and P. Have you got that? And I want the whole system working a week before the grand rehearsal, so that there won’t be any mistakes.”
A determined-looking mother, leading a pretty girl of about ten, addresses the visitor resentfully. “They won’t let my little Vivian sing at the pageant. She got the first prize at the Talmud Torah contest on the west side last year. What kind of affair is this going to be.”
The visitor backs away in alarm, and mumbles, “You’d better see the information desk.”
The quietest spot happens to be the office of the Executive Director. Here, at the moment, an organization which has taken a thousand tickets, and wants five hundred more, is arguing for special concessions. The executive regretfully refuses. “We’ve given out blocks of five hundred, a thousand and two thousand on the same terms. We can’t practice favoritism. We have two hundred affiliated organizations in Chicago, and a hundred and thirty cities outside of Chicago, cooperating on Jewish Day. They are all treated alike.”
The representatives of the organization withdraw to make room for a press delegation. The publicity department is drawn in. The newspapers want material. They want stories, personalities, human interest, pep, features, photographs, slogans. They also want to know how to spell certain Hebrew words. They want exclusive articles. They want inspirational stuff. The executive presses buttons.
The press withdraws. In their place enters the director of the pageant with revised estimates for costumes, architecture, models, wiring, photographs, sub-directors, ushers, controllers, printers. The executive cuts ferociously at the figures. “We’re not running the World’s Fair,” he says, “We’re only running Jewish Day.”
“If you want the most gorgeous pageant of Jewish history ever presented,” says the Directors, “you’ve got toâ€””
“We’ll have the most gorgeous pageant on the old estimates, and not a hundred dollars more. You’ve got thirty-five hundred actors free. You’ve got the most magnificent arena in the world. And you’ve got yourself, haven’t youâ€”the leading pageant director in the country. What more do you want?”