Top 10 Drag Shows in New York, NY 2023: A Fabulous World

New York Citay! A place where dreams are made, and the drag scene is no exception. The city that never sleeps has always been a beacon for the vibrant and diverse world of drag.

From the glitz and glamour of Manhattan to the edgy performances in Brooklyn, there’s something for everyone. The Big Apple’s drag scene is a testament to the city’s rich tapestry of cultures, styles, and personalities.

[su_note note_color=”#93e6b7″]Fun Fact: Did you know that the Stonewall riots, a pivotal moment in LGBTQ+ history, took place in NYC? This event played a significant role in the rise of drag culture in the city.[/su_note]

Top 10 Shows of 2023

Paradise Club

Nestled in the heart of the Theater District, Paradise Club offers an unparalleled show experience right in the iconic Times Square. This venue is not just a place; it’s a journey into a world of artistic wonders.

With every performance, it promises to captivate its audience, making them feel the pulsating energy of Times Square, combined with the allure of Broadway. Whether you’re a local or a tourist, a night at Paradise Club is a mesmerizing New York experience you won’t forget.

The Spot


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Tucked away in the vibrant neighborhood of Hell’s Kitchen, The Spot is the epitome of entertainment and energy. Renowned for hosting one of the most hilarious and dynamic drag shows in the city, it guarantees an evening filled with laughter, dance, and unforgettable moments.

The performers bring a unique blend of humor, talent, and charisma, ensuring that every guest leaves with a smile on their faces and a story to tell. If you’re looking to experience the true spirit of New York’s nightlife, The Spot is the place to be.

Lips Drag Queen Show Palace Restaurant & Bar

The Slipper Room

The Slipper Room stands as a testament to the eclectic vibrancy of New York City’s entertainment scene. With its rich history and reputation, this venue offers a tantalizing mix of performances that range from sultry burlesque to mesmerizing dancing acts, and even side-splitting comedy shows.

As the lights dim and the curtain rises, audiences are transported into a world where artistry and passion take center stage. Whether you’re seeking a night of laughter, allure, or sheer entertainment, The Slipper Room promises an unforgettable experience.

Rupauls Drag Con


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In the bustling neighborhood of Hell’s Kitchen, Rupauls Drag Con emerges as a glittering beacon for drag enthusiasts and performers alike. This iconic event is more than just a convention; it’s a celebration of self-expression, art, and the dazzling world of drag.

Attendees have the unique opportunity to meet and mingle with renowned queens, fellow aficionados, and up-and-coming performers. The atmosphere is electric, filled with sequins, feathers, and boundless creativity. For those passionate about the culture, Rupauls Drag Con is a haven where dreams, artistry, and camaraderie converge.

House of Yes

RauPaul DragCon

Sitting in Bushwick, Brooklyn, the House of Yes is a venue that truly lives up to its name, exuding an aura of positivity and acceptance. Renowned for its uproarious drag shows and captivating burlesque performances, this place is a melting pot of talent and creativity. Every night, performers take to the stage, captivating audiences with their humor, charisma, and undeniable talent.

But beyond the performances, House of Yes is a testament to the spirit of New York – diverse, dynamic, and always ready for a good time. Whether you’re in the mood for a hearty laugh or a night of enchantment, this venue promises a rollercoaster of emotions and memories to cherish.

Club Cumming


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In the heart of the East Village, Club Cumming stands as a beacon of artistic expression and nightlife. Founded by the ever-charismatic actor Alan Cumming and promoter-provocateur Daniel Nardicio, this venue was reimagined from the former Eastern Bloc bar into a hub for cabaret, comedy, and parties.

It evokes the golden era of NYC’s downtown nightlife, blending cheeky decadence with a welcoming atmosphere. From Broadway open-mic nights to dance music sessions with go-go boys, Club Cumming is a testament to the city’s rich nightclub performance tradition, making it an essential stop for those seeking a genuine East Village experience.

Lucky Cheng’s

Lucky Cheng’s is more than just a restaurant; it’s an experience. Having found a new home on 8th Avenue, this renowned drag bar-cum-restaurant continues to be a favorite amongst bachelorettes and those in search of a lively celebration.

The ambiance is infused with flamboyance, ensuring every visit is memorable. As guests indulge in delicious food, they are treated to unique performances that showcase talent, humor, and the essence of NYC’s vibrant culture.

