Never has the term “less is more” been more apt than at this year’s Midsummer Night’s Dream -- An Enchanted Lingerie Masquerade.
“It’s going to be vintage Midsummer Night’s Dream,” elaborates Palms owner George Maloof. “It’s going to be about the experience, the talent, the pure lingerie. No froufrou.”
No froufrou, but if there could be no-frill frills, this year’s event would be that. The news release announcing the party promises “more than 50 wandering performers dressed as mystical characters including fairies, magicians, water creatures, mimes and more."
As they say, a mime is a terrible thing to waste …
“This is about people being themselves, under-dressing, but we’re going to keep it 100-percent high quality,” Maloof says. “It’s one big lingerie party.”
A big lingerie party modeled after the annual event at The Playboy Mansion, to be specific. Once again, the Las Vegas version will be held at the Palms Pool & Bungalows, where the guest list is capped at 1,500 and the entertainment is supplied in large measure by DJ Pauly D. This Jersey shore transplant is making quite a name for himself -- a single name, with an initial, actually -- as resident DJ at the Palms. He spins at Rain, Moon and at the pool, and he’ll be on hand to pump out background music for an event that is only loosely organized.
In its five-year history at the Palms, the event has awarded a king and queen and foisted celebrities as focal points for the party. Last year's belle of the ball was Jenny McCarthy.
“We’ve had little comments in the past, that we’ve tried too hard, had too many extra things happening,” Maloof says. “We had this courtship theme, which was a little too much. It was sort of a buzz kill. So it’ll be just a big party, but still an iconic event.”
The party is a component of the Palms' business partnership with Playboy Enterprises, which is most evident in The Playboy Club at the hotel. The event theme is Victorian and naughty, but it’s all just an excuse to gather, gawk and revel. The excuse comes at a price, of course. Tickets are $140, and that covers all drinks from 9 to 11 p.m. (women can sign up online for complimentary admission; for information, go to PalmsPool.com
The event is an indication that Maloof is still running the operations at the Palms, even in the face of an ownership agreement at the hotel announced in June. Maloof negotiated a debt-eradication partnership with TPG Opportunities Partners and Leonard Green & Partners to cut $400 million in debt accrued by the hotel during the recession. Those two institutions own 49 percent of the Palms apiece, with the Maloofs holding 2 percent.
“Right now we are in the process of bringing in a lot of things, a lot of projects for 2012,” says Maloof, still vague about what those changes and upgrades would be. “We have kind of a master plan for what we want the property to look like over the next five years.”
Until then, we will know what its clientele will look like, and “underdressed” should cover it.