Local Mom Sees Drag Show, Gets Giant Fruit Plate
Editor’s Note: In honor of Mother’s Day, this cross-post is from our other blog, Penguin Disco, documenting a trip to Godfrey’s last fall with Mom.
Each Sunday morning, while the most pious of Richmond folk are in church, a smaller, more boisterous bunch are gathering for a different kind of weekly ritual.
Godfrey’s Drag Brunch has become one of the most diverse social events in town bringing together gays with soccer moms, yuppies, and even those grandmas that wear the big hats. With two sittings a week – one morning and one early afternoon – reservations are a must.
I had the pleasure of taking my dear, sweet (and incredibly supportive, not to mention brave) mother for her first drag experience. The morning brunch had been overbooked so the dining room was packed with the abovementioned melting pot ready to see some ladies of illusion strut their stuff.
Normal brunch fair is available – French toast, eggs, hash browns, a few salads, and also specialty quiche. My slice of the Chesapeake quiche had a buttery crust filled with full chunks of lump crab meat and cheesy goodness. As for Mom’s fruit plate – well, let’s just say the gays know fruit. It towered and would have done Carmen Miranda proud.
Any decent brunch and drag show would not be complete without a good supply of alcohol, so the speedy and efficient wait staff were ready to serve up Bloody Mary’s and mimosas. I had a mimosa, which in the Godfrey’s tradition of strong drinks, was a flute of champagne with a miniscule splash of orange juice. Mom had the decaf coffee.
Food and drink aside, the main course is the show. Drag is about the glitz and shock value – both of which are the appeal to many of the guests partaking in the day’s brunch.
You had your hodgepodge of performances including a few up-tempo numbers with cartwheels, leg kicks, and other acrobatics; and of course, your ballads complete with dramatic lip-synching. It’s an eventful feast for the eyes with outfit changes and sparkles galore.
Don’t be fooled thinking the performances are toned down for a more general audience. When one of the queens took off her mink stole to reveal her gigantic implants covered in nothing but rhinestone pasties, my mother’s jaw dropped and summed up the “OMG” reaction of the dining crowd. You just don’t see a drag queen in pasties every day.
It’s not only the drag queens that make the brunch some of the best people watching around. A noteworthy performance was by one of the audience members, a rather crazed middle-aged woman crying during drag queen Tiffany Deveroux’s rendition of a Whitney Houston number. Rumor at our table was that she was Tiffany’s eccentric (and highly intoxicated) neighbor.
During a phone conversation with Dad later that evening, he said jokingly, “I think you’ve terrified your mother.” Her words were, “It was interesting.” Perhaps if Mom had something a little stronger than coffee, she would have let her hair down a bit more.
She was so impressed with how much one of the drag queens looked like Reba McIntire, she keeps bringing it up, urging me to show pictures to my father. It’s not really his cup of tea.
When you go, don’t expect just a meal and a show, but an experience. The morning extended well after 1 p.m. – rounding out the performances at a solid two hours. Be sure to bring plenty of ones as it is proper etiquette to tip the performers. We got a lot of bang for our buck and there’s plenty of fruit. I’m pretty sure Mom was eating on that fruit plate for a good while.
Godfrey’s is located at 308 E. Grace St., Richmond, VA 23219. (804) 648-3957. Brunch is by reservation only. www.godfreysva.com.
… there’s a helluvalot to do in Richmond if you’re queer and looking to be in costume someplace.October 26, 2016
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