You have permission to edit this article.

Hamburger Mary's maintains drag performances under CDC guidelines

Hamburger Mary's Drag Performance

Drag queen Pracilla performed at Hamburger Mary's to "Poor Unfortunate Souls" dressed as Ursula with a tentacle-inspired dress. 


Drag shows are known for being interactive performances between the queens and the audience; however, like many other things, COVID-19 has caused the interactive nature of drag shows to change. 

“We switched from being able to walk around the crowd and mingle with the audience,” says Landon Patterson, who performs as Lana Luxx at Hamburger Mary’s. “And that was a big part of it you know, getting off stage and performing throughout the restaurant. Now we are strictly to stay on stage and perform.”

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, Hamburger Mary’s is the only place in the Kansas City area still featuring drag performances, while places like Missy B’s and local spot The Jazzhaus are still closed. This is because Hamburger Mary’s is a bar and grill restaurant, rather than strictly a bar. This has allowed them to still put on drag shows as long as they follow restaurant regulations. 

“We're a restaurant,” says Jeff Edmondson, owner of Hamburger Mary’s. “We aren't just a bar. The other places are bars, and the issue of keeping people socially distant and keeping them separated [with] masks on — if they aren't sitting at a table — is a bigger issue for them. But, for us, because all of our guests are already seated at tables, it's not as big [of] a deal.” 

Hamburger Mary’s has similar socially-distant rules to a restaurant where people can take off their masks when they’re seated. They also have the tables spaced six feet apart and have limited their capacity. 

Before COVID-19, performers would go and collect tips from the audience, but now a designated tip collector goes around to get the queen's tips. 

“Now we have an assigned dollar girl who walks around with a bucket throughout your number, and collects your dollars for you,” Patterson says. “So it reduces as much contact as possible: one, with the crowd, and also with touching and handling all that money.”

Hamburger Mary’s first closed the day before St. Patrick’s Day, which is normally the business' biggest day of the year. Then, after some renovations in May, it opened back up in June with the new regulations in place. 

“Mary’s before the pandemic, you know, we're known for being super busy, always full and it's kind of tightnot chaosbut a big party place,” Patterson says. “Going back, I was just nervous to be around that many people again, but I was also nervous of how different it was going to be.”

The drag queens have to wear masks while going up to the stage, and can only take them off once they’re on the stage. They also have to disinfect their stations backstage.

“Since COVID, obviously a big thing was ‘Are we gonna open back up and do shows?’ You know, like that was like a big thing for a while,” Patterson says. “We were really nervous.” 

Some of the queens decided to not return immediately when everything opened back up. 

“Originally, we had a few queens that were a little bit nervous about [performing again],” Edmondson says. “They didn't want to come back at first because they were nervous about exposure, some of them are a little older, and they are at a higher risk and they didn't know if they wanted to come back.”

Edmondson says they enforce the mask policy to protect their performers and staff. 

“If you are going to come see a drag show, or if you are going out to restaurants and things like that during this time like, a lot of places have been impacted and things are different,” Patterson says. “So just always be mindful and caring to entertainers or staff and servers and bartenders wherever you go because a lot of us didn't know if we would have a livelihood for a while.”

Person 1: This song slaps.

Person 2: Your mom slaps.

Person 1: Thank you, my mom is a kind and wonderful lady.

 Person 1: I’m so sick of alcohol.

Person 2: I don’t know, I’m getting stronger every day. I love it.

Person 1: Do you do the vegan wrap here?

Person 2: We can do the chicken wrap with no cheese?

Person 1: I’ll take the Beyond Burger please. 

Person 1: Oh my God! I feel like I know you somehow…

Person 2: Yeah, we went to high school together. 

Person 1: Oh! *walks off*

Guy 1: Is the black market even real? Has anyone ever been on it?

Guy 2: I tried once but I couldn’t figure out how to get on.

Guy 1: I stayed up until 2 am watching Disney plus

Guy 2: I told my girlfriend I fell asleep but I was actually watching the Mandalorian.

Girl 1: How long have you guys been dating?

Girl 2: Since the summer, well actually for like two years but it’s a long story.

Girl 1: Who are you looking for?

Girl 2: This guy, wait I found him. Fanny pack boy. He flipped off my professor after a test and ran out of the classroom.

Girl 1: How did you choose KU? 

Girl 2: Honestly, I flipped a coin. 

Boy 1: Did I tell you? I think I had a threesome this weekend.

Boy 2: Woah, hold up. You think?

Boy 1: I was born a Phi Delt.

Boy 2: Please don’t ever say that again.

Girl 1: How do you get your boobs to look like that?

Girl 2: I don’t ever wear a bra? I don’t know. 

Girl 1: I just really want a guy to bend me over you know?

Girl 2: How do you know? You’re a virgin!

Guy: Sometimes I wish I could just be a dog and sleep all day. 

Girl: You wake up at like three every day. 

Guy: I know.

Girl: So…

Guy: So does that make me a dog or something?

Girl 1: I wish I was a little bit taller.

Girl 2: I wish I was balder.

Girl 1: I wish I had a...wait, wait, wait balder?

Guy 1: Let’s slap dicks

Guy 2: You ever pee and it feels like throwing up?

Woman 1: *holding baby* He would have been safer at the Hawk

Woman 2: Oh absolutely.

Girl 1: I would never date that guy.

Girl 2: Well, it depends how much money he has.

Girl 1: I’m going to the doctor to see if I have bronchitis before I hook up with him again.

Girl 2: Yeah that’s smart so you don’t give it to anyone else. 

Girl 1: No I mean I want to make sure I infect him.

Guy 1: I'm cutting some of my unnecessary costs, starting with Juuling.

Guy 2: Ight man, good luck.

Guy 1: Actually I might just start chewing

Guy 1: How was work?

Guy 2: My manager was chastising me for not dressing up in a Halloween costume, she doesn’t understand I’m strictly here to get paid.

Guy 1: I am so tired of this week, man

Guy 2: Dude it’s Monday

Guy 1: I know

Person#1: I want to be on the first ship to mars

Person#2: Not me, I doubt they have Wi-Fi

Perons#1: Yeah but at least they’re evolving up there. We’re all just devolving.

Girl 1: Um, I don’t eat pig.

Girl 2: You eat bacon all the time, bitch.

Guy 1: You better get going. 

Guy 2: Yeah, see ya. I’m off to get some Adderall.

Girl 1: Are you home right now?

Girl 2: Yeah, why?

Girl 1: I bought a cat

Girl 1: I just don't understand what fishing is for.

Girl 2: I don't know. Food, maybe?

Guy: I’m just gonna have to like carry an entire box of spiders up the hill tomorrow.

Girl: What?

Guy: Yeah, just like a hundred spiders in a box.

Guy 1: Sometimes ya just gotta give yourself a haircut.

Guy 2: Dude, you shaved half your head. That’s not a haircut, that’s a mess.

Girl 1: Can you eat fruit raw?

Girl 2: How else are you supposed to eat it?

Girl: That class is killing us. ​But they say rest is for the dead.

Guy: Well, at least we'll be rested.

Girl: She's not in class this semester

Guy: Maybe she's dead

Girl: Or studying abroad