Entertainment. A term as broad as the Grand Canyon, as deep as the Atlantic Ocean and as delightful as a kid who's just been let loose in a candy store. Ever since man can remember, he has been in search of new ways to be entertained. In the old Roman days, it was seeing a lion take off the head of a gladiator. In modern times, it's reality television. There are more types of entertainment than you can possibly imagine. Some of it, even suitable for children.
In the following series of articles we're going to try to stay away from the usual dull definitions of certain types of entertainment, like "What is a play?" and questions of that nature. Instead, we're going to focus on some of the greatest entertainers and events of our times. These events cover a broad range of categories from TV to movies to music to theater, to the circus and so on. Entertainment itself may very well be one subject where you could write a thousand books on it, all the size of War And Peace. And let's not forget historical re-enactments as a form of entertainment as well, though not traditionally considered theater. Many of these re-enactments take place in historically significant cities and towns throughout the world, especially in the United States where Civil War re-enactments are regularly held in towns like Gettysburg.
Getting back to more traditional forms of entertainment, we've had the pleasure of hearing such great singers perform in concerts from all musical styles. We've heard the great performances of Enrico Caruso, one of the greatest operatic tenors of all time. We've heard the greatest rock and roll band ever, The Beatles, perform live at Shea Stadium in New York. We've heard Clay Aikin perform the Neil Sedaka song, "Solitaire", after which Neil Sedaka said, "I just lost my song forever". We've heard Cher sing one of the greatest versions of the National Anthem ever at the Super Bowl. And of course there was Robert Preston, arguably the greatest Music Man of all time, singing "76 Trombones".
But singers don't hold a monopoly on the entertainment industry. We've seen some great acting performances as well, both live and on TV and in movies. We've seen George C. Scott's electrifying performance as General Patton and then his refusal to accept the award for best actor at one of the most talked about Oscars of all time. We saw Gregory Peck becoming Atticus Finch in "To Kill A Mockingbird", a performance that would win him an AFI award as the greatest hero in movies of all time. We saw Clark Gable and Vivian Leigh in the classic movie "Gone With The Wind" where Gable delivered one of the greatest and best known lines in movie history, "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn".
These moments are but a speck in the vast timeline of entertainment history; a history so rich in moments that a time capsule of them would need to be buried on a planet ten times the size of our own Earth. In the coming articles we'll take a more in depth look at some of the greatest entertainers and events of our time.
You won't want to miss this.
Your Independent guide to Entertainment