Thanks to the hit American reality show, RuPaul's Drag Race, drag shows went from being nighttime entertainment in bars and nightclubs to mainstream extravaganzas that make good television. The show itself has gone on to start a variety of international franchises, but none, however, in France. At least, not yet? So as far as French drag in Paris is concerned, they're all in the nightlife hotspots instead of on TV. If you're itching to watch and see what the French drag queens are made of, the city is the best place to be! Here's where you'll find the best drag shows in Paris.
In a slightly hidden cul-de-sac in the 11th arrondissement, the Artishow Cabaret offers one of, if not the best drag shows in Paris. Created in 2002, it's been a huge mainstay for drag performers to put out all the stops and show something grand! But despite its name, this isn't your ordinary Parisian cabaret! Comedy plays a huge part amidst all the dance and theater. From hilarious gags to stand-up sets that take jabs at pop culture and even people in the audience, you'll be laughing amidst every bite of this dinner theater extravaganza!
If you want old-school drag in all its dramatic glory, go to Chez Michou, a performing arts theater and bar along Rue des Martyrs. In this tight and dark-lit nightlife hotspot, you get your fair share of impersonations, musical performances, and the like. It's far from the type of glamorous drag that you'll find on RuPaul's Drag Race, this is old-school vintage drag all the way. Instead of funny 'Snatch Game' impersonations, you'll watch local Parisian drag queens inhabit classical French and mainstream divas. All while you sip a cocktail and enjoy a jazzy show all night long!
Speaking of divas, or at least, drag queens impersonating divas, look no further than Divas Kabaret located on Rue des Rosier in the 4th arrondissement
of Paris. The space alone is pretty novel—located in a 13th-century vaulted wine cellar—but the drag shows here are truly top-notch. It's a classic piano bar where performers truly get to show off their craft in drag, singing classic hits and chart-topping singles. On one night, you might get a little Edith Piaf or Françoise Hardy, on another, you'll get your fair share of Celine Dion, Barbra Streisand, and the like. Not to mention a little Beyonce or Lady Gaga on the side too!
Despite its name, L’Art Café is far from the typical Parisian café you're probably more familiar with. This nightlife hotspot is more known as one of the hottest gay bars in all of Paris. A graffiti-painted LGBTQ+ hangout and it tends to get crowded on most nights. A good reason for that is the drag show that's happening downstairs, in the bar's basement area. On a dimly-lit stage, Parisian drag queens show off their lip syncing skills to the latest chart-topping hits, all while comically playing with the audience for tips. Pair that with the place's intoxicating drinks and you've got quite the nightlife experience!
Neon-lighted ambiance, tank top-wearing bartenders, and muscly gogo dancers to boot! Le Raidd is definitely the very definition of a hot and heavy gay bar. Located along Rue du Temple in the Marais district
, it's one of the most popular LGBTQ+ nightlife spots in the French capital. And you can partly thank the drag shows for that! Fabulously dressed drag queens take to the stage, lip-syncing to both the latest mainstream hits, French pop classics, and gay anthems you'd hear in every other gay bar in the world. Their energy will hype you up as the night goes on!
Another gay bar with a great drag show you shouldn't miss in the Marais district is Les Souffleurs! Nestled between a standard pub and a furniture store, it almost looks like the place is the neighborhood's best unkept secret! It has crazy Berling energy: a tight and thumping nightclub with sick beats, lots of dancing, and an overflow of cocktails and shots! However, when the drag queens go on stage, all attention goes to them! They sashay and shauntay away to the best hits of well-known gay diva icons. At times, they even host special nights devoted to such artists like Madonna, Britney Spears, and the like!
If you're in Paris and you're itching to watch the best drag shows in the city, go to any of these amazing nightlife hotspots. Not only do they feature the finest drag queens around, but they're major LGBTQ+ hangouts you shouldn't miss!
If only you can watch the best drag shows in your Paris luxury home
, right? Oh well! Perhaps that will be possible in the near future? One can hope!