NYC has 2 iconic Christmas theater events. it is impossible to think of the holiday period in New York without either one. The first of these is the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, presented over the holiday period in the Radio City Music Hall theater. (The other is the New York City Ballet’s ‘The Nutcracker). This Midtown theater, the largest indoor theater in the world, has been variously a movie theater, a Music Hall, the venue for big events like the Academy awards and these days is mainly renowned for the Christmas Spectacular held there every holiday period.
First presented in 1933, a year after the Radio Music Hall first opened, the Radio Hall Christmas Spectacular is now an iconic NYC event and attending a performance is high on most visitors list of must-do NYC activities. Initially much shorter, these days it is a 90 minutre show presented 5 times a day, 7 days a week from approximately Nov 13 to Jan 3 each year.
2 segments in the show, the Parade of the Wooden Soldiers, see the video, and The living Nativity Scene have been in every show since it started.
Apart from the Christmas theme, the famed Rockettes, the Music Hall’s much celebrated precision dancing troupe are the other constant in the show.
They were formed in 1925 in Missourit and made the their permanent home in NYC in 1932. Rockettes must be between 5 ft 6′ and 5 ft 10 1/2′ to become part of the troupe. One of the optical illusions of the show is that the women in the troupe are grouped together in such an onlooker thinks they are all the same height. When they do their famous high kicking routines the audience is sure they are all kicking to exactly the same height.
The Rockettes are now so beloved and so central to New Yorkers sense of how the City operates that they also have a permanet role in both Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Rockefeller Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony.
While each Christmas Spectacualr has the 2 acts referred to above, each year additonal acts and startlingly innovative use of new technology are incorporated into the show. This year expect there will be a segment from The Nutcracker ballet, a trip through the sky in Santa’s sleigh and a visit to the North Pole and much.
Each year, after fabulous displays of precision dancing right through the show, the last act always is the Rockettes in a laong line high kicking in prefect time with each other.