It takes a lot of star power to upstage Frank Sinatra, Liberace and The Divine Miss M, but last night at Madame Tussauds Las Vegas, Mayor Oscar Goodman had more than enough.
Bookended by a pair of showgirls, the mob lawyer-turned Vegas pol moved throughout the crowd gathered for the unveiling of his wax twin, smiling and shaking hands between sips of his martini. Sammy Davis Jr. stared on in delighted surprise. Nic Cage stonily watched the procession; Ben Affleck glanced up from the poker table. In the surreal environ’s of the wax museum’s new Viva Vegas exhibit, which pays tribute to the city and its legends, everything seemed on the verge of flipping upside down from merely odd to totally out of this world.
And then someone pulled a gun.
It was a revolver, I think, shiny and silver. And yet the mayor kept on sipping and chatting, his showgirls continued preening, his police escort surveyed the crowd and Nic Cage maintained his stony gaze without jumping into action or discussing the U.S. Constitution.
The guy with the gun looked up at me and spoke out of the side of his mouth, “How you doin?”
It was Tony Soprano, alive and well and apparently a fan of our very own happiest mayor in the universe. The rest of the family stood alongside him sneering appropriately, real skin, real mafia-cut suits, real wigs and not an ounce of wax on them. The cast of The Soprano’s Last Supper was taking a break from their show at the Greek Isles Hotel and Casino to see the Mayor immortalized in wax.
The results of the 200 measurements Madame Tussauds gathered to recreate Goodman down to the pair of speared olives in his martini glass were astonishing.
“My nose is not that red!” Goodman said, gaping incredulously at his new identical twin, who held a thumbs up to the crowd. Frozen in the flash of camera bulbs, it was nearly impossible to tell which Goodman was which.
“This really is as cool as it gets,” the Mayor gushed.
Even Tony Soprano looked surprised.