It was starting late, by Texas standards. Curtain up at 10 pm. My first thought was that I hope I don’t nod off. JAM got tickets, and we were off! Radio City Music Hall, a famous building in a city full of famous buildings. The show? The Rockettes Christmas Spectacular!
We didn’t know what to expect.
This 6,000 seat venue was built in 1932. Its success over the years has been in doubt and plagued with financial difficulties over the decades. It lost so much money in the 1970s, it was almost closed and converted to tennis courts. But back to my story….
It didn’t take long for the Wow to set in. The interior of the Hall is incredible. The grandeur of the golden age of theatre is captured like a time capsule.
The red carpeting, the walnut paneling, and the gold-leaf trim ended at the grand staircase sweeping up to the mezzanine level. You could picture Marlene Dietrich floating down the stairs, satin gown gracefully following.
At the top of the stairs stood a real life Rockette, available for individual photos. A long que folded down the promenade waiting their turn. The Rockette just kept smiling and looking elegant. An usher welcomed us to Radio City and led us to our seats. The theater presented much more cavernous than the 6000 seats would suggest.
The stage, a huge amphitheater band shell, stood waiting for the curtain to rise. Your imagination could see the parade of American and International singers, dancers, and entertainers who have graced this stage. We had to add Awe to the Wow.
Ten o’clock and the lights went down, the curtain went up, the stage came alive….and there was Santa Claus. Ole Santa welcomed us all to the season and then introduced the Rockettes.
This precision dance troupe was exactly that. Exactly what they have been every time I’ve seen them on TV since the 1960s. Exactly what they have been doing since 1933. It was Awe and Wow and just as the ticket said, Spectacular.
Thirty-Six Rockettes lined up across that magnificent stage and danced, stepped and kicked in precise synchronized rhythm. It was hypnotic. Whether it was in the chorus line Christmas outfits, the Toy Soldier uniforms, or Santa Claus suits, these talented young ladies continued to impress the entire evening.
The supporting cast and effects were just as impressive. Santa took the audience on a 3-D video sleigh ride from the North Pole through Manhattan to Radio City. A very young ballerina performed the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy from the Nutcracker Suite. She looked like she had been dancing most of her life. She must have because she was only about 10 years old and she was dancing in the Rockettes show! In the end, two brothers, looking for a gift for their Mother discovered that Santa Claus is real. What a show!
I’m happy they didn’t knock down the Music Hall for tennis courts. The Wow, Awe and Spectacular of the Rockettes deserve a house as elegant as Radio City. It just all goes together.