Best Drag Show
East Bay Kings
The White Horse Inn has long chafed under its reputation for being "old-school gay" — rainbow carpeting, a wall-to-wall Madonna soundtrack, the ghost of Perry Como, etc. That all changed with the rise of East Bay Kings, whose weekly drag show combines burlesque, cabaret, and contemporary dance performances with music in a variety of genres (from moonshiner country ballads to Portishead). The Kings also brought with them a pretty advanced conception of gender fluidity, by featuring women dressed as men alongside women dressed as male transvestites (i.e., "girls pretending to be guys pretending to be girls") — meaning you can still be a King even if you're not packing. Of course the main draw is Kings' leader Tommy Salami, who cut her teeth doing skits at Scandinavian church camp and playing cymbals in the high school marching band. Salami eventually parlayed those talents into drag caricature, and her stage presence is electrifying.