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Maria TopCatt Begins Drag Storytime Residency at Mister John’s Music

Dance breaks, catwalk time, and togetherness.

It’s no secret we love a good drag queen storytime, and Mister John’s Music, so when we heard that local drag celebrity Maria TopCatt was embarking on a kid-friendly residency at that glorious South Philly studio, we just had to be there.


Tickets sold out quickly, but luckily more showtimes were added to accommodate the demand for Maria TopCatt’s debut.


We arrived on a Sunday evening to see Mister John’s Music awash in pinkish light, a heart-shaped spotlight fixed on the curtain. Glitter makeup was offered to the kids, and a quick questionnaire was handed to parents. Questions included “What is your child wearing?” and “Why is it special to them?” as well as a place to write something interesting about your child. This would come in handy later for the catwalk.

Miss Maria TopCatt emerged in a shiny evening gown lip-syncing Cher, and then it was the kids’ time to shine. Each child got a turn to walk down the illuminated catwalk and perfect their pose, while their bio was read to the group. In the hour that ensued, there were costume changes, Cher dance breaks, and time on the floor for two wonderful books about acceptance and individuality.


Kids especially loved Julián Is a Mermaid, the story of a little boy who loves mermaids so much that he wants to dress up like one, and the difference an accepting caregiver can make in a child’s life. And this is truly the charm of a production like Drag Storytime. From the catwalk to the dance party, every child comes away feeling special, celebrated, and loved. Within the span of an hour, kids who were too shy to walk down the catwalk in the beginning were joining the final dance to Cher’s “Believe” (and parents were invited, too).

If you missed out, Drag Storytime returns to Mister John’s Music on March 21 and 23. Tickets are available online, but if it is anything like last time, they will sell out quickly, so get your tickets while you can! Each month will highlight a different diva and have new stories to share, so be sure to check Mister John’s Music’s website each month to secure your spot.


Mister John’s Music is located at 904 South Ninth Street in Philadelphia. Tickets for Drag Storytime are $25 for one adult and one child, and are currently available online.


Photographs by Laura Swartz.

Contributing Writer