200. Shanita Bump
So there’s “Boo, I’m a spooky queen” and then there’s “I am the living nightmare you will never unsee.” Shanita definitely embodies the latter… when she chooses. There are actually very few limits to what this Gothic Renaissance-based artist can do with paint and fabric, and that makes her the go-to entertainer for the Halloween season. And OMG, did you see this entire Bushwig look!?
199. Emi Grate
Currently producing “A+: The Pan Asian Revue” which showcases Asian drag performers monthly at Club Cumming while also occasionally co-hosting drag brunch at Dromedary Bar, Emi has been focusing a lot of her attention on graphic design in 2019. In January though, she wowed audiences as the Emcee in a full production of Cabaret at The Deep End.
198. Corey TuT
A veteran performer who’s youthful energy and powerful presence can put some of the newbies to shame, rocker and club singer Corey TuT had a banner 2019: a new DJ gig at Barracuda for Tina Burner’s Wednesday night “Gurlesque,” a musical collaboration with Boy Radio, the release of an album that serves as the soundtrack to the sexy doc All Male, All Nude, and an earth-shattering performance for the first ever GiantFest at 3 Dollar Bill.
One of the city’s most historic (and by some accounts, oldest) gay bars, Julius’ has always been a hub outside of the drag-o-sphere for locals to enjoy good brew, great food and cozy company that boasts a number of queer intellectuals and trailblazers. Also, the log cabin-esque interior is unlike anything else you’ll see in the city, which makes it a great location for film and TV (this year: the Netflix adaptation of Boys in the Band). Stop by any time, but especially keep their monthly Mattachine–a retro vinyl dance party produced by John Cameron Mitchell (plus DJs Angela Di Carlo and Amber Martin, pictured above with Bar Babe Kiyota)–on your radar.
196. Qhrist With a Q & Ten Yards
The Everyday is Halloween Queen and the speedo designer / DJ make up two thirds of STR8 to DVD, an anything goes / DIY monthly drag revue they created at Gold Sounds a few years ago. The eclectic night draws nightlifers on safari for the weirdly wonderful, and spawns performers who remind us that the roots of New York drag are in punk rock.
195. Vylette Tendency
The host of the “Queer As In Fuck You” drag punk revue at Otto’s Shrunken Head is now also a regular presence at the Two Sharks open stage night at Wow Cafe, and gave Season 3 of “Iconic” a shot at Icon Bar.
194. Alexis Michelle
The always classy native New Yorker and Drag Race Season 9 alum had some major hometown visibility this year, including a long fill-in for sis Sherry Pie’s popular Marquee Mondays at ReBar and some well-attended cabaret nights (including a Judy Garland tribute} at Club Cumming. It was also great to see her co-host Drag Me Down the Aisle on TLC this spring, along with Thorgy Thor, Jujubee and BeBe Zahara Benet.
193. Clarice DuBois
Hello, Clarice! Crowned Miss Cherry Grove 2019 this summer, the drag queen and designer is becoming a force to be reckoned with on all fronts. Her Musical Mondays at Rockbar is the go-to spot in the West Village for your Broadway fantasies. And seasonally she also hosts the “Gayz Got Singing” competition there, which after two cycles has already spawned a star in the scene, Jae W. Brown.
What a great night when Lucky Chengs starlet Tiffany was finally crowned the second ever Miss West Village at Rockbar… several weeks after the pageant organizer skipped town without delivering the prize package! Meanwhile, Tiffany swaps Monday night shows at Cubbyhole in the West Village with on-stage and off-stage partner Carlos, who also happens to be one of NYC’s elite drag wig stylists.
191. Gina Tonic
One of the rotating Sunday brunch hostesses at The Liberty, the queen who’s been glamming it up in NYC since circa 2016 also teaches painting classes and frequently hosts burlesque revues.
190. DJ Nandi
Are you thirsty for this Hungarian hottie? Catch him DJing during the week at Monster, Posh and Rise Bar, plus special events for HEBRO. Or, just peruse his beach pics.
189. Robert Garcia
NYC’s “Androgynous Beauty” released the aptly titled BoyGirl EP in May, which showcases Robert’s vast abilities as a singer and pop songwriter. Robert’s and co-host Jayse Vegas’ Wednesday weekly show “Feel Like Vegas,” nestled in the cute back room of the very straight Offside Tavern, has become the primary meeting place for fans of the duo, and it’s also a great place to see and hear new talent that isn’t necessarily drag. The 90’s saw several entertainers and emcees like Mr. / Ms. Garcia (who now also hosts producers Jen Urban and Danielle Cordona’ monthly live music show “Torch” at Macri Park) in NY nightlife… let’s hope Robert brings back the trend.
