Captain America was causing me a little consternation. Generally, he’s a pretty uncomplicated guy—masked patriot, tights, the total valiant package. But on this particular night I was transfixed by his long eyelashes, blond curly hair and high cheekbones. I couldn’t stop staring at the star-chested superhero precisely because I couldn’t decide if I should call him “him.”
- DRINK & DRAG
- 450 Fremont St., 489-3724, drinkanddrag.com.
He was dressed as a she who was dressed as the usually macho Captain, not his sidekick Golden Girl. At Drink & Drag—the local drag club, bowling alley and “gaymer” paradise at Neonopolis—things aren’t always as they appear. That’s especially true when it hosts nighttime events like the superhero party, where glam queens transform into such caped crusaders as the Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Supergirl and, most stunningly, X-Men’s Storm (freaky white contact lenses and all).
One-off parties and special costumed occasions keep things fresh at Drink & Drag. Even though the club is less than a year old, there’s a danger it could turn into a novelty, a place that doesn’t come to mind for your average Friday night. Drink & Drag should be an obvious choice, though, considering you never know what to expect from a night there, between bowling, pool, darts or just drinking with drags.
There is, of course, the standard clientele of out-of-town bachelorette parties sipping Jack and Cokes out of penis-shaped straws. Who would expect anything else from a club on Fremont where kitsch is king? But for regulars, the themed nights, novel dance numbers and view of folks bowling in their skivvies (games are free if you dare to roll in your briefs) help keep the place interesting.
Of course, interesting is subjective, as sharing a lane with a couple not on the same page about underwear bowling quickly demonstrated. Girlfriend sported a cute red bra and matching panties, while her dude was shamefaced in old-school tighty-whities he probably wished he’d gotten rid of years ago. If there’s anyone you don’t want to look shabby in front of, it’s top queens who probably spend more time getting ready for the night than most of us do on our taxes.
In the nearby land of the fully clothed, drag queens performed hourly dances onstage, in the lanes and at the bar, including a full-cast number featuring a dozen ladies singing their hearts out to Bonnie Tyler’s “Holding Out for a Hero.” Afterward the crowd was so keyed up, I thought they might hold up lighters, provoking a sequined, shimmying encore. One can dream.
Between shows and pitcher refills we bowled two satisfying games (I only dropped the ball once). That might be Drink & Drag’s dirty little secret: At its essence, it’s a sexier, quirkier bowling alley. So even if drag has lost its luster for you—to which I respond with my best RuPaul “Whaaaat?”—the joy of bowling is always present. And sometimes, Captain America, too.