When life’s a drag, there’s one sure thing that will save you from the tedium: watching a drag queen read a room to shreds. Fortunately, there are plenty of drag shows in Houston where the queens come ready to throw the shadiest of shade, to lip-synch harder than a former Disney child star right after their first stint in rehab, and to don wigs so bouffant and meticulously coiffed they would put a Tammy Wynette hairpiece to shame.
We’re here to spill the tea on the best drag shows in Houston. Whether you’re in the mood for an old-school show at Michael’s Outpost or you’re itching for a lively drag brunch at Boheme, we’re here to make sure your drag-watching plans are always the most fabulous. Read on for our picks.
Super Sunday Drag Show at JR’s Bar & Grill
Houston LGBTQ+ bar staple JR’s recently celebrated its 40th anniversary, and its longevity is due in no small part to its welcoming atmosphere and its position as a bedrock in the city’s queer community. Although much has changed in the gayborhood through the years, the drag shows at JR’s are as lively as ever. One of the best ways to experience JR’s is at its Super Sunday Drag Show, every Sunday at 11 p.m. If you come early, you’ll be able to enjoy the bar’s Sunday Funday Karaoke, a riotously entertaining event that throws down every Sunday from 6 to 9 p.m.
Rebarlesque at ReBar
Start your Saturday night out with the classic dinner and a show at the LGBTQ+ venue staple ReBar. The show, Rebarlesque, has a mix of risqué choreographed burlesque performances, a full dinner menu, craft cocktails, and comedy—all under a glorious spiked disco ball. Doors open at 8 p.m., with the show going from 8:30 to 10 p.m. While there is no cover, patrons are encouraged to secure a seat by making a reservation on OpenTable. Come early for the show, and stay late for the DJs at the main stage.
Theme Queens at Buddy’s
Everyone loves a good theme! Every Sunday at 8 p.m., Buddy’s plays host to Theme Queens, a variety show hosted by Muffy Vanderbilt III. The show has a different theme—from Disney to superheroes—every week, meaning the queens are always bringing something entirely different to the stage. Theme Queens features a permanent cast of Phoebe Seymour, Chanell La’Sha, Malibu Von Schweetz, and Amber Vanderbilt.
Sing! at Hamburger Mary’s
On Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., get ready to sing your heart out at this highly interactive show, usually hosted by Dessi Love-Blake. The audience is divided in two, and each side gets to sing along to their favorite tunes from the ’70s through early 2000s. There are half-price burgers as well as specials on drinks and shots. As an extra treat, the winner every week gets to take home a special prize.
Shenanigans at Hamburger Mary’s
At Shenanigans (pronounced with a hard “she”) you’re going to get a lot of high-energy dance numbers and lots of comedy from rotating cohosts Blackberri and Cyn City. The show, which takes place every Friday from 7 to 10 p.m., features some of Hamburger Mary’s youngest cast members, so it usually includes a lot of current music, along with plenty of illusions (celebrity impersonations). All together, it’s chock-full of shenanigans.
Party with the Divas at Hamburger Mary’s
If you’re a fan of traditional drag shows, look no further than this event held at every Hamburger Mary’s across the country—it’s the drag juggernaut’s most popular show. Hosted by Alexye’us Paris every Saturday at 4:30, 7, and 10 p.m., it runs the gamut from old-school drag to new-school drag and comedy.
The Broad’s Way, Laugh Track, and EyeCons at Michael’s Outpost
This bar may be more on the laid-back side of a night out, but the drag entertainment throughout the week is nothing short of spectacular. Think Off Broadway–level vocal talent from local leading ladies, snazzy bartenders, and, of course, show tunes from every era. Grab a nightcap on a Monday and watch the Broad’s Way, hosted by Regina Thorne-Dubois, also known as “the Broadway Beard of Houston,” or catch the comedy showcase Laugh Track on Tuesday at
9 p.m. for some not-so-clean jokes and a hearty chortle. If you’re waiting for the weekend, you can’t go wrong with EyeCons, the city’s longest-running celebrity impersonation revue.
Queens Night Out at Hamburger Mary’s
The drag hot spot is home to Queens Night Out every Wednesday starting at 8 p.m. The show, hosted by Alexye’us Paris (yes, she’s everywhere!), is basically a variety show that features its host alongside two exclusive Hamburger Mary’s cast members. Do you like games? This show has a lot of them, including gigantic dice that are rolled down the aisles as well as lots of trivia and drag musical chairs.
