If Miami knows one thing, it's how to put on one hell of a drag show. You can catch some of South Florida's best performing all different styles for eager audiences from South Beach to downtown Miami. But before you venture out in search of charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent, keep this important rule in mind: Bring cash and tip the performers.
Below is a list of some of the best shows in Miami. We've barely scratched the surface of what our town has to offer, and this certainly isn't an exhaustive list, but it's a fabulous place to start.
1. Drag Brunch at Palace Bar. South Beach's renowned Palace Bar, which recently reopened in a new location on Ocean Drive, is undisputedly one of the top places in Miami to catch a show seven days a week. Your jaws will drop and your wigs will be snatched. One of the
2. Counter Corner. Miami's best (and wildest) LGBT and Queer Party had a busy 2017. Outgrowing its original home at the Corner, the free monthly party expanded and moved to the nearby venue 1306 in June. Counter Corner also celebrated its third anniversary in November. The party, hilariously hosted by Hialeah's Finest, Juleisy y Karla, prides itself on being a safe space for the Magic City's young, queer community and invites guests to experience "all the gender non-conforming fun you can handle" on its Facebook page. Every third Sunday of the month, the city's loyal crowds pack the house for a night of sweaty dancing and drag performances. In addition to being an amazingly wild night with incredible music, Counter Corner scores major points for shows that take place on the venue's outdoor elevated stage, providing great views of the performances wherever you're standing. It takes place every third Sunday of the month from 10:30 p.m. to 5 a.m. at 1306, 1306 N. Miami Ave., Miami; 305-377-2277; 1306miami.com. Admission is free.
3. Bareback Follies. Susanne Bartsch's bimonthly Bareback Follies, a night of drag theater at El Tucán, was New Times' Best of Miami winner in 2017, which
4. Double Stubble. Dust off those moves and make your way to Gramps for some serious Studio 54 vibes. Resident DJs Mystic Bill, Hottpants, and Terence Tabeau rule the dance floor with primo disco beats. Dubbed Miami's best place to party on a Thursday by New Times, this free dance party in Wynwood is where it's at. Every week, catch two rotating drag performances on the outdoor tiki-hut stage-turned-runway hosted by Kurt Fowl. You can also find some of Miami's best LGBT and queer parties at Gramps, like Bingo with Miss Toto on Wednesday nights. Be sure to grab your tickets to the highly anticipated, second annual
5. Drag Mondays. Mondays aren't always a drag, especially if you're spending them at one of the best bars in Miami Beach, with host PartyKarloz, resident queens "The Eye Dolls," and DJs Deejay Smeejay and Scotty-J. Drag Mondays at this low-key spot on Española Way boast good vibes and friendly bartenders serving up half-off booze from 8 to 10 p.m., $2 PBRs, $3 Jager Spice shots, and $6 Absolut Vodka cocktails. Those who have to be functioning parts of society on Tuesday morning are in luck. The first show at Kill Your Idol starts promptly at 11 p.m. with a series of performances that carry on throughout the night. Pro tip: Be sure to grab a seat at one of the booths near the stage to get in on all of the glittery action. Every Monday from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. at Kill Your Idol, 222 Española Way, Miami Beach; 305-672-1852; sub-culture.org/kill-your-idol. Admission is free.
6. Gender Blender. What do you get when you mix some good
7. Celebrity Deathmatch. Inspired by the bloody and violent MTV claymation series of the same name, Miami's version of Celebrity Deathmatch takes home the championship belt. At the event's debut last month, Miami's top drag queens battled it out in the ring and lip-synced for their lives while channeling divas from Madonna to Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. New Times recently proclaimed that "Celebrity Deathmatch has the potential to become Miami's next must-see LGBTQ event." On January 27, catch Celebrity Deathmatch: Mario Party and watch Lisa Mercedes and Stephanie Cockroach battle it out as Mario vs. Luigi, Casey Caldwell
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9. Flaming Classics. An overpriced ticket to a fancy cineplex won't get you an experience anywhere near as fun as what South Florida's Juan Barquin and Trae DeLellis offer at the Bill Cosford Cinema. Held every second and fourth Sunday of the month, Flaming Classics pairs classic films from the queer canon with live drag performances inspired by the film right after the screening. The series' creators were recently awarded $25,000 for Flaming Classics from the Knight Foundation during its annual Knight Arts Challenge. Be prepared for performers to crawl over theater chairs, kiss audience members, and dare we say...more. At Flaming Classics, you won't have to sneak in your drug store-bought snacks. Instead of spending a quarter of your paycheck on mediocre movie theater treats, moviegoers can spring for a soda and popcorn costing a total of $5. Check out Flaming Classics' newest series SEX. VIOLENCE. WHATEVER. featuring films Set it Off on January 28th, Bound on February 11, and the Doom Generation on February 25th. It takes place every second and fourth Sunday at 8 p.m. at Bill Cosford Cinema, 5030 Brunson Dr., Coral Gables; 305-284-4861; cosfordcinema.com. Admission costs $9.75 presale and $11 at the door. For more information, visit flamingclassics.com.
10. Sunday Drag Brunch at R House. It's Sunday, you're hung-over, and looking forward to diving headfirst into a stack of French toast while drinking the hair of the dog. Lucky for you, Miami's best brunch spot of 2017 serves bottomless bites and booze and more important, killer drag performances. The weekly shows, hosted by Athena Dion, take place twice every Sunday, at noon and 2 p.m. The divas rotate throughout the event and perform in the restaurant's corridors both outside and inside. On a recent visit, we witnessed one queen who cartwheeled across the dining room without even batting a false eyelash. Bonus: Your four-legged friends are welcome to enjoy the drag show (outside). Check it out every Sunday at noon and 2 p.m. at R House, 2727 NW Second Ave., Miami. Brunch packages vary. For reservations, call 305-576-0201 or visit rhousewynwood.com.