Popularized by iconic drag queen pioneers like Ru Paul – and even Patrick Swayze – drag shows have become an increasingly valid form of performing arts. No longer just a passing fad for gender benders and cross dressers, the colorful and weird culture of drag appeals to audiences of all types who come to enjoy the vivacity and sheer talent displayed by these magnificent performers! So, if you’re looking for a change up from the usual dinner-and-drinks night out, here are 7 awesome drag shows you have to check out in Austin.
Highland Lounge – Best of Tucked
Located in the hub of the Warehouse district, Highland Lounge is an ultra posh 21 and up gay bar and nightclub packed with sex appeal and attitude. Along with charming bartenders, great DJ’s and daily happy hour specials, Highland hosts a slew of funky pride fueled events like Underground Bingo and Drag, Dirty Birdie Bingoand Karaoke and a series of super fun drag performances known as “Tucked“. With edgy themes like Madonna, Lady Gaga, Cuntry Edition and Rih Rih Rihanna, there always something wild and different to see at Tucked. But if you want to see the cream of the crop strut their stuff on stage to all your favorite songs, checked out the Best of Tucked drag show, which takes place every Friday night at The Highland.
Rain on 4th – Show Stopper
One of Austin’s most happening upscale gay lounges, Rain brings in a mixed crowd of all types of folks – both gay and straight – with their inviting dance floor, friendly bartenders and fun weekly events like Fantasty Drag Show and Karaoke. A popular party destination for bachelors, bachelorettes, stags and stallions, Rain has so much more to offer Austin than your average night club. The DJ’s are legit and the dance floor is lit, but if you want to catch an open-mic drag show of a different kind, visit Rain on Tuesdays for The Show Stopper. This weekly interactive drag experience, hosted by Sabel Cities, gives the audience a chance to vote for their favorite up and coming drag performers as they do their thing on stage.
Bout Time II – Internarional Drag Nights
One of the only gay bars in north austin, Bout Time II is an exciting little spot to spend a fun evening any day of the week! They open at 7AM most days for all the hardcore brunchers looking for bloody Marys and mimosas, and they have killer happy hour specials throughout the week, including an all day happy hour on Wednesdays. Visitors pack the bar at BT2 nightly to see whacky events like Amateur Strip Contests, Drag Bingo, Wig Wars and Ladies of the Night drag shows. But if you’re looking for the sauciest of drag shows with tons of talent, sparkles and sizzle, check out the International Drag Night, a sequined, scintillating drag show hosted by the Austin International Drag Foundation Inc. at BT2 every second Tuesday of the month.
OilCan Harry’s – Drag Survivor
Perched in the center of Austin’s Warehouse District, Oilcan Harry’s is a fabulous and venerable gay bar with plenty of booze infused fun for all occasions. This pride-tastic gay bar always delivers with great drink specials and wild shows that draw crowds of visitors from all around like Circus Thursdays, The Voice Karaoke Tuesdays and the popular long running drag competition Drag Survivor, which is now in its 9th season! This exuberant show is the perfect blend of adventure, entertainment and beauty, with happy hour prices all day and night for spectators and a whopping $1000 cash prize for the winning contestant!
Barrel o’ Fun – Die Felicia
Located inside the Alamo Drafthouse theater, Barrel o’ Laughs is a whimsical bar that is kid friendly by day and adults only by night. After hours, This surreal circus space turns into an amusing bar with craft beers and barrel aged cocktails in a swanky carnival setting. While they host a variety of outrageous shows and performances year round, perhaps one of the most bizarre is their Drag horror revue series known as “Die Felicia”. This horror-fueled drag fest, hosted by 2016’s best drag performer Louisianna Purchase and former Drag Survivor winner Zena Zane, is a mix of trivia and performances based on a different hand selected horror film each month. So if you’re a scary movie buff and a lover of all things weird, then check out Die Felicia for a screaming good time!
Seller’s Underground – Body Beautiful
Rising to prominence in the Austin gay bar scene, Seller’s Underground is a swingin’ hangout that serves up 70’s inspired cocktails in the first Equality bar in Austin. As a proud sponsor of Austin Pride 2017 as well as members of the Austin Gay and Lesbian chamber of commerce, Seller’s is a super friendly all-inclusive bar where you can always find great drink specials along with super fun themed events every night of the week like Friday Get Down with DJ Eye Q and Texas Hold Em Sundays. All their boozy, pride-themed shows are packed with personality and excitement and are a great show for all (adult) audiences. But for a special drag treat unlike anything you’ve ever seen, check out their Body Beautiful series hosted by Natalie Hughes with a lineup of ludicrously fabulous ladies!Elysium – Poo Poo Platter
Located inside one of Austin’s longest standing residences, Elysium is a wild and unbridled alternative night club that offers Austinites a sinful escape from the ordinary. Inside this historic warehouse-turned event space, you’ll find sexy people, saucy drinks and a slew of salacious performances and events including Resurrection, Sextreme Fest, Strap on Halo and Project A.S.S. But if you’re in the mood to see an off-beat, off-color, off the wall drag show unlike any other, check out the Poo Poo Platter, a bi-monthly “sh** show of a drag troupe that hails a different iconic musician each month with an all star diva cast that includes Bulimianne Rhapsody, Louisianna Purchase, Zane Zena, Kitty Buick, Archie Cola, Summer Clearance and Cupcake.