Former Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman is hosting a tribute dinner next month honoring the 1995 Mafia movie Casino.
The April 7 event will be held at Oscar’s Steakhouse downtown in the Plaza Hotel Casino. The steakhouse is named after Goodman. His wife, Carolyn Goodman, is the current Las Vegas mayor.
Guests at the Casino dinner will be served a meal similar to what the Goodmans prepared at their home for the stars during filming. Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone, and Joe Pesci were among those who attended the dinner at the Goodman’s house.
Social distancing restrictions limit the number of people who can attend the April event. Tickets are $300 for two people, $600 for four, and $900 for six. Ticket are available at http://plazahotelcasino.com/dinner-series.
At the dinner, Goodman will discuss his experiences during the filming, including his brief on-screen appearance as himself.
As a criminal defense attorney, Goodman represented Tony “The Ant” Spilotro, Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal and other underworld figures active in Las Vegas decades ago.
Las Vegas Mobsters
The movie is based on the nonfiction book Casino: Love and Honor in Las Vegas, by New York author Nicholas Pileggi, a former Associated Press reporter.
The book centers on Rosenthal’s troubled marriage to his wife, Geri, and her romantic relationship with Spilotro.
Beginning in the early 1970s, Spilotro represented the Chicago Outfit’s interests in Las Vegas. In 1986, he and his brother, Michael, were killed during a Mob hit in a Chicago suburb and buried in their underwear in an Indiana cornfield.
Rosenthal ran the Stardust and other Las Vegas casinos for Midwestern crime families. He survived a 1982 car bombing at what was then a Tony Roma’s restaurant on Sahara Avenue near the Las Vegas Strip. That building later became a Hustler adult novelty store.
About a month after the car bombing, Geri Rosenthal died in Southern California of an apparent overdose. She was 46.
In 2008, Rosenthal, who had moved to South Florida, died at age 79 of a heart attack.
The movie, which Pileggi co-wrote with director Martin Scorsese, is based upon the book. The characters’ real names were used book but changed in the movie for legal reasons.
In the movie, the Stardust became the Tangiers Casino. Resorts World Las Vegas is being built on the Strip where the now-demolished Stardust once stood.
End of an Era
One of the last remaining Mob figures from that era, Frank Cullotta, died last August of complications from COVID-19. He was 81.
Cullotta had been a boyhood friend of Spilotro’s and was his associate in Las Vegas. Cullotta appeared in the movie as a hit man.
Dennis N. Griffin, who has written several books about the Mafia in Las Vegas, told Casino.org that the period depicted in the movie Casino is gone forever.
I believe that Frank’s passing marked the end of that era of Vegas history,” Griffin said.
An exhibit featuring memorabilia from the movie is on display in the Mob Museum in downtown Las Vegas.
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