Don't look now, but Bollywood has its eye on 'Being Oscar'

Las Vegans spent years trying to explain the phenomenon of Mayor Oscar Goodman to outsiders. It’s not every day a guy makes the transition from mob lawyer to political figurehead for one of the best-known cities in the world.

But how does Goodman’s martinis-and-showgirls shtick play with professionals from other cultures?

From the look of things, pretty well.

This week at The Venetian, Goodman gave the keynote speech at the Planman Groups PowerBrands Glam 2013, which brings together many of India’s biggest companies in one giant marketing mixer. It was the first time the event was held in the United States.

Now there’s even talk — and who could make this up? — of interest in making a Bollywood movie based on Goodman’s new memoir, “Being Oscar,” which the ex-mayor has been pitching from coast to coast in recent weeks.

Aren’t U.S.-India relations on shaky enough ground already?

Goodman gave the keynote speech, but former KSNV-TV, Channel 3, anchor Sue Manteris acted as a liaison during the event. Manteris, who has teamed up with former television colleague Kendall Tenney, enjoyed a definite advantage with the gathering. In addition to being a veteran of the local media landscape, Manteris was born in Varanasi, India, and speaks Hindi.

IRONY ALERT: While the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s annual Kids Count survey ranks Nevada 50th when it comes to educating children, Gov. Brian Sandoval announced Thursday he would become the new chairman of the Education Commission of the States.

HUNTRIDGE HELPERS: Organizers of the latest save-the-Huntridge Theater effort gathered last week at the Mesquite Club on St. Louis Avenue.

The eclectic audience seemed unified in its interest in preserving the venerable East Charleston movie palace, but it seemed like a majority of the crowd had no recollection of it as a place for Hollywood blockbusters. They remembered the Huntridge, which opened in 1944, in its later incarnation as a venue for alternative rock concerts.

Organizers are trying to raise $150,000 in donations to add to the $60,000 local entrepreneurs Michael Cornthwaite, Erhan Choudhry and Joey Vanas have pooled while they seek investors to cover a $4 million purchase price. For information on making a donation, go to

As of Thursday, the site reported $57,685 had been raised via the “group funding” method.

SUMMER READING: In addition to reading entertaining memoirs by former Gov. Bob Miller (“Son of a Gambling Man”) and ex-mayor Goodman this summer, consider Rex Rowley’s “Everyday Las Vegas: Local Life in a Tourist Town” for a glimpse of our community through the eyes of a studious outsider. Rowley is an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin, Platteville.

Call it a late recommendation, but I’ve been marveling at the skill of Great Basin writer Claire Vaye Watkins’ 2012 short story collection, “Battleborn.” It’s filled with intriguing characters filled with longing and settings that roll out like a road trip of the heart through the Silver State.

ON THE BOULEVARD: Was the recently concluded United States Conference of Mayors really as docile as I’m hearing? It’s hard to believe. You mean to say no mayors were found leaning on lampposts or caught playing the G-string Blues at a local topless cabaret? Remarkable. ... The only injury I’ve heard about is the torn knee ligament suffered by Mayor Carolyn Goodman during the confab. She was scheduled for minor surgery Thursday.

BOULEVARD II: The Boulevard notes the passing of O.C. Lee and Tex Gates, two tough guys who took innumerable secrets with them. ... It didn’t get much coverage here, but just up I-15 in St. George, Utah, the DEA and IRS just took down a synthetic drug ring with connections in 35 states and 49 countries.

Have an item for the Bard of the Boulevard? Email comments and contributions to or call 702-383-0295. Follow him on Twitter @jlnevadasmith.