AUDIENCE REVIEW: Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes
Radio City Rockettes
November 13, 2019
On November 13, 2019, I had the opportunity to see the Christmas Spectacular starring the Radio City Rockettes, performed at Radio City Music Hall. Under the direction of Julie Branam, this classic show continues to amaze audiences with its ability to combine tradition with modern innovation, all while spreading joy to viewers of all ages.
The show begins with the opening of a full orchestra ascending into the air while playing a grand holiday arrangement. Singers enter on side balconies joining the orchestra with vocals of upbeat and lively Christmas music. The opening of the curtain reveals a foggy nighttime scene with the silhouettes of 36 Rockette Reindeer. After a few sharp energetic arm movements by the Rockettes in dimmed lighting with the sounds of jingling bells, the entire stage is then brightened as the Rockettes charge downstage and begin the first athletic precision dance piece. The piece concludes with the Rockettes strutting offstage as if they are flying Santa’s sleigh to New York City.
Throughout the show, the performance included many numbers danced by the Rockettes such as a lengthy energetic 12 Days of Christmas tap piece, the classic Wooden Soldiers which has been performed every year since 1933, as well as a dazzling precision jazz piece called New York at Christmas, to name a few. In between each number performed by the Rockettes, a story line continues by the talents of ensemble dancers, singers, and actors.
I particularly enjoyed watching the finale number, Christmas Lights, which was new to the show in 2018. Since then, there were several adjustments and changes made to the finale piece. To begin, the ensemble dancers perform a dynamic and spirited section which concludes with the surprising unveiling of the Rockettes elevated in the air. Wearing sparkly costumes and holding powerful positions, the Rockettes descend to the stage level and begin the high endurance and precise number. The Rockettes perform the final piece with striking formations, strong technical elements, and exude the spirit of Christmas. The curtain drops as the Rockettes continue their classic kick line.
I thoroughly enjoyed the Christmas Spectacular and was amazed by the athletic abilities of the precision dancers, as well as their artistic performance qualities. The audience is left with an overwhelming sense of joy for the holiday season.