¡Que Calor! at Papi’s
Hosted every Saturday at Houston’s only Latinx LGBTQ+ club, this show sure packs the heat. Sip on one of Papi’s famous frozen margaritas while watching this rotating cast of queens dance to Top 40 Latin and pop music hits. The show, hosted by Alexia D. Crawford, includes a lineup of local drag favorites like Selina L. Crawford, Linda D. Crawford, Aivah D. Crawford, and Aaliya A. Lareese. The show kicks off at 11 p.m.
Kings of Houston at Pearl Bar
Every drag queen needs her king, and Pearl Bar, one of only two lesbian bars in the entire state of Texas, has them aplenty. Hosted by H-Town Kings, a drag group composed of “kings, queens, and in-betweens,” according to the group’s social media pages, this show is one of Houston’s most distinctive events. Usually held on Wednesdays at 9:30 p.m. (but dates vary), the performances are 21 and up, come with a $5 cover, and sometimes carry themes like Star Wars or classic rock.
Sunday Spotlight at Eagle Houston
This variety show is hosted by Alexye’us Paris every Sunday at 7 p.m during Trash Disco nights at Eagle Houston. The show, which markets itself on its inclusivity, is open to all and includes two new entertainers every week. The music, all tunes the audience can sing along to, usually includes lots of Ariana Grande, Beyoncé, and other Top 40 treats. Regular performers include queens like Keymiyah Dupree, Suede Doll, and Lana Blake.
Boys Night Out at Eagle Houston
Upgrade your hump day by ending it at Eagle Houston from Boys Night Out. The show, hosted every Wednesday at 11 p.m., is a favorite of younger drag fans since the music is usually upbeat and includes lots of dance mixes. At the show, also hosted by Alexye’us Paris, you might get some Mariah Carey as well as a dance-y remix of your favorite slow number. The likes of Valencia St. James Mun’ro and Skai Royale make regular appearances.
The Dollhouse at Grand Prize Bar
Is there anything better than watching a drag show at a dive bar? We sure don’t think so. Every Wednesday at 9:30 p.m. Violet S’Arbleu and Deyjzah Opulent Mirage host the Dollhouse on the second floor of Grand Prize Bar, along with a special guest, and it’s almost always a raucous affair. Happy hour runs from 9 p.m. to midnight—come for the queens and stay for the $4 Deep Eddy and $2 off select cocktails.
Snatched at Ripcord
Get turned up on a Tuesday by stopping at this drag show hosted by Reign LaRue at 11 p.m. Since Ripcord is Houston’s oldest leather bar, consider dressing the part by coming by in your favorite leather harness, latex ensemble, or sports gear. These high-energy shows, sometimes with themes like Rihanna or Selena, are intimate affairs thanks to the small size of the bar, meaning you’ll be able to get right up next to the queens as they skulk their way through the crowd.
Millennial Dolls at South Beach
Every Wednesday at 11 p.m., legendary bar South Beach is home to this spirited drag show hosted right under the bar’s famous spinning chandelier by diva extraordinaire Reign LaRue. The show, hosted during the bar’s Cafe Con Leche night, features an all-star cast of Adriana LaRue, Amaya Jackson Ross, and Mistress Isabelle Brooks from the current season of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Upbeat music for the show is provided by DJ Mel, one of the local LGBTQ+ community’s most popular DJs.
The Roxanne Collins Show at Barcode
Houston has many LGBTQ+ bars, but it only has one bar fully dedicated to drag. While Barcode has had many names over its 50-year history, it has remained one of the top spots in town to watch drag performances. The Roxanne Collins Show, hosted by a living legend every Friday and Saturday at 10:30 p.m., is modeled after The Carol Burnett Show and presents both old- and new-school drag, mixed with comedy and live singers. Pro tip: make sure you stay for the aftershow, which Collins hosts every Friday and Saturday at midnight.
The Drag Show Brunch at Boheme
Montrose mainstay Boheme has long been a favorite drinking spot for Houston’s LGBTQ+ community, and it’s even more so now due to its weekly Drag Show Brunch, which throws down every Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tickets for the shows, which feature some of the city’s most talented and lively drag performers, cost $35 per person. But don’t fret: food is included. Attending drag-show connoisseurs get to pick from Boheme’s expansive brunch buffet, which includes treats like Filipino biscuits and gravy, ham and cheese croissants, and french toast. For an extra $30, you can also get yourself a carafe of mimosas—required libations for any drag show!