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Lucky Breaks: Can We Talk? … French Connection … Just Add Water …

From clubbing to cuisine, good bets for your after-work hours.

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CAN WE TALK?

Comedian, author, talk show host and awards night diva Joan Rivers’ career has survived through five decades, countless plastic surgeries and miles of red carpet. And now, Rivers is bringing her schtick to the Stardust Theater.

The Brooklyn-born Rivers began her onstage career as an actress and soon developed a stand-up comedy act featured on television and on the Las Vegas circuit. The Sixties brought “That Show With Joan Rivers,” along with frequent guest appearances on late-night talk shows, where her catch phrase “Can we talk?” became familiar the world over.

During the Eighties, Rivers served as a regular stand-in for Johnny Carson on “The Tonight Show,” wrote several best-selling books and performed

on Broadway, culminating with her own talk show, the Emmy Award-winning “The Joan Rivers Show,” in 1989.

In 1998, Rivers and her daughter joined the E! network, hosting award preshows known for scolding celebrities for their fashion faux pas. As a result, Rivers has a new catch phrase, “So, who are you wearing?”

Joan Rivers at the Stardust Theater, 3000 South Las Vegas Boulevard, Aug. 31-Sept. 3, 8 p.m. For tickets, call 866-8-SHOWS. General admission tickets: $43.96; premium seats: $54.95.

FRENCH CONNECTION

An acclaimed wine list featuring more than 2,200 bottles and a collection of rare cognacs might fool you into thinking that the drink is the main attraction at Mistral, the fourth Las Vegas restaurant from celebrity chef André Rochat. But make no mistake: Fine French cuisine is the star of this elegant dining room, marked by custom-appointed tables generously spaced beneath the high-domed, chandeliered ceiling.

Appetizers include escargots de bourgogne with garlic herb butter ($12.95) and duck foie gras, either served cold in a terrine with riesling plum compote and Minus 8 vinegar ($22.95) or sautéed

and served with a warm brioche and rhubarb napoleon and pickled leeks ($23.95). Entrées offer something for every carnivore, including a 2-lb. Maine lobster (market price) and roasted pork tenderloin stuffed with apples and walnuts and served with gruyère mashed potatoes and cider sauce ($31.95). A chocolate or Grand Marnier soufflé or warm apple tarte tatin with ginger ice cream and rum raisin caramel sauce (all $11.95) completes the meal.

Mistral, Las Vegas Hilton, 3000 South Paradise Road, 702-792-6373, mistrallv.com. Open Tuesday-Saturday, 5:30-close.

JUST ADD WATER

By day, the Skin Pool Lounge at the Palms is open to hotel guests only, but on Skinny Dip Tuesdays, anyone who can pass muster at the velvet rope beginning at 9 p.m. can frolic the night away alongside the DJs, “mermaids” and go-go dancers who set the scene around the lavender-lit pool.

The bar’s signature 14-oz. cocktails, dubbed Skintilations ($9), have names such as Morty’s Bikini Remover, Gina’s G-String, The Sunburn…you get the idea. Edibles include everything from shrimp cocktail ($14) and Chinese chicken salad ($10) to root beer floats ($7) and steak and eggs ($18).

Of course, VIPs such as Tara Reid and Nicky Hilton prefer to rent out private cabanas (prices vary) tricked out with refrigerators, ceiling fans and misters, where an extra $120 to $190 can buy you a Swedish or deep tissue massage.

Leave your watch at home, since closing time is totally dependent on the crowd and there is no such thing as last call in Sin City. Should you make it an all-nighter, sunbathers can buy sunscreen and beachwear from the Stuff boutique, which includes bikinis by Holmes, Vitamin A and Frankie B.

Skin Pool Lounge, Palms Casino Resort, 4321 West Flamingo Road, 702-942-SKIN. Open 9 a.m.-9 p.m.; Skinny Dip Tuesdays begin at 9 p.m.

A CUT ABOVE

“Star treatment” is the name of the game at ARCS (A Robert Cromeans Salon) in Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. And the staff plays the game well — celebrities including Natalie Portman and Renée Zellweger are counted among the patrons of this Las Vegas outpost of salon icon Robert Cromeans, artistic director for John Paul Mitchell Systems and a frequent guest on ABC’s “Extreme Makeover.”

The salon’s client list may be a Who’s Who of Vegas high rollers and A-list celebrities, but the award-winning staff at ARCS Mandalay Bay gives all its clients the attention they need to stand out in Sin City. And at fairly reasonable prices: Haircuts start at $68; single-process color starts at $85, and highlights begin at $110. Of course, you’ll have to get an appointment first.

A Robert Cromeans Salon (ARCS) Mandalay Bay, Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, 3950 South Las Vegas Boulevard, Suite 105, 702-632-6130. Open Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m.-7 p.m., and Sunday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.

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