Tuesday, 30 October 2018 13:57

Morning with the Queens: Grand Rapids’ new show is a tableside performance

Written by  Kayla Sosa
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Drag Brunch. Drag Brunch. Photos by Ashlee Brown

The newest morning fad is a show while you eat: Drag Brunch. Sit back with a boozy beverage and a delicious plated breakfast (or lunch) and see some of the most talented queens performing in West Michigan.

Trevor Straub is the show director and producer for Drag Brunch Grand Rapids by DT Promotions, LLC. After getting his musical theater degree in 2014 from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City, he wanted to make use of his skills somehow in his hometown of Grand Rapids.

“I really work hard to keep the quality of the show at its highest standard with the professionalism of the drag and what people want to see, and what our audiences are hungry for,” Straub said. “I think it’s important, also, to have variety in your show and diversity of the performers. Just different styles and different types of drag.”

The audience can expect a two-hour performance, with some games to participate in, a plated meal and brunch-style beverages. Each drag queen performs two numbers and gets to interact with the audience.

“We have sold out all except two shows that we have ever done,” Straub said. The first show was July 1 of this year at Linear Restaurant. “It has been so amazing from the community. It has been so well-received. You can read our Facebook reviews; everyone just thoroughly enjoys it.”

A typical show will feature six “Brunchettes,” with five permanent queens and one rotating.

“Our emcee is always Batty Davis and the cohost is always Dia Elektra,” Straub said. “Then, our performers are Gabriella Stratton Galore, DonaTella and Gemma Stone. And with those five, we rotate in a feature queen each event. We bring in queens from Chicago. We’ve brought them from Detroit. We also feature other local, professional drag queens.”

Each performance is two hours, with typical showtimes being 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Doors open at 10 a.m.

“Your ticket includes a plated meal … of your choice,” Straub said. “We typically have three to five menu options and we kind of let the chef create the menus. I like to leave it up to the different restaurant styles and what the chef is passionate and talented about.”

Admission also includes one drink ticket for a bloody mary or mimosa. And guests can expect to sit at a community-style table.

“We just want people to mingle, have fun, socialize, get to know each other, meet new friends,” Straub said. “The atmosphere’s really outgoing, fun and interactive.”

As for the performers, he said it takes true talent and dedication to do drag.

“There are so many different aspects that go into it,” he said. “Letting go of yourself to perform, memorize the words, memorize your movements on what you want to do at what point. Most of the girls I have in my cast are making their own outfits as well, so it’s just so inspiring to see the ‘normal’ broken.”

Straub hopes people see past stereotypes and really appreciate drag for what it is: an art.

“Everyone is very individual,” Straub said. “You’re going to have a beauty girl, you’ll have an edgier girl, you’ll have a dancing girl. They all find their own personality and performance style.”

Brunchette Galore said her favorite part of the performance is being able to engage with the audience in a unique way.

“There’s something so fun about pulling people into this fantasy you’ve created and sharing your creativity,” she said. “It’s truly something that is truly one of a kind. It’s a way to see a long-standing art form in a modern setting.”

Drag Brunch has shows booked through December.

“Drag is for everyone,” Galore said. “It’s insanely glamorous, unapologetically sassy and incredibly entertaining.”

Straub said he is excited to have had so much success right off the bat, and can’t wait to see how the company grows.

“Our goal is to be Michigan’s only recurring brunch show,” he said. “We’re really passionate and excited about what we’re doing at this moment. Look for us in a city near you, because we have full ambition to hit the road!”

Upcoming Drag Brunches:

Nov. 4 - MeXo GR
Nov. 11 - Linear
Nov. 18 - Zoko 822
Tickets are $35
grbrunch.com

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