The Showplace of the Nation, Radio City Music Hall, is ringing in the season with the 79th Edition of its Christmas Spectacular, which this year is more spectacular than ever. For more than three-quarters of a century, the always eagerly anticipated holiday show has been seen by 71 million people.
The Radio City Rockettes helped unveil the new Rockettes S’mores Frozen Hot Chocolate at Serendipity 3 , served in a giant goblet dripping in marshmallow fluff and filled Serendipity's Frrrozen Hot Chocolate. It's topped with honey graham cracker crumbs, mini marshmallows, swirls of chocolate sauce, whipped cream, and garnished with a graham cracker cookie topped with a toasted marshmallow, chocolate shavings, a drizzle of chocolate sauce and a Radio City light-up stirrer. Inspired by the new 3DLive video scene in the show, it's served with specially made 3D glasses. Get an eyeful of it here.
This year the show -- running now through January 2, 2012 -- is bigger and grander, re-touched, re-tuned, and re-imagined with more than half of the 90-minute show all-new. However, traditional favorites such as "The Parade of the Wooden Soldiers," the high-energy, tap-infused "12 Days of Christmas," "Let Christmas Shine," the famed rag doll number, and, of course, the Living Nativity, which have been the core of the holiday show, remain.
Radio City and its Christmas Spectacular are two of New York’s most popular attractions, right up there with quintessential sites such as the Statue of Liberty, Empire State and Chrysler Buildings, Rockefeller Center and the U.N.
As always, the world-famous Rockettes, the glamorous, 36-strong precision dance team, will be front and center helping to deliver a gigantic Christmas card while presenting some of the most challenging and ground-breaking dance numbers ever conceived.
And, you know who'll be dropping in at every performance: The man of the season himself, Santa Claus. As always, he’ll be asking, "Have you been naughty or nice?" If the answer's "naughty," you're in big trouble; if the answer's yes, one of the entertainment world's most enjoyable and incredibly staged shows will unveil before your eyes.
"My responsibility has been to keep the cherished Christmas Spectacular moving forward with fresh, contemporary and relevant content," says director/choreographer Linda Haberman, a former Broadway dancer and assistant to the legendary Bob Fosse, "while still honoring the traditions steeped in the show. We succeeded beyond our wildest dreams."
The 2011 edition, she notes, "raises the bar for live entertainment with a wealth of new warmth and magic" that only Radio City's great stage can deliver. "Working with my phenomenal creative team, we've transformed a vision into a reality and created our most imaginative show ever. It's something our patrons have never seen before."
New Rockette numbers, songs and carols, razzle-dazzle costumes, 3-D and cutting edge technology and digital projections are featured alongside beloved numbers that have been a tradition since 1933. To further captivate audiences, the production often extends beyond the stage to transform the Hall into a winter wonderland. You’ll get swept away as soon as you enter the prized Art Deco lobby, where there hangs a jaw-dropping mobile 35-foot tree made up of 6,000 Swarovski crystals.
It's a very "airborne" show with flying that includes Santa on an awe-inspiring journey over Manhattan in his reindeer-drawn sleigh through a blizzard, to the whimsical world of his North Pole workshops. There are also blasts of confetti and tons of special effects. In that vein, the Living Nativity has been enhanced so that Bethlehem's starry-night sky envelops the audience. The world's largest flying indoor LED screen knocks your socks off with eye-popping 3-D.
In "New York at Christmas," the Rockettes take audiences on a whirlwhind Manhattan holiday tour aboard a real Gray Line double-decker bus that culminates in a Times Square fireworks display. The Rockettes' finale, "Let Christmas Shine," literally shines as the dancers, each costumed with over 3,000 Swarovski crystals, assemble as live ornaments to create the world’s largest live Christmas tree, some 20 feet high.
The Christmas Spectacular is a franchise that tours annually; however, you can’t beat seeing it in the splendor of the Music Hall. A troupe of Rockettes and the man that can be everywhere at once, Santa, will play 2011 dates in Boston, Nashville and Durham.
Tickets for Radio City Music Hall's Christmas Spectacular, presented by Chase, Hallmark and American Express, are $45 - $125 and available at the Music Hall box office, online at www.radiocitychristmas.com and through Ticketmaster outlets, ticketmaster.com or by calling 866-858-0007. Entertainment begins a quarter hour before showtime when the mighty Wurlitzer organs roll out for a mini-concert.
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