Church in a Gay Bar

Updated: Sep 20, 2021

“And how long have you been straight for?”

Rev. Kitty Bob Aimes, queen of drag, is shoving a mic in my face as I sit on stage, simultaneously trying to answer her question and not spill the extremely full shot of Rumplemintz I’m holding for no good reason. It’s not even my birthday.

Like me, you may be wondering how I got here

Every Saturday and every Sunday, at noon and 1:30 pm, a diverse congregation gathers at The Boom Club for Gospel Brunch.

A delicious meal of brunch staples like French Toast or Eggs Benedict is accompanied by astoundingly boozy pitchers of mimosas, spiked with vodka and maybe something else I can’t pin down. The wait staff does a fantastic job of getting everybody seated and served before the show starts.

After everybody is stuffed and teetering on their stools, Kitty Bob Aimes and Norma Jean Goldenstein lead an hour of something surprisingly like praise and worship.

The pair arrive on stage lip-syncing to a gospel rendition of “Power in the Blood,” a hymn I know word-for-word. I really had no idea what to expect from this show. But when Aimes and Goldenstein took the stage, my first impression was that they might have been two of the church grandmas I knew as a kid; always hugging me and telling me how tall I was getting. It’s the mountainous beehive hair. It’s the pink blush, pearl necklaces and the old fashioned purses in the crooks of their elbows. They probably smell like too much rose perfume if you get close enough.

They open with crowd-work, serving sharp jabs to various tables. They make fun of the sorority girls, the couple wearing camouflage, the table that clearly drove down from Edmond, the Paseo hipsters, the straights and the gays. Everybody gets personally attacked. Aimes and Goldenstein deliver the kind of hilarious, all-too-accurate shots that can only come from talented comedians with a real familiarity and fondness for the subjects they mock.

There are jokes about odd news stories and Donald Trump. Not nearly as much religious material as I expected. They bring up everybody who lies about it being their birthdays, like my friend who dragged me with her, and sit them on stage to roast and ridicule. I don’t feel like they were nearly as mean to me as they could have been. I mean look at me, there’s a lot to make fun of. Mostly I just had to answer a rapid-fire interrogation about my sexuality. Any hurt feelings are quickly smoothed out with a free shot of the before-mentioned Rumplemintz.

They take up collection during a final gospel number, everybody tips in the baskets Aimes and Goldenstein pass around. One of them actually did give me a hug as they passed by, although my memory is pretty foggy at this point so I can’t say for sure who it was.

It’s a really fun time, a hilarious show.

I found a couple of articles about The Boom and about Gospel Brunch. Most focused on the food or the fact that the club was placed on Out magazine’s list of the top 200 gay bars in the world.

But I don’t think I’ve seen anybody actually talk about Gospel Brunch.

I haven’t seen anybody talk about how amazing it is that they’ve managed to keep it this fresh and fun after running it four times a week since 2009. Aimes and Goldenstein repeatedly crack each other up with jokes they may or may not have heard before.

I haven’t seen anybody talk about the juxtaposition between hosting a satirical church-themed comedy show in a gay bar, and the subtle affection the pair seem to hold for church culture and Christianity. Just like how I think one could only make such pointed, funny jokes about OKC if they really knew it and loved it.

I definitely haven’t seen anybody talk about Aimes and Goldenstein as invaluable ambassadors for their community to potentially thousands of people over the last decade. People who may have never visited the 39th street strip or interacted face-to-face with drag queens if it weren’t for this particular event, hosted in a club that Aimes helped to build with her own hands.

If you have a good sense of humor, you should go to Gospel Brunch. It’s a great time. Be sure to make a reservation, or you won’t get in.

The Boom also hosts other theatrical performances, drag shows and of course regular club dancing.

Stay local, stay fabulous. And, watch out for those mimosas.

Samuel Morstain

Notice: JavaScript is required for this content.

1 view0 comments

Recent Posts

See All