With four episodes to go and seven queens remaining to fight for the crown of America's Next Drag Superstar, season nine of Rupaul's Drag Race is reaching a fever pitch. Don't watch the final lip-syncs at home on Saturday: head to these dope Friday night viewing parties, where you're guaranteed to cry, laugh, hug strangers and witness some damn good live drag.
This stellar night of fan-gagging includes an amateur tournament for the crown of Lady Liberty. Expect mean commentary from comedians in attendance, sickening stunts from hosts Brita Filter and Terra Hyman, and performances from some of the city's hungriest young queens vying to go to the next level (and to win up to $4,000).
20 W 29th St. Free.
Bushwig legends and Be Cute regulars Horrorchata and Merrie Cherry hold court at this darling Williamsburg joint. Look out for bizarre and beautiful lip-syncs between commercial breaks. Happy Hour goes until 9pm.
63 Montrose Ave, Brooklyn. Free.
Boxer's Hell's Kitchen
Count on the razor-tongued Marti Gould Cummings to read your favorite queens the house down at this rowdy viewing. Get there early to snag a perch and order some happy hour specials (4–9pm) like nachos, and prepare to get intimate with screaming fans you've never met.
742 Ninth Ave. Free.
Lot 45 Bushwick
Dirty Cult takes over Lot 45 for a classy kickback that includes great food, trivia and performances from Ragamuffin and Shiny Penny. An excellent choice for a hassle-free viewing experience.
411 Troutman St, Brooklyn. $5.
Ideal for a Drag Race date. Grab an early seat in Branded's backroom and watch Madame Vivien V and Kinga burn the place down, with help from Flippe Kikee. Enjoy burgers and specials, trivia and plenty of trash talk at the bar, then head to Ample Hills to eat your post-lip-sync emotions.
603 Vanderbilt Ave, Brooklyn. Free.
The divine Gilda Wabbit hosts this packed viewing, which includes after-show performances and karaoke for those who think they can turn a lip-sync better than the bottom two. Be sure to check out drink specials like "Nina Bonina Brown's Cans" and "Rupaul's Corny Pun(ch)."
3619 24th Ave, Queens. Free.
Here's the promo for tonight's episode, which promises to be bananas: