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Six Picks: ‘Vintage Christmas,’ Hank & Cupcakes, ‘Marilyn,”Nutcracker,’ Bellagio, Wolfgang Gartner

1. Laura Shaffer

Laura Shaffer looks and sings like your favorite femme fatale from a film noir, but black and white can turn Technicolor for Christmas. Her "Vintage Christmas" with the retro likes of Art Vargas is sure to be packed Monday at the E String Grill, 2031 W. Sunset Road; admission is $10. But the Strip will be so quiet Thursday, you can cruise right to the top of the Mandarin Oriental for Shaffer's weekly session with Chandler Judkins' New Jazz Testament.

-- Mike Weatherford

2. Hank & Cupcakes

Peanut butter and jelly, Cagney and Lacey, beer and anything, ever: To this list of awesome combos, add Hank & Cupcakes, an electro pop duo from Brooklyn who move more butts than the transit authority. See Hank & Cupcakes at 10 p.m. and midnight Wednesday and Thursday at Book & Stage at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, 3708 Las Vegas Blvd. South. The shows are free; call 698-7000.

-- Jason Bracelin

3. 'My Week With Marilyn'

Academy Awards acting competitions often resemble Biography channel programming, and this year is no exception; Michelle Williams' uncanny take on Hollywood legend Marilyn Monroe in "My Week With Marilyn" seems destined to earn her a second best actress nomination in as many years.

-- Carol Cling

4. 'The Nutcracker'

If we want a white Christmas in Las Vegas, we make it snow indoors. That's just one of the many treats of the Nevada Ballet Theatre's version of "The Nutcracker," which adds new surprises each year. The holiday favorite runs at 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, 1 and 5 p.m. Sunday with additional shows at 7 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday at Paris Las Vegas. Tickets are $38.70-$131.70; call 946-4567.

-- Mike Weatherford

5. Winter Wonderland

Take advantage of a slowish time on the Strip with a walk through the winter wonderland in the Bellagio Conservatory and tack on a meal at the adjacent Cafe Bellagio, one of the resort's most affordable restaurants, where you can get everything from brioche French toast to a grilled filet mignon.

-- Heidi Knapp Rinella

6. Wolfgang Gartner

Tonight, Surrender nightclub at Encore stages elite DJ-producer Wolfgang Gartner ("Illmerica," "Undertaker," Forever"). Clubbers may remember him from this summer's Electric Daisy Carnival. His skillful music is suited for actual dancing (as opposed to pumping a fist in the air while standing still).

-- Doug Elfman

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