NIGHTCLUBS: The Wages of Vulgarity

The brassy, bulb-nosed, toupeed trumpeter, seeming like a frayed hangover from the night before, began to sing and prance. Somehow, his grinding, gravel-voiced antics made the simple lyrics of When You're Smiling as suggestive as the spiel of a strip-show pitchman. Across the stage, his partner stirred, scratched herself, smothered a belch. Then she set the audience straight with knowing smirk: "He's beat out when he gets home." Was this a two-bit burlesque, or a seedy ginmill exhibition? Not at all. The crowd that almost fractured itself was at Las Vegas' glittering...

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