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The Radio City Christmas Spectacular

The annual holiday favorite starring the Rockettes continues to live up to its name.

By New York City
A scene from The Radio City Christmas Spectacular
(© MSG Entertainment)
A scene from The Radio City Christmas Spectacular
(© MSG Entertainment)
In a world of downsizing, it's good to know that The Radio City Christmas Spectacular still lives up to its name after 77 years! The one-of-a-kind show, which is so entertaining and so fast-paced that audience members are barely allowed a second to catch their collective breath, continues to provide a level of glamour and extravagance too rarely seen in today's economic climate.

Much of that glamour comes from those dazzlingly leggy dancers known as the Radio City Rockettes. These lovely ladies get to show off their particular kick-line skills in the very first number, the smile-inducing "Sleighride," and they're rarely off the stage for too long afterwards -- whether in a clever, tap-oriented arrangement of "The Twelve Days of Christmas," riding in a Gray Line double-decker bus in the enchanting "New York at Christmas" sequence, kicking up a storm as three shelves full of raffish rag dolls in the inventive "Santa's Workshop," displaying almost military precision in the brilliant "Parade of the Wooden Soldiers," or lighting up the stage in the figuratively brilliant "Let Christmas Shine."

While the Rockettes are the star attraction, this extravaganza is also chock-a-block with a talented array of singers, dancers, and even ice skaters, all of whom consistently dazzle the crowds. It's almost impossible not to feel like a giddy five-year-old while watching the charming "Nutcracker" sequence. (I love those dancing bears!) The smile-inducing "Here Comes Santa Claus" number remains another highlight. And the show's grand finale: "The Living Nativity," a re-telling of Jesus Christ's birth, is full of beautiful pageantry (including those famed live camel and sheep) and inspiring music.

The show benefits greatly from the clever use of a giant state-of-the-art L.E.D. screen on stage that projects fantastic images -- from larger-than-life ornaments to twinkling Christmas trees -- that are truly awe-inspiring. (The remarkable 3-D ride with Santa as he and the reindeer come into New York City is a particular treat.) Still, technology isn't everything -- certainly not when the Rockettes are front and center!


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