Too many Midsummer nights: Consulting Shakespeare for other party ideas

Bridget and the king get down.
Photo: Sarah Feldberg

If the multitude of girl-on-girl kissing contests weren’t enough to prove Las Vegas clubs might be running out of original party ideas, now multiple venues seem to be latching onto the “Midsummer Night’s Dream” theme.

The mother of them all will likely be the Palms’ soirée, back for a third year, but it’s not the only Shakespeare-inspired fete this summer. Prior to the August 15 pirate-themed Midsummer party at the Palms Pool & Bungalows, The Bank threw their version in July. Even McFadden’s at the Rio is going Midsummer this August (Technically, it might be more like late summer, but who’s counting?) with the “Midsummer Nights [sic] Dream” party hosted by Playmate Stephanie Larimore on August 8. There are probably even more Midsummer parties, but the general idea seems to be simply an excuse to have ladies show up in their underpants.

Instead of clubs and bars throwing the same type of party vaguely inspired by the same play and loosely imitating the same annual bash at Hefner’s pad, we’d like to suggest a few other plays by the Bard, which could translate into Vegas-ready blowouts complete with skimpy dress codes and freebie contests. Who’s ready to party like it’s 1599?


Most effective as a pool party, ladies come dressed in flowing white dresses, preferably made of a lightweight gauzy material. Then they all jump in the pool, symbolically serving two purposes: A) paying homage to Ophelia’s tragic drowning suicide and B) a wet T-shirt, er, dress contest. For the gents? They can dress as ghosts in honor of the expired King Hamlet, but no wet T-shirt contest for them.

To continue the theme, beach balls decorated with skulls will serve as a tribute to Hamlet’s departed jester Yorick (and a nod to current fashion), and there’ll be an open bar serving lots of wine. Though, in a departure from the play, it won’t be poisoned. Patron shots just aren’t in keeping with the period theme.

Romeo and Juliet

This one works best for multi-level clubs. Girls party on the upper levels of the club à la Juliet and taunt the Romeos from above while clad in skimpy, Elizabethan-gone-slutty attire. And since ladies always reap the rewards in nightclub contests, this one features a battle for the dudes, who vie for the attention of ladies above and try to collect as many thrown love letters as possible for a chance to win free bottle service.

The elegant ball from Romeo and Juliet - where the star-crossed lovers first meet - could also facilitate a masquerade costume contest, with costumed entertainers engaging in a mock aerial swordfight between the Montagues and Capulets above the dance floor. Just be sure not to drink so much you end up in a death-like coma for two and forty hours.

The Comedy of Errors

Playing off the play’s theme of mistaken identity and twins, attendees don costumes in pairs. As an added twist, the two hottest twins win fabulous gifts and prizes. (Mutton leg, anyone?) On a side note, watch out for cases of accidental incest.

Much Ado About Nothing

Tired of bachelors and bachelorettes having all the fun in the club? Lovers Claudio and Hero are due to get married within a week when the play begins, which means it’s about time for one of the parties that Vegas does best. All attendees can participate in a joint bachelor/bachelorette party, complete with those obnoxious veils, blinking plastic genitalia jewelry, and T-shirts with scavenger hunt checklists to reward the revelers with—you guessed it—free bottle service. Oh, and a copy of Shakespeare’s complete works. Lucky duck.

The Winter’s Tale

Since there’s a Midsummer party, might as well go with a winter one, too. Determined by critics to be filled with intense psychological drama, Winter’s Tale is perfect for an industry event, as the nightlife world is all too familiar with drama. Yet, a happy ending ensues. Somewhere within the venue, a fake baby doll will be hidden (creepy, we know) and the partygoer who locates it takes home a large amount of money, just like in the play. Kinda. At the end of the night, the party can take a cue from one of Shakespeare’s most famous stage directions and the crowd will subsequently, "Exit, pursued by a bear."

Little sleep or clothing for A Midsummer Night's Dream

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