Radio City Christmas Spectacular
starring The Rockettes
a kate west review
directed & choreographed by
musical director Mark Hummel
at Radio City Music Hall
1260 6th Avenue, New York, NY 10020
running Holidays November 2006 - January 2007
contact (212) 247-4777; www.ticketmaster.com OR
Looking for Americana holiday cheez at its best? Look no further than New York's own Radio City Music Hall, home of the legendary Rockettes, always sure to tap dance their little hearts out to sold out audiences.
Charles Edward Hall is Santa Claus and host spectacular. He narrates the basic Christmas story of bringing holiday cheer from the North Pole to New York City. Along the way, the girls perform their famous precision dances, jumping in and out of costume changes. You'll see a 3D projection of Santa's Sleigh, dancing bears in "The Nutcracker" scene, wooden soldiers (with the Rockettes falling on each other domino-style), multiple dancing Santas, real ice-skating and a reverent Nativity scene. Frank Krenz provides charming costuming while Scenic Designer Dawn Robyn Petrlik almost steals the show with revolving platforms, a pop-up ice skating rink and fast set changes.
It's a spectacular show, but fair warning – it's corny too. The show hasn't changed much since it's inception decades ago and it's even more popular today, as evidenced by the tedious long lines you'll have to stand in just to get into the lobby. It's something to see once in your life or to bring your out-of-town relatives, but you probably won't need to see it twice. The girls are great and Musical Director Mark Hummel keeps the tunes hopping with fine choreography by Linda Haberman, but again, you really have to be in the mood for old-fashioned holiday ideals, including a very traditional Christian look at December 25th. But there are real camels, donkeys and sheep, plus beautiful lighting by David Agress.
Thankfully, it is short, and your kids will definitely dig it. So if you're in need of commercial holiday immersion, go to it. And don't forget to try out those 3D glasses in your program. And of course, any aspiring little dancers will get a kick out of it. And maybe someone will even ask you, as they say in the popular local television commercial, "First show?"
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