Wild West show

an entertainment, often as part of a circus, representing scenes and events from the early history of the western U.S. and displaying feats of marksmanship, horseback riding, rope twirling, and the like.
[1880-85]

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Theatrical extravaganza produced by William F. (Buffalo Bill) Cody.

First performed in 1883, the show reached New York City's Madison Square Garden in 1887 with a cast of 100 Native Americans, the sharpshooter Annie Oakley, other trick riders and ropers, and wild animals such as buffalo, elk, bear, and deer. The four-hour spectacle, including Native American war dances and an attack on a stagecoach, toured Europe with great success in the 1890s and continued touring the U.S. until 1916.

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▪ popular entertainment
 theatrical extravaganza begun in 1883 by William Frederick “Buffalo Bill” Cody. Cody (Cody, William F.), an Indian scout and Western hero, first turned to acting and then to producing and promoting his own Wild West show. In 1887 his show was performed at Madison Square Garden, New York City, with a cast of 100 Indians; Annie Oakley (Oakley, Annie), the sharpshooter; other trick riders, ropers, and shooters; and such wild animals as buffalo, elk, bear, moose, and deer.

      The four-hour spectacle, including Indian war dances and an “attack” on a stagecoach, went on to tour England and Europe with such success that Queen Victoria saw the show three times.

      An early rival, Pawnee Bill, merged with Cody in 1908. After Cody died in 1917, his many followers kept alive the tradition of his Wild West shows.

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Universalium. 2010.

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