Drag Legend Sherry Vine Calls Burbank the Next Queer Hotspot

And she’s not gate-keeping her favorite queer spots in the city.

Sherry Vine at Lyric Hyperion in Los Angeles
Sherry Vine at Lyric Hyperion in Los Angeles | Photo by David Martinez for Thrillist
Sherry Vine at Lyric Hyperion in Los Angeles | Photo by David Martinez for Thrillist
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Sherry Vine is one of the most accomplished drag performers out there, and ever since moving to LA—Burbank specifically—she’s kept up her pace. I caught up with her to hear about the second season of her variety show, why she loves living in Burbank, and why queer people need to defend themselves in the face of anti-LGBTQ+ lawmakers.

Thrillist: Let’s start with the new season of your variety show.

Sherry Vine: The Sherry Vine Variety Show is in season two. I’m super excited because in season one we had so many challenges because we filmed it in the height of lockdown. I don’t know how we did it, but we did. This time we had so much more freedom. We could have more guests, more locations, all original songs. We’re editing the very last episode right now and then it’s all done and ready to go.

Was the first season a quarantine baby or was it something that had been in the works prior to Covid?

SV: It had been in the works for two years. I was still living in New York City when Jacob from P.E.G. called me one day and said “This would be so much easier to pitch if you were here with me in LA.”

I had been thinking about moving to LA for a couple of years and that finally gave me the push I needed and I moved in 2019. We got the green light from Out TV and started writing and then… lockdown. At one point we were like, “Let’s wait until things get better” but I actually thought that if we can make this work now, we can get all these guests that are sitting at home and not on tour like Bianca [Del Rio], Alaska, and Bob the Drag Queen. So, we just kind of went for it. P.E.G. has a studio, so we were able to shoot everything there and were very, very strict. Everyone had to get tested every day, you wore a mask, the crew wore a mask. It was really challenging but we did it and had fun. This season, we can shoot in different locations, we can have people come in from out of town, we can have more actors. We just kind of opened the door to all of that.

What are some of your favorite moments from season two?

SV: I’m in love with Lady Cops, which is a recurring episode. It’s me and Jackie Beat playing lady cops and Monet X Change is the captain. It’s so fun and has lots of action. We hired professional stuntmen, and we choreographed fight scenes. It’s silly and campy, like “Cagney & Lacey” meets Charlie’s Angels meets Keystone Cops. It’s just ridiculous.

I’m very proud of the original songs because I’d never done anything like that before. Markaholic and I started from scratch and made five songs. Each one is highlighting a different genre of music. I’m really proud of that.

Sherry Vine
Sherry Vine | Photo by David Martinez for Thrillist

I feel like it’s a very classic drag performer trajectory to move to LA eventually. How has that change been for you?

SV: It’s full circle for me. I went to graduate school in Los Angeles and that’s when I first started performing as Sherry Vine, before I moved to New York City. Thirty years later, I’m back at home where I started, and it was 100% the right move at the right time.

What neighborhood are you in?

SV: I’m in Burbank. When I first moved to LA, I was staying with Jackie Beat, when Mario Diaz told me, “You should come live with me.I need a roommate in Burbank. We have a pool.” Full disclosure: I said, “Girl, I didn’t move to LA to live in Burbank!” And then I thought, you know what, I could do it for a year just to take my time finding my own place. So, I moved in and then the pandemic happened, so I ended up being there for three years. But I fell in love. Burbank has this emerging queer community and scene. This summer will be the second Burbank Pride.

What are some of your favorite spots?

SV: There’s this coffee shop called Romancing the Bean which is super queer friendly and I go there every single morning. I think I have my own button on the cash register called “Sherry’s drink.” And there’s Cobra, which is a gay club, and Bullet, which is a smaller gay bar.

How has the pandemic affected performing?

SV: I don’t have a regular bar night and I don’t want to do that anymore. I’d rather work and fill in for people. I’ve done shows at The Abbey, and the Sunday brunch at Precinct—it’s so much fun. I also don’t want to perform at midnight anymore. The pandemic did turn me into an old grumpy… I want to go to bed at 10 pm.

What else do you have going on?

SV: I have a new solo show called Everybody’s Girl that’s starting with an East Coast tour in June and then Europe over the summer. I’m also competing on Drag Me to Dinner against Jinkx and DeLa, which is hilarious. And I say competing in quotes because it’s competing with your dear friends and sisters, and no one’s walking away with money.

Finally, with all the anti-drag laws that are happening right now, do you have any words of encouragement?

SV: I do think it’s super important. Obviously, it’s just spin. The Republicans are gifted spinners. “It’s drag queens, not guns.” That’s the spin. And it terrifies me that this is just the starting point, which is why we need to fight—and I don’t mean violently. I just mean this is not the time and place for complacency. They’re coming for us, and we need to defend ourselves.

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John deBary is a drinks expert and writer. His first cocktail book, Drink What You Want, is available now, and his next book, Saved by the Bellini, is out now. He is also the co-founder and president of the Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation, which is dedicated to improving the lives of hospitality industry professionals through advocacy, grant making, and impact investing.