRAPPED event is extra special because it’s the one-year anniversary of the event’s inception. Some of Chicago’s best drag performers such as Sigourney Beaver and Dusty Bahls will take the stage followed by DJ sets that are sure to get you moving. Get your tickets to the event here. Berlin Nightclub is located at 954 West Belmont Ave.
- Beyonce’s 41st Bey-lated Birthday @ Roscoe’s Tavern
Roscoe’s Tavern is an established space for drag performers to turn out and Beyonce’s birthday is the perfect occasion to do so. On September 8th, 41 drag artists will be performing some of Beyonce’s most iconic hits in an evening that is jam-packed with talent and spice. Come for the music, stay for the showstopping entertainment. There is no cover for this event. For more information check out Roscoe’s Tavern on Facebook. Roscoes Tavern is located at 3356 N Halsted.
- Newport Peek-Easy: Burlesque, Drag, and Variety Show @ Newport Theatre
Burlesque, belly dancing, and drag – oh my! This 1-hour spectacle offers the best of entertainment on a platter every Saturday night at the Newport Theatre. Whether it’s your appetizer for the evening ahead or the main course, the speakeasy vibes and crafty cocktails will set the mood right. For a sneak peek of the peak-easy check out this video. Tickets can be purchased here. The Newport Theatre is located at 956 W Newport Ave.
This list is just a small slice of what Chicago’s drag scene has to offer. Most of the establishments on the list above are deeply embedded in the drag scene so if an event sparks your interest you can check out the host website to get the scoop on future events. Have fun, be respectful, and don’t forget to bring your dollar bills for tips!