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Showing 1-2 of 2 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 5 reviews
on May 15, 2014
In my 1960s era teenage years, I attended more than sixty productions at the Fort Worth, Texas, geodesic domed theater, Casa Manana. Those musicals--including indelibly memorable shows like West Side Story, Oklahoma!, The Music Man, and others--shaped my life, providing for me a pastime and a profession that has incredibly enriched me. I knew at the time that Casa Manana was so-named because a theater had been on that site back in the Texas Centennial Year 1936 and that the original Casa Manana productions were overseen by the legendary theater producer Billy Rose. Beyond that, I knew nothing about the history of this iconic theater and Fort Worth treasure. Then I stumbled upon Fort Worth author Jan Jones's book Billy Rose Presents...Casa Manana. Filled with photos and anecdotes, the original Casa comes to life in this book, driving home the point that it was a magnificent achievement indeed. The theater garnered nationwide publicity and made Billy Rose into a powerhouse. The guy was blustery and pushy, caring more for his own paycheck than anything else. But he had a vision, and that vision was an elaborate one. He brought to Fort Worth, then still almost a dusty frontier town, some of the great talents of the day, among them Paul Whiteman and his orchestra and the infamous fan dancer Sally Rand. Like any good theater of the depression era, there were "girls," gorgeous costumes, lots of music and spectacle, and just a bit of scandal. And Jones lays it all bare in this wonderful book. In telling her tale, we meet iconic Fort Worth citizens, names I knew growing up, but with this book, they are no longer just names on buildings, but flesh and blood figures who shaped the history of my home town. Billy Rose Presents...Casa Manana appealed to because I'm a Fort Worth boy, but it would appeal to anyone who has an interest in theater history or Texas history. And it would appeal to anyone who likes to revel in a little dirt, too. Billy Rose was a true character, and he is the driving force behind Casa Manana and this delicious book.
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on February 20, 2015
ypu may have to be from ft worth to care about Casa Mañana but it is a very cool tale about a fast time of growth in Texas. And a city moving from Wild West to 'where the west begins'
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