Radio City Christmas Spectacular Review

January 28, 2018

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and the Radio City Christmas Spectacular is here to make your holidays even more wonderful than before. Filled with beautiful scenery, amazing special effects, and of course the classic Rockettes, what more could one ask for to brighten the holidays? Located in the heart of Manhattan at Radio City Music Hall, the Christmas Spectacular embodies all the joy and wonder of the holiday season in one magnificent show.

To begin with, Radio City Music Hall is the perfect place to perform the Christmas Spectacular. It is the largest indoor theater in the world, complete with a fancy interior design and beautiful architecture. According to msg, “There’s no place like it to see a show or stage a show. Everything about it is larger than life” (Msg). This makes it all the more special to see the Christmas Spectacular performed here. The Music Hall perfectly captures the true magic of Christmas by turning itself into a winter wonderland. Upon entering the lobby of the Music Hall, the room is decked from floor to ceiling in Christmas decorations. As the performance begins, the theater is filled with Christmas cheer. The performers are all truly in the holiday spirit, one of the things that makes the show so incredibly special. By combining technology with the performance itself, the Music Hall becomes the epitome of what Christmas is all about. It captures the true essence of Christmas, and allows for a family experience to make your holiday season special.

Not only does the Music Hall make the Christmas Spectacular so magnificent, but the special effects also add to the extravagance that is the Christmas Spectacular. Technology has increased so much since the show first opened on December 27, 1932. As time goes on, more and more scenery and props have been added or changed. The set designers at Radio City have taken ideas from when the show first opened, and made them into realities using the newly available technology we have today. For example, a double decker bus, inspired by a photo from 1949, is wheeled around onstage for one of the numbers in the show. According to an article from the New York Times, “Filled with Rockettes, it pivots around the stage as a moving 90-foot LED screen backdrop shows scenes in Rockefeller Center and Times Square; the effect is a dizzying, and extremely clean, city tour” (Nytimes). The effects don’t stop there. Snow has been added to fall from the ceiling and encapture the audience in a winter wonderland. As years pass, the technology in the show becomes more and more advanced, making it the best destination to go to find Christmas spirit.

Let's not forget what makes the Christmas Speculator what it is- the Radio City Rockettes.  These talented dancers appeared for the first time on the Music Hall stage in 1932, the opening of the Christmas Spectacular itself, and they have not stopped kicking since! Most famous for their prestigious kickline, the Rockettes are a precision dance group made up of 80 women, split into two casts of 40 women each. Each cast has 36 performers, and four “swings,” in case someone hurts themselves or needs to be filled in for. They perform four times a day, and they have up to eight costume changes per show. They have been performing in the Spectacular since the very first time the show opened, and today in 2017 still use most of the original choreography, with newly added dances here and there. Some of their most famous dances include the “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers”, which has been around since 1933, and “Let Christmas Shine”. The Rockettes’ dances draw so many people to the show each year, with their mesmerizing kicks and clean cut routines. The Rockettes are between 5’6 and 5’10, and in the kickline the tallest stand in the middle with the shortest on the end, giving the illusion they are all the same height. Their kicks are all equally eye high, and this gives the precise effect they are so famous for. Rehearsals for the Rockettes begin in mid-September, and they work full time on perfecting their dances. Without the Rockettes’ technique and detail, the show would definitely be missing something. The Christmas Spectacular would just not be the same without them. The Rockettes are truly what make the show so special and so joyful to watch.

Overall, the Christmas Spectacular is one of the things that makes Christmas in New York so unique. It brings Christmas spirit to the city, and it is one of the most popular shows of all time. People come from around the world to experience the magic the Christmas Spectacular brings their audiences every show, and it is truly not something you would want to miss. The magic that happens during the holidays in Radio City Music Hall is something you can find nowhere else, and you just have to see it to believe it!

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