Drag Brunch, Open in New Locations, Appeals to Gay, Straight & Family People

Glamour 11 Photo by: Daniel Gagnon

Glamour 11 Photo by: Daniel Gagnon

By: Casey Rocheteau/TRT Reporter–

Drag Brunch is a monthly Providence tradition. The Rainbow Times spoke with Anthony DeRose, or, as he is better known, Jacqueline DiMera, who is the powerhouse behind Drag Brunch.

“Years ago there were drag brunches that used to happen at Olive’s and Intermezzo,” DiMera explained, “but it faded away.” In June 2008, when DiMera was crowned Ms. Gay Rhode Island, she hosted a drag brunch at Down City, as a post-Pride hangover event. Down City was so thrilled by the show that they asked if it could be a monthly event.

DiMera agreed, but assumed that it would only be for a few months. “It really took off after that,” she said.

Now that Down City is closed, Drag Brunch has moved to a different location,
Murphy’s Deli and Pub downtown. While at Down City they would have two seatings, the event at Murphy’s seats at 11 a.m., and it always sells out. The event has been so successful, in fact, that they’ve added a second monthly show at Hotel Providence’s restaurant, Aspire. “So now, hopefully we’ll be able to serve anyone who wants to see the show,” said DiMera. “If you want a more relaxing, casual brunch, you can go to Murphy’s, or if you’re looking for a more upscale contemporary brunch, there’s Aspire.”

Occasionally, the brunches are themed, and there’s an annual Christmas brunch. For last year’s holiday event, all of the queens’ tips went to AIDS Care Ocean State’s family program and they were able to fulfill a wish list for kids who otherwise wouldn’t have much to look forward to. Drag Brunch has also done events for breast cancer awareness, the Trevor Project and the Harvey Milk Foundation. They’ve also managed to get their venues to donate 25 percent of the proceeds they make from food to these charities, making the event both entertaining and profitable for good causes.

DiMera stressed the variety of the show, both in performers and crowd. She tries to book a balance of seasoned drag queens as well as those who are new to performing. The crowd is also often a mix, with “a large group of straight people, the regulars from the gay community, and families,” she explained. “Yesterday, I did a number with the baby of a lesbian couple in my arms! There was a straight guy with his girlfriend, who was really uneasy at first, and we kept picking on him and by the end of it, he was half naked with three drag queens basically molesting him!”

To make reservations for an upcoming Drag Brunch, you can e-mail dragbrunchri@gmail.com, or call the restaurants directly. Smartphone users can also use the Open Table application to make a reservation online.

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