Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Review of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular at the Radio City Music Hall

Aloha!

I have been to New York City many times, and each time I am there I manage to catch at least one show. Though I have walked by the Radio City Music Hall before, I have never attended a show there nor seen the world famous Rockettes. Well, that changed last weekend as I attended one of the first few shows of this year’s Radio City Christmas Spectacular!

This show has been going on since 1933, and the Radio City Music Hall is an amazing place to see it (there is also a touring version of the show). Located in Rockefeller Plaza, the theatre was built in 1933 and it is huge! It holds around 6,000 guests and has one of the biggest pipe organs ever made.

Well, they put that pipe organ to work, and a few minutes before the 8:00 PM start time, two of the consoles slid out of the wall and the organists played a few holiday tunes to warm the crowd up. After that, there was just one crazy thing after another, and the show truly lived up to its “spectacular” name.

What defines the holidays for you?

If it is Santa Claus, you are going to be thrilled. The jolly stereotype played a big part in the show: he sang some songs, showed a god-awful 3D movie (glasses included), helped some kids find the true meaning of Christmas, made a few tame jokes about the smoking hotness of the Rockettes, and he somehow cloned himself into a mob of dancing fat guys.

If you think the holidays are about the virgin birth of Christ, there is a little something for you too. They put on a full-on processional across the desert with camels and donkeys, and the biggest manger scene ever. I’m sure it was pretty accurate to how things really happened.

How about the Nutcracker? They did an abridged version of that too, albeit with all of the characters being represented by giant teddy bears.

If it is Christmas music you like, they did not skimp on that either. There was a full orchestra, and groups of singers throughout. All of these nutty segments were accompanied by the Rockettes, who really do put on quite a show. Supposedly there have 1300 costumes backstage that these 36 amazingly non-diverse dancers go through each evening, and I believe it. That represents a lot of stitching and dry cleaning….

The music and dancing were perfect, and there was even an ice rink with a couple of skaters (not to mention giant snowflake orbs that floated around in the cavernous hall). The singing was amazingly perfect, which kind of makes me wonder if it was all pre-recorded. Hmm.

Anyway, after 90 minutes of this (right around the time I was praying for an intermission), the show was over. It was definitely cool to see once, though I would be hard-pressed to go again as I cannot imagine that it really changes that much each year. If you have not seen the Radio City Christmas Spectacular at least once, I recommend that you give it a shot. They will be playing dozens of shows through the end of the year, with the last one on January 3. Trust me!

Mahalo!

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