Brunch, Bingo & Brassy Broads
Drag in Palm Springs are anything but a drag.
By Kevin Perry
Hangovers can be brutal, so stomp them out with a stylish stiletto and keep the party going! Weekends in Palm Springs heat up fast, and the drag scene is awake at the cleavage of dawn to entertain you. Nurse your morning-after woes with a mimosa (or ten) and wake up juuuust enough to follow the breakneck action of one of our town’s raucous bingo affairs.
But don’t worry; you’ll have an irreverent female impersonator helping you maneuver the mayhem of sass, class, and a healthy dose of kiss-my-a--
Aaanyway, here’s a rundown of the various morning brunch and bingo events to which you simply MUST drag your friends.
THE DESERT DIVAS
Billing itself as Palm Springs’ Original Drag Brunch, this Rio Azul juggernaut has become so popular that it birthed two Sunday showings from its gem-encrusted spanx. With a mix of Broadway panache, comedic flourishes, and $10 bottomless mimosas, the Desert Divas are dressed to thrill. Hosted by Vanity Halston, our esteemed Queen of the Desert, this show reigns supreme!
Lip sync along with the fabulous soundtrack, chow down on hearty Mexican fare, and gussy up for great times… but make sure to buy your tickets ahead of time; the show sells out faster than you can say “another round!”
BEACH BLANKET BINGO
We now pass the flaming baton from the current Queen of the Desert to a past holder of that same coveted title: Tommi Rose. Every Saturday at 3pm, she’s slinging her balls [pause for juvenile laughter, which we totally endorse] at Toucans for bingo done right.
This weekly event is a well-oiled machine of mirth, equipped with helpful screens so you can easily follow along with the numbers as they fly fast and fierce. Tommi is a veteran, literally and figuratively; this ex-Navy seaman [must we pause for more laughter?] has earned her way into the Palm Springs Pride hall of fame as this year’s Volunteer of the Year. Congrats and a half!
THE BITCHIEST BRUNCH
Since Tommi Rose blooms eternally, join her again on Sunday as the gloves come off and the attitude is SO on! Oscar’s bears witness to the Bitchiest Brunch, a cavalcade of cattiness served up ice cold. These queens are in your face like a stuffed French toast… did we mention that their menu offerings are delightful? Also, the mimosas flow bottomlessly into your burgeoning beverage haze as morning slips into afternoon, ushering in a true Palm Springs institution: Oscar’s Sunday Tea Dance.
Mingle with more drag queens as the sun settles behind the San Jacintos to the pulsing beat of disco realness. Was it all just a dream? It’s time to pinch yourself and yell—
That’s right, it was all an intoxicating illusion, because your drag weekend keeps sashaying along, raunchy and righteous. Chill Bar dominates Saturday mornings with bingo enthusiasm that spilleth from the hopping interior space to the sun-soaked patio outside.
A rotating roster of dazzling talent ditches the niceties and screams out those numbers, hot and urgent. You know you like it that way. And speaking of sexual innuendo, every time a “69” is called, the bar staff provides free shots to everyone participating in the bingo shenanigans. Numbers have never been this delicious!
And if your drag queen bingo fix hasn’t been satiated, then you’re a glutton for gorgeousness and we love you for it! The digits keep adding up at the Retro Room Lounge every Saturday from 3:30 to 6:30 pm. As the bar’s name suggests, this is a throwback thrill that firmly immerses you in the Rat Pack era (if Frank wore a feather boa and dated Dino). Ring-a-ding-damn!
BUBBLY DRAGTASTIC BRUNCH
We’re having (too much of) a great time, but where are all the celebrities? Hark, we hear the lilting screech of Ross Mathews (of RuPaul’s Drag Race fame)! For upscale and down & dirty, Moxie Palm Springs really delivers. Every Sunday at 11am, rub elbows with drag royalty… hey, those aren’t her elbows!
As we were saying, RPDR contestants flock to this weekly brunch extravaganza to chew the fat and create capital-D drama. Get a front row seat to the gender-bending sensation of our generation! Ross Mathews isn’t guaranteed to appear at every show, but he leaves a wake of cutting commentary and grade-A talent everywhere he goes.
For tuck’s sake, what are you waiting for? Shimmy into a(nother) morning beverage, step out in style, and battle back the morning sun with a defiant dive into our drag scene. Bingo, brunch, and repeat every weekend!