10 Best Drag Clubs in L.A.
L.A. is the unofficial capital of drag. Yes, New York, Las Vegas and San Francisco are formidable contenders too, but thanks to the "sickening" mainstream success of RuPaul's Drag Race (which is filmed here in Los Angeles), the per capita queen count in Cali has gotten kinda cray-cray.
After the country's best boys-as-babes come here to compete, many stay to try their hand at showbiz. And even before Drag Race was a TV phenom, L.A. reigned as a wiggy wonderland thanks to Dragstrip 66 (photo above featuring current RPDR fave "Detox" and hostess with the mostest "Momma" was taken at one of the last 66's events and a doc about the seminal Silver Lake dress-up party is in the works).
Below we count down the best spots to see she-male entertainers lip-sync (as well as really sing, act, dance and prance) "for their lives" on stage and on dance floors. Many of these clubs, not surprisingly, feature Ru's runners-up, and you will find many of the same performers popping up at each. Cross-dressing creatives are a bona fide community in Los Angeles and we've been lucky enough to cover them all for years in L.A .Weekly. Big or small; "fishy" or kitschy; rockin' and raunchy; or glammy and hammy, you will find an L.A. wo-man to worship at these clubs.
10. Mondays at the Abbey
Monday nights at the Abbey are quite often drag-drenched. Jackie Beat (see clip at end of this post) hosted a hot hap called Mascara Mondays (she's currently on hiatus after an epic hip surgery benefit here), and RuPaul's Drag alums often serve as hosts and performers for alternate Mondays. As one of WeHo's most popular gay eateries and events spaces, the Abbey also throws the regular season premiere shindigs for the Drag Race ("Shannel" is pictured here performing a past party) and the fetes are never less than full throttle fierce. 692 N. Robertson Blvd., West Hlywd. (310) 289-8410, www.abbeyfoodandbar.com/
9. Tie: Trannyshack L.A./Summertramp
Though summer is still a few months away, we couldn't not mention these two. Trannyshack L.A., one of many offshoots from the famed San Francisco house of queen-dom -- ruled by the legendary Heklina (pictured) -- is at this point a seasonal soiree. But the nomadic monthly dance-club-meets-performance-art extravaganza made its mark last year, winning the Weekly's Best of L.A. slot for drag club. Summertramp, which transformed a downtown parking lot into a polysexual pool party, features drag hosts and patrons who don't mind getting their wigs wet. Trannyshack at various locations, www.trannyshack.com. Trannyshack L.A. bounces around multiple locations. Summertramp is at Tony's Saloon, 2017 E. 7th St., dwntwn. (213) 622-5523, www.213nightlife.com/summertramp
2017 E. Seventh St., Los Angeles, CA