Santa’s on the Roof, the Rockettes are High Kicking and Radio City Music Hall’s Decked Out for the Holidays
By: Ellis Nassour
The Showplace of the Nation, Radio City Music Hall knows how to ring in joy to the world with its Christmas Spectacular better than any other show. And the 85th Edition, running through December 30, gives "spectacular" a new definition. In fact, there’s no better place to lift spirits and create lasting family memories than with this cherished holiday tradition.
The always eagerly-anticipated holiday show, estimated to be seen by 73 million people over the years, is one of New York’s most popular attractions right up there with quintessential sites such as the Statue of Liberty, Empire State and Chrysler Buildings, Rockefeller Center and the U.N.
As always, the two standout stars are the world famous Rockettes, the glamorous 36-strong troupe who set the standard for challenging and innovative precision dance; and, of course, jolly ole Santa Claus. To further captivate audiences, the production extends beyond the stage to transform the Hall into a winter wonderland.
You’ll get swept away as soon as you enter the Art Deco lobby where there hangs a jaw-dropping 35′ mobile tree made up of 6.000 Swarovski crystals. You can even have your photo taken with Santa or a Rockette [however, not for free; there’s a $35 charge…a bit much for two opportunities that have sponsorship, No! you can’t use your own camera!!!].
This year’s fast-paced, 90-minute edition, has the world’s largest flying indoor LED screen, new routines and surprises, songs and carols, razzle-dazzle costumes, 3-D and cutting edge digital projection alongside beloved numbers that have been tradition since 1933: "The Parade of the Wooden Soldiers," the high-energy tap-infused "The 12 Days of Christmas," the famed and hilarious dance of the department store toys; ice-skating in Central park; and, of course, the Living Nativity.
Debuting this season is a high-tech Rockettes number, "Snow" that’ll have audiences spellbound as snowflakes actually fly out and soar over audiences. And you don’t have to wish for a white Christmas because you’ll have one right there.
The show, conceived, directed, and choreographed by Linda Haberman, is very airborne show that extends into the vast auditorium [you’ll love the trains running across the golden arches] with Santa on a journey soaring over Manhattan in his reindeer-drawn sleigh through a blizzard to the whimsical world of his North Pole workshops with elves and Mrs. Claus. In "New York at Christmas," the Rockettes take audiences on a whirlwind Manhattan holiday tour aboard a Gray Line double-decker bus that culminates in a Times Square fireworks display. There’s also an interactive number that will delight the youngsters, "Santa’s Video Game," which mixed 3-D with the very live Rockettes.
The "reason for the season," Living Nativity, with spectacular costumes and live animals, has been enhanced so that Bethlehem’s starry-night sky envelopes the audience.
Entertainment begins a quarter hour before showtime when the mighty Wurlitzer organs roll out with dueling organists for a most entertaining concert of holiday favorites.
Support Madison Square Garden’s Garden of Dreams Foundation by making the holidays brighter for the less fortunate with the donation of unwrapped toys. Visit gardenofdreamsfoundation.org to learn more.
Tickets for Radio City Music Hall’s Christmas Spectacular, presented by Chase, are $72 – $139, with VIP Elite packages at $401 and $482 which include a stockingful of treats (premium seat, with private entrance and coincerge, pre-show buffet with beverages, photo opt with Santa and the Rockettes). They’re available at the Music Hall box office or, with the addition of service fees, online at www.radiocitychristmas.com, and Ticketmaster.com, or by calling (866) 858-0007.