188. Svetlana Stoli
The Comeback Queen of 2019! New York’s funniest Russian Asset laid low for most of last year, working as the door queen to the Voss Events drag brunch at it’s various locations. But now she’s a Lucky Chengs’ gurl, performing there frequently and hosting a successful new Sunday brunch that Chengs outsources to Secret Room NYC. The only sad Svetlana news report is that YouTube took down her classic Taylor Swift parody “Welcome To My Hole,” which can only live on now in our hearts. And holes.
187. Madame Vivien V
A mainstay of Brooklyn drag talent best known for her pyrotechnics, Vivien is also a sharply hilarious mic queen who shines monthly at her home base venue House of Yes as the hostess of a popular drag competition, Hot Mess. She’s also fiercely designing and constructing edgy lewks for clients on commission, and performed this year in major benefits for Immigrant Families Together and The Trevor Project.
186. Annie Manildoo, Bella Noche & Ivy Stalls
Bella was a NYC queen (she still is somewhat, primarily monthly at Rockbar) before moving out to Long Island and joining the cause of Making Drag Pop There. Annie and Ivy already made great strides in that department, and now the three of them are an unstoppable drag force. They’re performing and producing several shows there, including Ivy’s monthly at One Eye Jacks. In June, the trio did a one-day mini-tour of primarily straight but inviting venues across Patchogue.
185. Aria Derci
Displaying a mastery of surreal humor that throws back to the weirdness of East Village drag from the 80s and 90s, Aria’s on her way to becoming the cult figure we’ve always wanted. Oh, and in the Beechman stage production of The Simsinz she served the Drag Bart Simpson of our dreams and nightmares. The Miss Rockbar finalist currently has a monthly at that bar, and can be found DJing several nights and shows at Icon Bar and Vodka Soda Bottoms Up.
184. Serena Tea
The grand winner of this past cycle of Merrie Cherry’s Brooklyn competition DRAGnet and designated “Miss Bushwig” at this year’s festival, Serena is a gorgeous dancer and a featured runway and fashion photo model to boot. She’s also somewhat elusive, and has strangely declined an interview with this very blog (although she did recently speak to PAPER)… but Brooklyn is there for her regardless. Catch her irregularly at The Rosemont.
183. Nicky Ottav & Blake Deadly
Hosts of their own individual monthly drag brunches (Blake’s at Cowgirl Seahorse, Nicky’s at Broken Shaker), the colorful pair with backgrounds in “club kid drag’ have joined forces pretty monumentally throughout the past two years, particularly in hosting and producing the “Read My Lips” lip sync battles at 3 Dollar Bill. Unlike most competitions where a prize is maybe a few gift certificates or a title or a one-time gig, the winner of Read My Lips goes home with $1000 cash… so competitors really are there to absolutely slay. October’s Rihanna edition drew a particularly strong response, earning the pair a Billboard write-up.
182. Ms. Ter
This emo comedy queen (yes, that’s a thing) is featured in two big Brooklyn events: “Spare Change” monthly at Macri Park, and “Live With Ms. Ter & Shiny” twice-monthly at The Vault–both also featuring her judy Shiny Penny. Ms. Ter also hosted the year’s various Drag Race and Dragula viewing parties at The Vault.
181. Junior Mint
The delightful host of the weekly revue “In Living Color” at The Gradient, relative newcomer Junior Mint is already proving to be a rare blend of political, whimsical, sexy, serious and silly. Known for tying balloons to her wig braids and popping them at key moments during her numbers to reveal surprise contents (glitter, powder, colored water, etc.), she makes for an engaging performer–and certainly worthy of winning Blvck Lae D’s “Little Mx. Bitch” pageant in June.
180. Boy Radio
If he’s just so pretty that’s it’s too painful for you to look at him, you’re in luck! Singer / songwriter Radio released an ethereal, eclectic new album this year, so you can settle for just listening! And if you want to do both, hopefully you caught him performing at GiantFest, the Deep End’s Rocky Horror Halloween event Frank III, the main stage of Folsom Street East, or any number of his area appearances.’
179. Zalika Parsons
No one can deny that this is a true original: funny, strange and messy, but at the same time sharp and deliberate. Zalika’s been doing very much her own thing since she surfaced around 2016, but this year she really came into her own: hosting the weekly “Thicc Tuesdays” at Vodka Soda Bottoms Up while becoming a house queen at the Brooklyn’s House of Yes .
178. DJ Lorant
Best known for spinning at some of the city’s best, sluttiest masc events in venues like Rockbar (his monthly Rockstrap jockstrap party is a big hit there), The Cock and The Eagle, titillating Turk Lorant also composed a sexy track with an equally sexy video, “The Red Dark,” an homage to his early, cruisy nightlife origins.
