Theater in a Whale

Theater in a Whale

An idea proposed, but never realized, for the Pan-American Exposition held in Buffalo in 1901.

Some info from the Butte Miner – June 26, 1899:

Chicago’s great fair had the Ferris wheel and Paris had the Eiffel tower. What will be the chiefest “dominant extraneous feature” of the Pam American exposition, which will be held at Buffalo on the Niagara Frontier in the summer of 1901 is not yet known, but there will be a number of features of special interest…

[An] idea, which was born in the brain of a man of biblical mould, is that of the “Jonah” theatre, and the submitted plan calls for the construction of a mammoth whale: a whale of iron and steel, which is to lie anchored in shallow water near the banks of the exposition. Dainty ferry boats are to play between the shore and the mouth of the simile of the floating Standard Oil company of former days, and those cheerful ones who live to enjoy themselves in strange ways are to be ferried from the shore to the tongue of the floater. There a smooth young man will have his hands crossed with silver and after this transaction the passengers will be at liberty to walk down the whale’s tongue to the room where for three days and three nights Jonah sat and mourned the day that he became a Populist.

In that section all will be light and cool and cheerful, and on a stage vaudevillians will kick and sing and cavort and musicians will add to the gaiety of the scene and will make many believe that the ancient stories of Jonah’s troubles were much overrated.

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