Le Scandal Cabaret

Le Scandal! Cabaret

The city’s longest-running girlie revue is a treasure trove of entertainment in Midtown West. Bonnie Dunn, the mastermind MC-chanteuse behind this burlesque mainstay, orchestrates a lively blend of stand-up, magic, acrobatics, and high-concept strip performances.

It’s a place where the classic charm of burlesque meets modern entertainment, ensuring every night is filled with surprises, laughter, and awe-inspiring acts.

Barracuda Lounge

A classic gem in Chelsea, that has stood the test of time, outlasting many of its contemporaries. Its longevity can be attributed to its no-attitude ambiance, comfortable seating, outstanding drag shows, and generous happy hours.

But beyond the drinks and shows, it’s the friendly bartenders and the genuine sense of community that make Barracuda Lounge a beloved spot. In an age dominated by technology, this lounge reminds guests of the joys of real-life interactions, making it a must-visit for those seeking authentic NYC nightlife.

Show Name Location Brief Description
Paradise Club Theater District, NYC Unique show experience in Times Square.
The Spot Hell’s Kitchen, NYC One of the funniest and most energetic shows.
Lips Drag Queen Show Palace Restaurant & Bar Midtown East, NYC A favorite show experience for over 25 years.
The Slipper Room Lower East Side, NYC Offers a variety of shows including burlesque, dancing, and comedy.
Rupauls Drag Con Hell’s Kitchen, NYC Meet queens, drag lovers, and fellow performers.
House of Yes Bushwick, Brooklyn Hilarious show and fun burlesque show.
Club Cumming East Village, NYC Known for strong drinks and powerful singing performances.
Lucky Cheng’s Midtown West, NYC Unique show experience with delicious food.
Le Scandal Cabaret Midtown West, NYC Offers a variety of entertainment, including shows.
Barracuda Lounge Chelsea, NYC Pioneering venue of drag in NYC with daily shows.

[su_note note_color=”#93e6b7″]Pro Tip: Always check for show schedules in advance. Some of the best drag shows in NYC get sold out pretty quickly![/su_note]

Bonus 7

And for fun, here are another 7 shows, because why not? Every show deserves a chance to shine

Show Name Location Brief Description
Industry Hell’s Kitchen, NYC High-end lounge showcasing top queens.
Therapy Hell’s Kitchen, NYC Home to “The Help” show with a dynamic mix of choreography and comedy.
Suite Bar Upper West Side, NYC Cozy bar with strong drinks and a diverse crowd.
Laurie Beechman Hell’s Kitchen, NYC Underground theater hosting international stars.
Bushwig NYC Traveling event with performances, dancing, and food.
Hedda Presents the Classics Village East Cinema, NYC Comedic commentary during screenings of classic movies.
Don’t Tell Mama Theater District, NYC Hosts several cabaret shows, including award-winning performances.

The Rise in Popularity

Looking back, it’s fascinating to see how drag culture in NYC has grown leaps and bounds. From underground clubs in the 80s and 90s to mainstream stages in the 2000s, drag has become an integral part of NYC’s entertainment scene.

Mainstream media, from TV shows to movies, has played a significant role in bringing drag to the forefront. And let’s not forget the power of social media! Platforms like Instagram and TikTok have given artists a global stage, amplifying their visibility like never before.

[su_note note_color=”#93e6b7″]Fun Fact: RuPaul, one of the most iconic drag queens globally, started his journey in the clubs of NYC![/su_note]

What to Expect When Attending

If you’re new to the drag scene, you’re in for a treat!

  • First things first, there’s no strict dress code, but dressing up adds to the fun. Remember, drag shows are all about self-expression, so feel free to be yourself.
  • As for etiquette, it’s essential to be respectful and appreciative of the performers. They put a lot of effort into their acts!
  • The atmosphere at a drag show is electrifying. From the pulsating music to the jaw-dropping fashion and the mesmerizing performances, it’s an experience you won’t forget.

[su_note note_color=”#93e6b7″]Pro Tip: Bring some cash for tips! It’s a tradition to tip drag performers during their acts.[/su_note]

Behind the Scenes: Meet the Queens

New York City is home to some of the most iconic drag queens in the world. While I can’t provide specific profiles for 2023, historically, queens like Lady Bunny, Bianca Del Rio, and Peppermint have graced the stages of NYC, leaving indelible marks on the scene.