177. The Deep End
As Ridgewood (aka “Basically Brooklyn but still mostly Queens”) is becoming more of a Destination Gayborhood, The trailblazing Deep End continues to grow as a hub for the scene. Their diverse itinerary reflects a neighborhood that wants it all: a weekly Super Smash Bros. tournament, the classic Sunday night kinkfest Otter Box, the maybe self-explanatory Bear Milk… and earlier this year they housed a magnificent Jacob Pincus-produced rendition of Cabaret in a small back theater there that we never knew existed. And FYI: their fried cheese curds will give you life.
176. Antonio Cedeno
The gogo boy turned heavily tatted party promoter and producer has been helming his own events in Manhattan and Jersey since 2010. Nowadays, his big nights are the monthly mini-circuit party CALIBR at ReBar, and MALE ROOM which last had a sprawling, sold-out Halloween edition at 3 Dollar Bill.
175. Linda Simpson
One of the last of our city’s legendary Golden Age drag queens, Linda represents a school where queens are engaging hosts first and foremost. She channels all the warmth and oddness that makes her a great emcee as the hostess for Linda Loves Bingo, the city’s biggest and likely longest current running (ten years!) drag bingo, Friday and Saturday nights at Le Poisson Rouge. She was the perfect candidate to interview Alan Cumming in a live event at WILD Project–the stage where she held her acclaimed slideshow The Drag Explosion–and had great scenes discussing the evolution of drag in HBO’s documentary WIG (where, in a memorable moment, young Brooklyn queen Charlene notes Linda’s vampiric agelessness).
The undisputed cosplay queen of NYC is the go-to hostess and entertainer for any gay geeky event in NYC. With a wide array of looks emulating superheroines, witches, space mutants, etc. from both the frontline and the fringes of genre culture, Megami was quite understandably crowned Miss Nerd at Rockbar in June. Catch her monthly at Long Island City’s The Creek & The Cave hosting a drag revue, “Gender Blender.”
173. Pierretta Viktori
One of the city’s hottest and busiest high concept fashion designers is banging out commissions for everyone from local new queens to RuGirls to full-on movie stars, while still finding a minute here or there to turn a number themselves at events like Bushwig. Hell, they even appeared on Drag My Dad! It’s challenging for nightlife listmakers to quantify the “value” of someone that is doing so much behind the scenes, but anyone who is anyone knows that Pierretta is slaying the game.
172. Bubbles D’Boob & Mike Borowski
The pair presented the popular Showtunes Sundays for an extended run at the Pines Pavilion this summer before longtime DJ Borowski returned to his Manhattan gigs at Pieces and Hardware (notably Hardware’s Super Size Queen Fridays), and the riotously perverse Bubbles popped up in venues like ReBar and Chelsea Music Hall.
171. Adriana Trenta
Last year’s Miss’d America and Miss Cheer New York, who has grown in leaps and bounds as an entertaining hostess and performer, recently left her longtime gig hosting karaoke at Vodka Soda Bottoms Up, and has since performed at the House of Yes, among other places.
170. Shay D’Pines & Angel Elektra
The married pair and onstage drag duo still keep it simple and fun, but have also had a considerable glow-up over time. Together they contribute to the Westchester drag scene by co-hosting a weekly show at Guapos Restaurant in Yonkers, and were instrumental in the supervision of Yonkers Pride this year. Individually, Shay rolls bingo twice a month at Sycamore Bar in Ditmars, and Angel (a Get Out covergirl this summer) is an outspoken reader to children for Drag Queen Story Hour.
169. Avant Garbage
New York’s premiere trash queen seems unable to stop creating new looks and intricate prop-driven stage routines, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. The host of a popular weekly game night at Albatross and now two new weeklies at Icon, we just may see the very first Drag Race contestant who wears nothing but mop heads on top for her runway looks.
168. Sassy Frass
Misty Meaner’s drag daughter also happens to be Cockyboys porn star Levi Karter… so you know she’s a good time gal. When she’s not guesting for Misty and Mocha Lite’s show at Macri Park, Sassy is the house queen several nights a week at The Graham and the subject of an autobiographical documentary, Leave It To Levi, that’s currently making the festival rounds.
The peppy art queen appeared on the scene fairly recently and was an immediate standout thanks to her extravagant club queen looks, pixie-like presence and high octave Broadway bravado. After proving herself through the competition circuit (she won a cycle of Polish the Queen), she brought a self-produced cabaret show How I Got Here into three venues. Novaczar currently co-hosts a show at Club Cumming, and now also has a brunch at Anyway Cafe. Additionally, she turns numbers Saturdays at the Phoenix with Ari Kiki and Alotta McGriddles.
166. Jasmine Kennedie
This gorgeous young glamour girl is already known for her big hair and savage dance moves, and can be found co-hosting Hardware’s Friday happy hour show “Fantasy” with Izzy Uncut. And this just in: she’s now one of the queens hosting Monday nights at The Ritz as well!
