Secrets, Ultralounges and Gamblin’ Zombies

Illustration by Christopher A. Jones

Illustration by Christopher A. Jones

One of the things that makes the Christmas season so compelling is that there’s this weird, unspoken tension working between two of the holiday’s biggest moving parts.

On the one hand, you’ve got the bright lights and aggressively dialed-up-to-10 cheer and the relentless bustle. On the other, you’ve got a secretive, clandestine streak a mile wide. You’re implored to walk around with a stage smile for a month, dress in bright red and literally go door to door, bothering strangers for figgy pudding.

But in the middle of all that what-you-see-is-what-you-get maneuvering, there’s the demand that you do at least some of your shopping alone, away from prying eyes. You take the time to camouflage your gifts and generally act as paranoid as Nixon when your best friend starts making casual, offhand references to the Joey Season 2 DVDs you’ve stashed for them under the tree. (Also: Maybe don’t be friends with people who watched Joey.)

Don’t even get us started on Secret Santa.

Claus himself is a sneaky bastard, demanding your unconsciousness as part of the deal if you want him to give up the goods. The two main points are A) Christmas is the time for stealth and subterfuge, and B) It’s too bad ninjas were around in feudal Japan, because they’d have been great at this.

Sneaking a new look behind closed doors will be Lavo, which went dark December 9 and won’t reopen until December 27. The rumor is that the restaurant will be expanded and the venue won’t be a full-on nightclub anymore, instead being reimagined as an ultralounge.

Fizz, the Champagne bar near the Colosseum at Caesars Palace from Michael Greco, David Furnish and Steven Kennedy opened late in November, and it’s committed to a Clausian level of secrecy. Photos aren’t allowed inside the lounge, taking another swing at a policy places such as Savile Row tried in the past.

Finally, El Cortez and Jennifer Cornthwaite quietly painted over the Interesni Kazki mural on the outside of the Emergency Arts building they own and operate, respectively. The mural was put up for Life Is Beautiful, but given that it depicted a cowboy with a slot machine in his chest reaching out to zombie hands coming out of the desert, it wasn’t exactly, uh, pro-gambling. There will be a contest held by El Cortez, Emergency Arts and Life Is Beautiful to choose a new mural from a local artist.

Santa, Shania and Scary Spice

Of course, the flip side to all this is that Santa is everywhere. Including Downtown, hanging out with Shania Twain. The 10,000-Claus-strong Great Santa Run was December 7, and Twain served as the 5k charity race’s grand marshal. But the important takeaway from all of this is that St. Nick and Twain seemed so close, it’s probably pretty reasonable to send her a letter this week asking for a new PlayStation 4. … Britney Spears was relatively tight-lipped when she made her grand entrance up the Strip on December 2. She only noted that “this is my city” when she spoke at the Planet Hollywood stunt. Though the Spice Girls may argue with her—Scary Spice Melanie Brown was recently quoted as saying she’d like to get the girls back together for a residency of their own to rival Spears’ Britney: A Piece of Me. … Kelly Clarkson’s musical-comedy twist on A Christmas Carol, the verbosely named Kelly Clarkson’s Cautionary Christmas Music Tale, filmed portions at the Venetian along with Blake Shelton, Trisha Yearwood and Reba McEntire. We’ll patiently wait for Bill Murray’s musical adaptation of Scrooged instead.

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