These performers are not just entertainers; they’re artists, activists, and trailblazers. Their stories are filled with passion, resilience, and a commitment to their craft. From designing their outfits to perfecting their makeup and choreography, the dedication these queens show is nothing short of inspiring.

[su_note note_color=”#93e6b7″]Fun Fact: Many NYC drag queens have gone on to achieve international fame, thanks to platforms like “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”[/su_note]

Inclusivity and Diversity

The beauty of the drag scene in NYC lies in its diversity. From queens of different ethnic backgrounds to kings and non-binary performers, the city’s drag scene is a melting pot of talent.

This diversity is not just about representation; it’s a celebration of the myriad ways drag can be expressed. Inclusivity in drag is essential. It challenges societal norms, breaks down barriers, and promotes acceptance.

By attending a drag show in NYC, you’re not just witnessing a performance; you’re part of a movement that champions love, acceptance, and the freedom to be oneself.

[su_note note_color=”#93e6b7″]Pro Tip: Explore different drag venues in NYC to experience the full spectrum of drag performances.[/su_note]

The Future of Drag in NYC

Drag, as an art form, is ever-evolving. With technological advancements, we’re seeing more innovative performances that incorporate digital elements, making the shows even more captivating.

The future of drag in NYC looks promising, with younger talents bringing fresh perspectives and challenging the status quo. While the essence of drag remains rooted in self-expression and challenging societal norms, the ways it’s presented are bound to change, making it even more exciting for audiences.

[su_note note_color=”#93e6b7″]Fun Fact: Virtual drag shows gained popularity during the pandemic, showcasing the adaptability and resilience of the drag community.[/su_note]

Support and Community

The drag community in NYC is tight-knit. Queens support each other, and fans are fiercely loyal. This sense of community is what makes the drag scene in NYC so special.

Fans can support their favorite queens by attending shows, buying merchandise, or simply spreading the word about their favorite performers. The drag community also plays a crucial role in advocating for LGBTQ+ rights, making it not just an entertainment hub but also a force for positive change.

[su_note note_color=”#93e6b7″]Pro Tip: Many drag shows in NYC support charitable causes, so attending a show can also mean supporting a good cause.[/su_note]

Planning Your Experience

Embarking on a drag show adventure in NYC? Here’s what you need to know. First and foremost, do your research. With so many shows happening across the city, it’s essential to find one that aligns with your interests.

Booking tickets in advance is always a good idea, especially for popular shows that tend to sell out quickly. And while spontaneity has its charm, a little preparation can go a long way. Think about your outfit, plan your transportation, and maybe even make dinner reservations nearby for a full evening experience.

[su_note note_color=”#93e6b7″]Fun Fact: Some drag venues offer themed nights, from 80s retro to Broadway-inspired performances. Check their schedules to find a theme that excites you![/su_note]


How do I interact with drag performers during a show?

While it’s encouraged to cheer and applaud, it’s essential to remember not to touch performers without their consent. If you’re keen on interacting more personally, many drag shows have meet-and-greet sessions after the performance.

Are there age restrictions for attending drag shows in NYC?

Yes, many drag shows, especially those in bars or clubs, have age restrictions, typically 21 and over. However, there are family-friendly drag events and brunches that younger audiences can attend. Always check the event details beforehand.

Can I take photos or videos during a drag show?

Policies vary by venue and performer. Some drag artists allow photography, while others might prefer you to stay in the moment and enjoy the show. It’s always a good practice to ask or check the venue’s rules before snapping away.

Is there a specific season or month when drag shows are most prominent in NYC?

While drag shows happen year-round in NYC, June, which is Pride Month, sees a surge in performances and events celebrating the LGBTQ+ community. However, it’s always a good idea to keep an eye out for special events and festivals throughout the year.

Summing It Up

The drag scene in NYC is more than just entertainment; it’s a celebration of self-expression, art, and community. From the iconic performances to the sense of belonging it fosters, drag has left an indelible mark on the city’s cultural landscape.

As we look forward to the future, one thing is clear: Drag in NYC will continue to enchant, inspire, and challenge us in the most fabulous ways possible.