cavalcade

Definition

Theater

  • (written as Cavalcade)
    A patriotic (but anti-war) play by Noël Coward,first performed in 1931 at Drury Lane. It presents a panorama of Britishlife from 1899 to 1930 through the history of the upper-class Marryotfamily. An enormous cast was required for the spectacular production.The songs included 'Lover of My Dreams', 'All the Fun of the Farm','Twentieth Century Blues', and 'The Girls of the C.I.V.'.

    King George V, who could seldom be coaxed into a theater,was lured by Queen Mary to see Cavalcade; and he reluctantlyadmitted that he actually enjoyed it.

    The 1932 film version won three Academy Awards but was denouncedby the US critic Pauline Kael as "an orgy of British self-congratulation."

Origin & History of “cavalcade”

Originally, a cavalcade was simply a ride on horseback, often for the purpose of attack: in James I’s Counterblast to tobacco 1604, e.g., we find ‘to make some sudden cavalcade upon your enemies’. By the 17th century this had developed to ‘procession on horseback’, and it was not long after that that the present-day, more general ‘procession’ emerged. The word comes via French cavalcade from Italian cavalcata, a derivative of the verb cavalcare ‘ride on horseback’. This in turn came from vulgar Latin *caballicāre, which was based on Latin caballus ‘horse’ (source also of English cavalier and French cheval ‘horse’). In the 20th century, -cade has come to be regarded as a suffix in its own right, meaning ‘procession, show’, and producing such forms as motorcade, aquacade, and even camelcade.
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