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  • Writer's pictureLeigh Gerstenberger

Let Me Entertain You

A friend asked me the other day, “what silver linings amidst the current lockdown I had experienced?” Well, I’m pleased to say over the past several weeks that I’ve had many.

One of them has been the wide variety of entertainment options that have come my way out of the generosity of obscure and well-known artists from around the world who are performing, often at no charge or who are donating the proceeds of their performances to charity.

Reflecting on the performances I’ve enjoyed in recent weeks, the title song from the musical Gypsy, Let Me Entertain You came to mind.

So, this week I thought I’d share a variety of entertainment experiences my family and I have “attended” virtually over the past month compliments of artists from around the world. Where possible I’ve included the link to the performance so that you too can enjoy it and/or familiarize yourself with the sponsoring organization in the event you’d like to be added to their distribution list.

On March 30th iHeart radio featured Elton John hosting a concert in his living room that featured a number of performers from around the world. While clips of the performances are available on YouTube, I could not find the entire replay. That being said Elton John seems to be one of the early adopters of these offerings having also appeared on the recent Global Citizen One World Together at Home production that was simulcast across all three networks. While that show featured a number of artists, Jennifer Lopez’s Global Citizen performance of the iconic People made famous by Barbara Streisand can be viewed here.

The website is periodically offering live streaming performances (link) from well-known musical artists. As I’m writing this their upcoming concerts include performances from Taylor Swift, Bruce Springsteen and Sheryl Crow. Register on their website to receive updates on future performances.

One of my favorite performance companies, Cirque Du Soliel is offering 60-minute specials featuring awe inspiriting performances from a number of their productions. Here’s the link to the replay of ZED that debuted on April 17th.

While these performances can be viewed on your phone, tablet or computer, if you own a SMART TV and don’t know how to connect it to the internet, take a few minutes to set it up (or find a 5th grader to do it for you) as the performances look much better on the big screen.

My cousin in California is involved with an impromptu comedy troupe known as Comedy Sports Los Angeles. If you ever watched Whose Line Is It Anyway? the improv show hosted by Drew Carey and featuring Ryan Styles, Colin Mochrie and Wayne Brady, you’ll enjoy these competitive comedy contests.

Comedy Sports live streams shows on Saturday evenings at 7:30 PM PT via Zoom. Viewers are required to register to receive a ticket. While there is no cost to watch the show, it is possible to “pay what you can” if you’d like to make a contribution to support the performance company.

Of course, over the past month there have been no dearth of seminars, workshops and lectures in addition to motivational and inspirational presentations from a wide variety of well-known authors, presenters, pastors and experts on almost every subject.

I was particularly impressed by a recent four-hour virtual gathering hosted by Chic Influencer. The seminar was to help small business owners prepare and plan to pivot and execute their online marketing strategies in-light of challenges in the current business environment.

The program featured a dozen presenters, all small business owners, many of them young women, who are excited and passionate about helping others grow their companies. While I don’t know the size of the audience that ultimately attended the half-day seminar, my understanding is that over 1,000 registrations were received prior to the event streaming live.

A particular point of pride for me was that my daughter Kathryn Richardson was honored to be one of the presenters. In her mid-thirties, and the mother of three children under the age of six, Kathryn is now on her fourth business venture. Her 20-minute presentation highlighting the ups and downs she’s experienced in her business career can be found at the 1:58:40 mark in this link here. If you have the time, I think you’ll be inspired by her presentation.

On Easter Sunday a friend forwarded me a link to The Pittsburgh Blessing. The performance is a collaboration by the music directors from more than twenty churches throughout western Pennsylvania who performed a hymn together as a gift to the community. I learned a few days later that the production had since gone viral after being featured on national news network.

Finally for those of you who, like me find yourself longing for the good old days and the way things used to be, you might enjoy the following clip of three musical theatre greats - Ann Reinking, Donna McKechnie and Chita Rivera, performing Let Me Entertain You from the Broadway musical Gypsy.

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