Toronto’s Drag community is rich and vibrant, full of a wide diversity of gender expression and performance and Drag Kings are an integral part of it. With Drag Queens oftentimes taking center stage in mainstream culture and Toronto’s LGBTQ+ club scene alike, Drag Kings are not given the spotlight as much as they deserve.
Performance artists in their own right, Drag kings show that masculinity is just as performative as femininity. To spread the love, we have compiled a list of five Toronto Drag Kings that you should definitely see perform.
Self-described as Toronto’s “high(eye)browed low brow performer”, Alexandher Brandy’s drive behind his Drag is to challenge the social norm and create a space large enough for all Drag Kings, Queens and Gender Performers to coexist. With his unique and recognizable makeup, style and comedic timing, we love a King who is all his own. We just have one word—SLAY.
Beyond Alexandher’s performances, he is a producer for House of Kings, a space for Drag Kings, trans and queer folks (and allies) to gather every Wednesday night at The Lodge in the Village. He is also the creator of TMI (trans-masc individuals)—a trans-focused space where you can see trans-masc performers in their element. Each month features a new performer, including Drag Kings, Queens, gender-performers and burlesque.
Coming from a dance and costuming background, this next Drag King’s name is a play on the word “rhinestone.” A pageant King, Rhyan Stone competes in the male category for “Drag King or Bio King” and holds numerous championship titles, including the First Canadian National Showman 2018-2019 and Mr. Hott International 2018-2019.
You are sure to be wowed when you see Rhyan perform, as he is widely known for his flips, tricks and acrobatic skills, honed from his dance roots. He has an incredibly intimate and seductive relationship with any audience that he performs for, making him highly sought after to perform on stages across Canada and the United States.
Birthed from stardust with a sense of trash fashion, Prince Johnny is here to provide the rock n roll entertainment we all desire—with a side of genderqueer mischief and mayhem, of course. A self-proclaimed, rebel with tons of cause, Prince Johnny’s punk persona is inspired by the St. Vincent song of the same name.
Prince Johnny is a proud member of the Diest Ghosts, a Drag family of miscreants who haunt Toronto’s nightlife while also putting on a great show! Other members include Lady Kunterpunt, Aura Nova, Drag Mother Lucinda Miu, and the family’s resident housepet, Kitty Creature.
Starting Drag just over a year ago, ZacKey Lime is one of Toronto’s rising stars in the King community. Combining Drag with puppeteering, you are definitely in for a fun night when you attend a ZacKey Lime show. You can catch ZacKey Lime and his puppet pal, Tickelmuff (among some others) at various queer bars and clubs around Toronto.
The “Father” of House of Kings, ZacKey started a tipping system called Thunder Bucks so that Kings can be better compensated for their work. When the smallest bill in Canada is $5, it can be tough to get tips during a performance. Audience members can purchase Thunder Bucks on a dollar-for-dollar basis so they can more freely tip the performing Kings. We stan a man who is looking out for his fellow artists.
The final Drag King on our lust—oops, I mean list—is the one and only Cyril Cinder! This King werks stages across Ontario, including Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, and beyond.
Cyril Cinder is a strong believer in the performative aspect of masculinity, demanding space for Kings in a Queen-dominated scene. He is known for his modern Drag style and high energy performances, making him a Drag King you definitely don’t want to miss.
Where Can I See These Toronto Drag Kings Perform?
Just like their Queen counterparts, a Drag King show is an eclectic mix of comedy, acting, dancing and singing, whether that be live or through lip-synching. You can see your favourite Toronto Drag Kings perform in a number of venues across the city, including (but not limited to):
- Monthly Kings & Classics show at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre
- The Beaver Cafe for themed Drag performances
- Drag King Brunches at Glad Day Bookshop
- Annual Toronto Pride events
- And more!
The easiest way to find out where to see your favourite Toronto Drag King perform? Follow them on social media in order to keep up to date on their next show!