Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Roxy’s downtown hosts end-of-year drag brunch

Christmas came early at Roxy’s Downtown, where audience members were met with a raunchy drag performance hosted by local drag queen Divinity “Brad Thomison” Masters.

“We’re not doing a show in December, so I decided to bring us Christmas today,” Thomison said as Divinity.

Second Sunday Drag Brunch is a monthly event at Roxy’s hosted by Divinity and her drag daughters. Other rotating guests also perform.

Divinity entered in a red bodysuit lined with white fur and lip-synced to a remix of “Sleigh Bells.” 

The show’s performances were mixed with live singing and lip-syncing. The songs included “I’m Just Ken” from the “Barbie” movie, “Bubblegum Bitch” by MARINA and “Valerie” by Amy Winehouse. 

Performers were heavily engaged with the audience, mixing prepared performances with improvisational moments. Artist Irox De Panties danced with many members of the audience, accepting his tips with kisses on the hands. 

Divinity’s “cousin” Shirley performed a rendition of “On My Own” from the musical “Les Misérables” and Chayston Simmons on stage to act as a prop. 

Simmons has performed with Shirley before, and has been performing since his senior year at Wichita State University. They worked together in previous productions of “Priscilla, The Queen of the Desert” and “The Play That Goes Wrong.”

Though he has acting experience, Simmons said that he wasn’t told anything about his role on stage besides where to stand, but he was happy to be a part of it. 

“The community that I have witnessed here at Roxy’s Downtown is very open and very loving,” Simmons said. 

Audience member Zoe Phillips, a musical theatre major at WSU, said she was there to support two of her friends who were in the show — Dee Lightful and Cadenza Masters — who are both theatre majors at WSU. She described her favorite performance.

“I really liked the drunk 12 Days of Christmas; that was cracking me up,” Phillips said. 

“12 Drunk Days of Christmas” was performed live by Divinity Masters, closing out the first half of the act. The song starts out traditionally but slowly descends into a drunken stupor as she slurs between lyrics, appearing more intoxicated as the performance goes on.

Describing her drag style as campy and old school, Masters emphasized her goal to make people laugh and have a good time but not without some bite.

“Divinity is a bit of a Stepford bitch,” she said. “Giving backhanded compliments with a smile, all in good fun, of course.”

In addition to hosting the Second Sunday Drag Brunch as Divinity, Thomison is also the house coordinator at Roxy’s Downtown. In this role, he oversees guest experience, media production, staff management and show coordination.

“Some drag queens really are excellent dancers,” Thomison said. “They have amazing hair; they have all these other things that they focus their energy on. I focus on producing good shows.”

Offering a non-age-restricted environment for both performers and audience members, Roxy’s can be a daytime opportunity for entertainment, distinct from the typical late-night bar scene. The space encourages audience engagement, which can make it more exciting for performers. 

“This space is so uniquely theatrical,” Thomison said. “Everybody who’s here is here for our show … I think it gives entertainers a chance to try new things and to really experiment and see what works.”

The next Second Sunday Drag Brunch will be Jan. 14, 2024. Tickets can be purchased on Roxy’s website for $25. Tickets include food and a tip for the waitstaff. 

View Comments (1)
About the Contributors
Taliyah Winn
Taliyah Winn, Assistant News Editor
Taliyah Winn is the assistant news editor for the Sunflower. She is a sophomore at WSU, double majoring in political science and journalism. In her spare time, Winn relaxes by drawing, weightlifting, and crocheting - usually while listening to music, YouTube videos, or Dungeons & Dragons podcasts. Winn uses she/her pronouns.
Brianna Cook
Brianna Cook, Photographer
Brianna Cook is a second-year photographer for The Sunflower. She is a sophomore biology major from Wichita, Kansas. When not taking photos, Cook enjoys leather working and after graduation, hopes to work for the park service. Cook uses she/her pronouns.

Comments (1)

All The Sunflower Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • B

    Brad ThomisonNov 17, 2023 at 7:38 am

    Thanks for this coverage! A couple points of correction, Chayston Simmons has been performing at Roxy’s Downtown since his senior year at WSU, but has not previously been a part of drag brunch. He and “Shirley”, portrayed by Sarah Wine, were in a show called, “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.”