Rockettes Rock Christmas 2009

by Noiz 27. August 2009 17:48
Rockettes Rock Christmas 2009

Christmas isn’t just about shopping, presents and consuming large quantities of eggnog.  It’s also about something much more important like the Rockettes and their annual Christmas show.

Tickets to see the 2009 Radio City Christmas Spectacular with the Rockettes are currently on sale.  Their annual Christmas show… wait for it… kicks off on November 13th (we’ve got a million of them) and runs until December 30th.

If you can’t hoof it to New York’s Radio City Music Hall, the show does step out of the Big Apple.  There’s an arena tour that visits 30 cities in North America and then there’s a theatrical tour which serves five select markets in the United States.

The cities hosting the theatrical tour include Atlanta, Dallas, Nashville, Pittsburgh and Seattle.   For example, the Fox Theater will sell tickets to the Christmas Spectacular in Atlanta.  Across the country in Seattle, the Spectacular can been seen at the Paramount Theatre.

Meanwhile, the arena tour will bring a little bit of the Radio City to Philadelphia and it will also sell tickets in Toronto for the Christmas Spectacular.

This show has been kicking for 77 years and every year critics give it high marks.  Then again, women raising their feet high above their heads almost always receives rave reviews.

This year’s spectacular features dancing reindeer, dancing toys, and dancing stuffed animals.  At one point doing the show, the Rockettes whisks the audience to the North Pole to visit the man himself, Santa Claus, and to do some more dancing.

Fans will delight in the show’s signature numbers, Twelve Days of Christmas," "New York at Christmas," and "Parade of the Wooden Soldiers."  There’s also a living nativity scene and a 3-D film.  

Earlier this week, the Christmas Spectacular gave a preview performance on New York’s 6th avenue.  Joining the Rockettes was Santa Claus and Lawrence Tynes, the New York Giants kicker.

Doesn’t that sound like a lineup from one of those bad 1970’s TV Christmas specials? 

“Joining the Rockettes tonight on their network Christmas special is Marilyn McCoo, Vic Tayback, the cast of The Wiz and Tony Dorsett.”

Tynes made some ridiculous comment about how kicking a field goal is like dancing before collecting his check and shuffling off to a gentlemen’s club to kill some time before practice.

Some quick facts about the spectacular, in one scene 3,000 Swarovski crystals are used for each Rockettes costume.  In another scene, over 30,000 pairs of cheeky red dots are employed.   The whole show also goes through 1,400 pairs of pantyhose.

If you don’t believe us and you have a ticket to the Washington Spectacular we challenge you to count them all.

One of the most interesting aspects of the performance is the full-size Gray Line tour bus that drives across the stage.

It’s not on a track but controlled by a computer program.  A giant battery powers all of its light and it’s synced to the time code of the set’s video wall.  Obviously, it’s a bit of a logistical nightmare especially since it has to turn around.

Since the vehicle can’t physically turn around—there’s not enough room—the production makes it appear that it has turned around by changing the bus’s appearance.  

Stage hands remove the bus’ face plate to reveal a new plate that makes it appear like the bus is going in the opposite director.  Then the actor driving the rig takes the steering wheel and races to the other end of the bus.  

When the bus reappears on stage it looks like it has made a "U" turn.

You’ll be able to see this clever maneuver at all stops on the national tour including when the Radio City Christmas show plays in Baltimore.

The spectacular is a great family show that comes highly recommended for kids.  

In certain cities, especially New York and the cities on the theatrical tour, the Rockettes perform up to four shows a day.

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