Looking to get a two-week jump on Pride month? Well, then take a trip to the newly renovated Jean Cocteau Theater this Sunday May 15, for the latest installment of The Sunday Get Down Drag Brunch drag hosted by Santa Fe ‘draglebity’ Brandi.
With two seatings at noon and 3 p.m., the soon-to-be hot ticket promises Bloody Marys, mimosas, breakfast burritos, and more than a little sass on the side.
The event is the brainchild of Jean Cocteau theater manager and cocktail curator Evan Schultz, who sees this opportunity to bring a new gay social event to The City Different. “I used to go to the drag brunch in my hometown of Richmond, VA. It was a weekly event, and I thought it would work well here in Santa Fe,” Schultz says.
When it came to finding a hostess for the event, the answer for Schultz was easy. After seeing Brandi delight audiences at the famed Mineshaft in Madrid, he was quick to contact and secure the popular local mainstay. “I loved the shows Brandi was hosting in Madrid and reached out to talk about options for bringing the show here,” he says.
BRUNCHING FOR A CAUSE
For Brandi, also a Virginia transplant, Shultz’s proposition was a no-brainer. “Evan was in need of a drag brunch at the theater,” Brandi remembers, adding “I was like, ‘Well that sounds like fun!” Joining Brandi this Sunday will be Drag King Rusty Nuts, Felicia Roxxstarr Faraday, Seliah and D’Lite with music by DJ D’monic.
Beyond fun, Brandi uses events like this to give back to charity. The first drag brunch, which soft-launched to sold-out crowds in February benefited Kitchen Angels. Portions of the proceeds from this Sunday’s brunch will go to help Communities and Schools. Future beneficiaries will all be local Santa Fe-based nonprofits.
NEW WAVE AT THE COCTEAU
Monthly drag brunches are just a sampling of the new programming that will take center stage at the historic Jean Cocteau Cinema. After months of extensive renovations that created a more intimate space with improved sightlines, new carpet, and a full replacement of the theater’s 40-year-old seats, the George R.R. Martin-owned space is back. Opening weekend, May 6-8 fulfilled an audience poll promise by presenting free screenings of classics “Forbidden Planet,” “War of the Worlds” (1953), “Cabaret,” “Amelie,” and “Belle y Bet“ (Beauty and the Beast) by namesake Jean Cocteau.
Back with a new commitment to expand programming that goes beyond films, The Cocteau is seeking out more opportunities to present live performances. Shultz emphasizes that the new space, pre- vs. post-pandemic—is transitioning to present more live performances, including improv, live music, etc.
“We’re pivoting our focus. The schedule was about 70% movies before the pandemic and now we’re looking at 70% live performances, though we’ll still be showing a lot of films.”
As for Pride Month, Schultz promises screenings of “Pariah,” “Saving Face,” “Neptune Frost,” “To Wong Foo” and “tons of other exciting events.”
SANTA FE. YOU’VE GOT A NEW QUEER PARTY!
For Brandi, who boasts that she’s “done fundraising for a long time here in town,” monthly Sunday Get Down Drag Brunches represent a welcome return to normalcy in a beautiful venue.
“I’m very excited about the new theater, which is gorgeous,” Brandi says. “And after COVID, everyone is just itching to get out and do stuff.”
Tickets to this Sunday’s Get Down Drag Brunch are expected to sell out fast. Get yours here