If you want a little—a lot of—entertainment to celebrate a birthday, special occasion, or even just Sunday, Lips Gospel Brunch is a perfect destination.
“You do realize tomorrow is my birthday,” my guest told me as we pulled up to the club.
I actually forgot. He then told me about a slight fear of drag queens and not to reveal his birthday was the next day.
After we received “holy water,” a Bloody Mary, and were seated the divine Velvet came to our table. She asked if we were celebrating anything. I told her it was Darren’s birthday. He tried to lie but Velvet, in burgundy choir robe, had the upper hand.
“You never lie to a drag queen,” she told us in mock anger. “Especially on Sunday!”
Darren was commanded to wear a crown and later—along with other crowned birthday heads—posed with two performers before show’s end. He evidently lost his fear because the complementary picture was quickly scanned onto Facebook.
The event, emceed by Nicolette, features the divas initially in modest choir robes, later discarded to reveal more heavenly attire. Performances might sound like Whitney or Mariah tunes but are true gospel songs.
“The Gospel Brunch started in 2007, when Lips opened its Fort Lauderdale location,” performer Nicolette told SFGN. There’s a family atmosphere with the Sunday cast, featuring Velvet, Deja, Nicole, and Franchesque. “Everyone in Sunday’s show has been with Lips since we opened. We love cross-dressing for Christ.”
While drag performers often tease audience members—especially straight males—Lips has a dinner-theater sensibility. Cast members all work together in both cajoling and performing. It is interesting to note that people bring their parents. Even dad looses his inhibitions when teased by hostesses during their gay sons birthdays.
“You need to get drunk just to get through your first drag show,” and other remarks were made by headliners.
The diversity among guests is intriguing. At Lips you get a respectful, albeit curious, crowd that wants to mingle with the gay community.
While I thought the place was packed to the gills with people celebrating birthdays Nicolette told me otherwise.
“Our weeknight dinner events draw bigger crowds, and more people celebrating,” she said. “Bachelorettes find Lips to be a fun venue during the week.”
The advantage of celebrating on Sunday is a menu boasting a dozen or so entrees, set at $16.50, plus a $5.00 show fee. My guest and I were hungry, so we went for steak and eggs. My eggs were poached perfectly – and the hearty steak was rare, as I ordered it. That’s quite an accomplishment considering almost every table was booked.
In addition to the show and brunch plates the “holy water”—mimosas, Bloody Marys, and champagne are unlimited. Jesus himself turned water to an unending amphorae of wine…so why not? They also had a frozen cosmopolitan special of which many brunchers took advantage.
This means you can have quite the party and come in at a very modest budget. I recommend cabbing it there and back if you’re having a birthday brunch, that way no one has to play designated driver.
“There are two “services” each Sunday, at 11:00 and 1:30,” Nicollete told me. “The Sunday event is so popular it proves we’re your celebration destination.”
So whether it’s a birthday or just a Sunday you don’t feel like reading the arts section, find an excuse for a revival of the spirit and head to Lips.
Please note, while the Lord loves everyone, the good sisters of the Lips Congregation do insist upon a reservation.