165. Golden Delicious
The musical theater queen did some touring in and out of drag this year, while continuing to co-host (with Gloria Swansong) a very successful Sunday drag brunch at Fresco’s Cantina in Astoria plus a run of an evening show at Bedlam.
164. DJ Natazu
The pop-savvy DJ spins dance parties and drag shows all over the city (Rise Bar, ReBar and Atlas Social Club), and is a favorite companion on the road for NY-based RuGirls like Bob the Drag Queen and Monet X Change.
163. Harmonica Sunbeam
New Jersey drag royalty, Harmonica continues to regularly perform at gigs all over that state, and can be found most Sundays at Jersey City’s Six 26 hosting a tea dance.
162. Michael Musto
New York nightlife’s most famous writer (and a prolific entertainment scribe in general) continues to crank out columns for NewNowNext and other publications. He’s also a notable singer and emcee who gave us onstage appearances and performances in venues like Club Cumming and a series of Pride showcases at The Producer’s Club, and even filmed a movie. We’re just waiting on that juicy autobiography now, because this guy has got endless tales to tell.
161. Vivica Galactica
A celebrated Colorado drag emcee from the same scene as Yvie Oddly, Vivica relocated to NYC last year on an impulse and has been carving her way to success ever since. Hosting a successful weekly bingo night at The Buren and a bi-monthly Wednesday show at The Vault, Vivica also did New York proud by winning Miss Congeniality on the second season of Camp Wannakiki, a “drag queens in the wilderness” competition web series that continues to gain popularity. She’s also been producing alternative showcases for drag queens, burlesquers and other performers at WILD Project.
160. Coco Taylor
Rockbar’s kindly and campy den mother (and a Miss West Village finalist) hosts “Cuckoo For Coco” weekly there; the show is so fun and inviting that nearly every dogwalking and jogging passerby stops to watch through the windows. She’s also a favorite hostess of Members Only Burlesque at the Laurie Beechman Theatre, and appeared as a thoroughly convincing Homer in The Simsinz on that same stage (albeit with lovely long lashes). And here’s a newsflash: she’s returning to the Beechman in January for her very own solo show.
159. Xavier Mazara
The endlessly adorable DJ can be found spinning shows and parties at The Ritz, Vodka Soda Bottoms Up, Posh and other bars in the city. He’s also got Ritzy Bitz’s back for her new Saturday and Sunday brunch at Haswell Green’s.
158. Selma Nilla
The stage performer and gifted wig stylist, costumer and makeup artist has presented us some pretty massive production value in events like the Night of Life benefit, the last round of the Lady Liberty competition, and of course her win for the Ultimate Drag Pageant which earned her a weekly show at the West End. Selma’s Insta is a Gallery of Gag, and her wig styling skills are much demanded for.
157. Pinwheel Pinwheel
Last year’s Mx. Nobody winner remains a delightful and stunning oddity: the host of Brooklyn’s most surreal monthly show “Unforgivable Emotional Carnivore” at the Vault, and a very much in-demand designer for clients far and wide who want to make a statement as far out of the box as possible.
Paris Hilton-esque hellion Lemon is the sweet and sour Mean (but Nice) Girl that you need more of in your life, and one of Manhattan’s fastest rising stars. She’s currently co-hosting Hardware’s Woman Crush Wednesdays with DD Fuego and Skye Walker, and filling in / guesting for queens across Manhattan.
155. Richard Cortez
The last thing you’d expect to see in 2019 is live jazz in a New York gay bar, let alone three gay bars. But it helps when the jazz quartet’s frontman is an established sexy gogo boy, who just so happens to sing angelically. He’s also a songwriter and poet, by the way… keep this one on your radar! And check out the Richard Cortez Jazz Quartet weekly at ReBar and Metropolitan Bar, and monthly at Club Cumming.
The sardonic drag giantess is one of Lips’ best known queens, with a popular Monday night show of her own at The Duplex. This year she got to play a scripted role in that latter venue for a somewhat surreal play called Three Tall Queens, where Chandi was an “aspect” of director Lindsey Kay (well, it’s kinda hard to explain exactly who she was, but she was great in it!)
153. Petti Cash
Newly name-changed from “Petti Cake,” Astoria’s dancing comedy queen (catch her weekly at both Albatross and Icon) is showing up all over the city these days, guest performing and hosting in shows from Hell’s Kitchen to Fire Island.
152. CT Hedden
Always a breathtaking presence in environments ranging from the intimacy of her monthly party FUQBOI at ReBar to the vastness of Bartschland’s colorful ragers, clubkid / host / drag queen / living doll / Aquaria’s bestie CT remains one of nightlife’s most creatively fashionable and perfectly executed figures.
151. John Marto
John is now heavily involved with the production and soundscape of successful new monosyllabic sexfests Scum, Gus, Ooz & Thrust, all of which he helms with partner Senobyte. He also turns the party out weekly at The Ritz.
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