Today would have marked as the official kickoff day for the 2020 Radio City Christmas Spectacular (starring the legendary Rockettes). As many of you know, this year's edition has sadly been cancelled due to the continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic. Breaks our heart that New York City is going to experience a BLUE CHRISTMAS this year especially since this legendary show has become a Holiday Tradition since for the past 87 years. The 2020 edition was set to begin today and run through January 3rd, 2021.
The show is expecting to return next year for the 2021 holiday season and tickets are on sale NOW!!!! The 2021 edition of the RADIO CITY CHRISTMAS SPECTACULAR is expecting to run from November 5th, 2021 – January 2nd, 2022 at New York's famed Radio City Music Hall.
However, to keep the spirit alive, you can be able to watch the professionally captured filmed performance of this New York treasure in the comfort of your own home. Recorded in front of a sold out audience in 2007, this filmed performance gives fans a front row seat as you embark on the ultimate SLEIGH RIDE with The Rockettes, Santa, and all their friends as you celebrate Christmas….. NYC Style!!! You'll enjoy performances of this landmark show's highlighted moments including….
the opening magical SLEIGH RIDE,
the toe-tapping edition of THE 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS,
the legendary PARADE OF THE WOODEN SOILDERS,
the Broadway showstopper NEW YORK AT CHRISTMAS,
the high energetic RAG DOLLS,
the beautiful and emotional LIVING NATIVITY sequence.
PLEASE NOTE: Since this was filmed during the 2007 edition, bits of the production has been changed throughout the years. Costume pieces have been changed and several numbers (including this curtain call finale in this filmed version) have been cut.
The show was first conceived in 1933 (just 1 year after Radio City Music Hall first opened). The venue was well known for presenting screenings of the latest Hollywood films featuring a live pre-show spectacle. The initial first Christmas show happened on December 21st, 1933 as a pre-show running for 2 weeks that was performed right before screenings of FLYING DOWN TO RIO and THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS (an animated Silly Symphony short from Walt Disney). It was first created by Radio City's initial producer Leon Leonidoff and designed by Vincente Minnelli (yup, the father of Liza Minnelli). The original show consisted of the following setlist….
A special overture by the Radio City Symphony Orchestra (conducted by Ernö Rapée),
a solo on the Mighty Wurlitzer Organ,
a performance by Jan Peerce,
a Ballet set in a Toy Shop,
THE PARADE OF THE WOODEN SOLDIERS (choreographed by Rockettes' founder Russell Markert),
THE LIVING NATIVTY.
It went on to become a huge tradition and talked about event all over New York City. In addition, the show has even traveled across North America during the holidays several times.
Both THE PARADE OF THE WOODEN SOLDIERS and THE LIVING NATIVITY would be continued into all the annual editions of The Radio City Christmas Spectaculars and it's still a showstopper today.
Throughout the years, the Radio City Christmas Spectacular has gone through numerous changes, rewrites, and more to keep the shows fresh and updated each year. Several numbers that would later be used today in all the productions now used every year including….
an 8 minute tap dance to the classic song THE 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS performed by the Rockettes,
a big Broadway dance number honoring the Holidays in the city entitled NEW YORK AT CHRISTMAS (featuring the Rockettes dancing on a Double Decker bus),
In the 2011 edition, the show featured a 3D video game number (featuring the Rockettes acting as the Heroines of a Christmas themed video game).
In 2018, the show changed its finale curtain call number entitled CHRISTMAS LIGHTS (featuring mini-drones on stage to create a spectacle illusion).
We send our love and prayers to everyone involved with this legendary and iconic show which has become a holiday tradition for so many people. We cannot wait to RING THOSE BELLS and see you all make New York City as the ultimate WINTER WONDERLAND once again in 2021.
Who loves the CHRISTMAS SPECTACULAR?!!!!