I’m drawn to drag as much as the next Bay Area Mary. It’s escapism at its best: beautiful people singing in fabulous getups. Sunday’s a Drag brunch at the Starlight Room means I can have my sausage and music all in one afternoon. The show is an institution going on over 11 years and stars Donna Sachet and a rotating crew of fierce performers. On a recent visit, Sachet emceed and sang along with Whole Lotta, Miss Tia, and Au Jus. The performers tend to change their wigs and costumes before each number, and the looks range from dominatrix to ball gowns. I watched one male guest get pats and gropes the entire show, which made his white-haired mom giggle. Even my photographer Mike got some special TLC from Miss Tia. As for the breakfast buffet, the smoked salmon, pastries, roasted whole carrots, and crepes kept everyone stuffed during the show. 

Whole Lotta

Extra Crispy: What did you eat for breakfast this morning?
Whole Lotta: Bagel and cream cheese and a bloody mary at the Starlight Room. It was a raisin bagel today, but it depends on what’s available. I’m usually a little more exotic.

What’s the drag breakfast of your dreams?
I'm a huge French toast fan. We’re lucky that they juggle the food around here all the time. So, every so often we’ll get something new that I’m just in love with. The salmon that we’ve had is amazing but I’m waiting for the French toast to come back around.

What’s your earliest drag memory?
I’ve been doing this 25, 26 years. I remember my first drag performance and being nervous as hell. Stepping out on stage, I worked for a show called La Cage which wasn’t a drag show but was a touring show. I hit the stage and was freaked out. I didn’t understand all this [motions with her manicured hands at the Starlight Room].

What’s the best way to drag-ify your breakfast?
Alcohol lightens up everything. And you definitely need something fluffy—big fluffy scrambled eggs.

What are your drag brunch favorites at the Starlight Room?
At one time, we had homemade soups, so every week I looked forward to the soup, especially the gazpacho. The baked salmon and salads are amazing.

Donna Sachet

Extra Crispy: What did you eat for breakfast this morning?
Donna Sachet: We eat between shows. All of us have omelets. Each has their own kind. Mine’s very cheesy. Lady Tia’s is very spicy.

What’s the drag breakfast of your dreams?
Delivered in bed at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel, of course. I like toast with butter. I believe bread should be buttered before it’s toasted. If you’re making scrambled eggs, there’s no need to add milk or water. Just get the whisk and froth it up. I like Veuve Clicquot Champagne—if it’s good enough for Napoleon, it’s good enough for me.

What’s the best way to drag-ify your breakfast?
Add glamour. Make it special. Everyone can fry an egg and toast the toast, but that’s not brunch. For the table, you can set it with a special tablecloth. Use a pretty tray maybe. Or have the settings be a little different for each guest. Maybe put sequins on the table. Add a feather to the omelet. Make it special.

How did the drag brunch start?
Harry Denton called me to start the drag brunch concept. He believed in it and we knew each other socially. Michael Pagan had the idea to combine food with theatre. We keep the theme song and rotate four performers. And we have themed brunch for Mother’s Day, Easter, and Halloween. You can’t do a Father’s Day brunch here. On Easter, it means there are bonnets. People want to be a part of the show.

What are your drag brunch favorites at the Starlight Room?
I like the pork or beef sliders. Those are so easy. When the staff sees me, they light up because they know I love them. I love fruit but don’t make it at home. You’ve got to cut it up and make it pretty.

Miss Tia

Extra Crispy: What did you eat for breakfast this morning?
Miss TiaAt home, I had a protein shake with blueberries, nuts, and greens. It’s very light. I’ve got to be able to fit into my outfits.

What’s the drag breakfast of your dreams?
Rosé champagne, a delicious eggs Benedict, thick ham, and crispy bacon, with some toasty hash browns.

What’s your earliest drag memory?
I’ve been doing drag for roughly 20 years. My earliest drag memory was stressing out to get to a show, and I had this woman do my makeup. She’s with this big band now, traveling around. But she never showed up for that show. I had done my own makeup maybe four or five times and had always had people do my makeup. I decided, “It’s now or never.” I walked in, and everyone was like, “Oh my gosh, you look so great.” That’s when I decided that no one else is ever doing my makeup again. And then I became a makeup artist.

Do you have to be more careful and more flawless with daytime drag?
Well, yes! At nighttime, the light is all filtered and soft and the illusion of seeing someone is there. During the day, you’ve gotta make sure the beard’s not showing. You’ll see a lot of the girls with big glasses and stuff. Your paint has to be a little extra on par.

How long does it take you to get ready for the show?
I create three different foundations for me: highlight, contour, and regular foundation, and I use three different powders and then block my eyebrows out to draw mine in. If I’m rushing, it’ll take an hour and a half. Otherwise, if it’s leisurely, it takes two hours. 

What’s the best way to drag-ify your breakfast?
Come in your best rhinestoned outfit and bring lots of glitter. That’s how to do it.

What are your drag brunch favorites at the Starlight Room?
I love bacon. That is my favorite. I love the roast beef as well. And I love the potatoes. I’m a very hearty girl. Don’t give me the salad and all that. That’s why I have a corset.

Shane Moniz, Assistant General Manager

Extra Crispy: What did you eat for breakfast this morning?
Moniz: At home, I had sausage and a little bit of crepes with lemon on top. I like my German-style crepes.

What’s the best way to drag-ify your breakfast?
Get drag queens together. Have Donna Sachet walk around the buffet table. She sprinkles it all around. If you have her there, it’s gonna be a good time. 

What are your drag brunch favorites at the Starlight Room?
The crepes. I make crepes at home. Also, the salmon. Nothing’s better than a little lox in the morning.