Billy Rose presents-- Casa Mañana by Jan Jones

By Jan Jones

In 1936 as Texas ready to have a good time its centennial—100 years after the conflict of San Jacinto—Dallas was once selected because the website of the legit exhibition. Plans have been less than manner for a modest Frontier Days party in citadel Worth—until Star-Telegram writer and civic booster Amon G. Carter stepped in. Carter thought of the naming of Dallas because the authentic website a gross miscarriage of justice and was resolute to get even by means of mounting a exhibit that may at once rival the respectable event—and pull vacationer funds into castle worthy. to place his party jointly Carter employed flamboyant Broadway manufacturer Billy Rose. the end result was once citadel Worth’s Frontier Centennial, an incredible conglomeration of agricultural shows, sideshow nudes, an old-time Wild West convey, Rose’s musicalized circus Jumbo, and a parade of Broadway and vaudeville expertise led by means of function artiste, stripper Sally Rand.

The centerpiece for this extravaganza was once the dinner theater, Casa Mañana, with the world's greatest revolving level surrounded via a tank of water on which it appeared to drift, over twenty fountains, and geysers of water that shot into the air at strategic periods. The construction featured over thirty Spanish-style arches, was once 320 toes in size, and contained the world’s longest bar, a truth of which Rose used to be inordinately proud.

But it was once the revue in this remarkable level that really made theatrical heritage. On beginning evening, Paul Whiteman raised his baton and bands swung into the fanfare. there have been interpretations of the St. Louis World’s reasonable, the Paris Exposition of 1925, and Chicago’s 1933 Century of growth Exposition. Texas “Sweetheart #1” wore a $5,000 gold-mesh costume, and Sally Rand wore just a large opaline balloon. On beginning evening while the orchestra performed “The Eyes of Texas,” the viewers rose to its toes making a song, whistling, and cheering. “Texans,” wrote one critic, “are no longer given to well mannered applause.”

The Frontier Centennial and its sequel, the Frontier Fiesta, closed after simply short seasons (1936 and 1937), the second one season minimize brief through controversy and proceedings. Rose left fortress worthy less than a cloud, expert by means of urban fathers that his companies have been now not wanted. Undaunted, he went directly to turn into a multimillionaire with virtually mythical prestige as a theatrical producer.

But castle worthy used to be by no means back a similar after the Frontier Centennial . . . and stories of that pageant linger this present day, although the structures have been some time past razed.

Today an enduring theater-in-the-round, competently named Casa Mañana, is found at the centennial grounds. well liked by castle Worthians, it will possibly basically echo the elegance of the original.

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With that end in mind, he enrolled in the Manhattan High School of Commerce. In 1914, school administrators selected a group of students, including Billy, to participate in testing a new system of shorthand devised by Irishman John Robert Gregg. Hoping eventually to sell the entire country on his system, Gregg opened an office in Manhattan and personally conducted many of the classes. Under Gregg's tutelage, Rose emerged as a gifted student endowed with photographic recall and remarkable physical dexterity.

T. Barnum's famous elephant. To house the massive production, crews under the direction of Albert Johnson began gutting and renovating the Hippodrome Theater. Built in 1905, the Hippodrome established new standards for grand spectacle and lavish scenery in its heyday. The theater boasted a seating capacity of over 5,200, with standing room for 800 more. 28 Jumbo opened in the Hippodrome on November 16, 1935, starring Jimmy Durante and also featuring Paul Whiteman and his jazz band, a negligible story line, and a complete circus.

Rose wanted her to give up her career and retire, but Fanny liked Hollywood and proposed that Billy come west to explore the possibilities of becoming a movie producer. 31 One afternoon, Rose took a shortcut across the courtyard of MGM's executive office building on his way to visit Fanny on the set of The Great Ziegfeld. Just as Rose strode past, Le Maire glanced out his second-story office window and spied the quarry he had sought in vain for days. He called down and within minutes had Rose in his office, attempting to explain to him why a producer with a reasonably promising Broadway career should abandon New York to produce a small, regional pioneer celebration 1,600 miles away.

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