The Radio City Christmas Spectacular, starring the world-famous Rockettes, is a holiday tradition enjoyed by more than 2 million people each year. The Rockettes have been kicking up their heels to the sound of cheering crowds for more than 80 years.
In 2011, the show is better than ever. The Radio City Christmas Show was dramatically updated in 2007 with the addition of 3D and other dazzling effects, blending new numbers with the traditional favorites that have kept audiences coming back year after year. It's easy to see why the Radio City Christmas Spectacular is an annual yuletide tradition for so many New Yorkers and visitors.
What to Expect at the Radio City Christmas Spectacular
There are 12 acts in the show, some new, some enhanced, all amazing.
We were completely entranced by the Rockettes’ tour of New York City in an open-air bus that turns and rolls along in conjunction with a lifelike film of the city’s best scenery behind it. We also enjoyed the 75th anniversary film documenting the history of the theater, including its near-closing and last minute rescue by the state. Sounds out of sync with the tempo of this production, but the producers managed to make it as entertaining as the other acts.
We were nostalgic over the Nutcracker, amused by the 30+ Santas in “Here Comes Santa Claus” and dazzled by the holograph-like ornaments and animated displays on the ceilings and walls, including a fireworks display.
The biggest hit, however, was the fabulous 3-D ride through New York City on Santa's sleigh, which drew audible oohs and ahs from the audience (3-D glasses were provided with the programs). The 3-D effects were comparable with those at Disney World and Universal Studios.
Newly-dubbed “4-D” effects were also new to this year’s show, with actual snow falling from the ceiling and streamers careening through the air above.
Keeping Tradition Alive at the Radio City Christmas Spectacular
The Rockettes themselves are a whole lot more than a row of great looking legs. Their precision and coordination are truly astounding. Acts featuring the Rockettes as Santa's reindeer and as toy soldiers are traditional favorites and remain key parts of the show. Another time-honored act features a real ice skating rink on stage.
The famous “Living Nativity” and “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers” segments, which have been part of the show since 1933, have also been revamped. The nativity scene itself, with a grand entourage that includes real camels and a donkey, was just as beautiful as ever.
See the Radio City Christmas Spectacular
- When: November 5, 2011 through January 2, 2012
- Where: Radio City Music Hall, 6th Avenue between 50th and 51st Streets
- Directions: Take the B,D, or F train to Rockefeller Center/50th Street stop. Take the M5, M6, M7 or M27/M50 buses to Rockefeller Center/50th Street stop.
- Ticket Prices: $40-$100 per ticket
- Where to Buy Tickets: Buy Radio City Christmas Tickets online. You can also get tickets at the theater box office Monday through Saturday from 10AM-8PM and Sunday from 11AM-8PM.
Tips For Enjoying the Radio City Christmas Spectacular
- There's no intermission, so you should hit the rest rooms before the show.
- The 3-D Santa Ride is featured very early in the program, so be sure to arrive on time.
- If you’re picking up will-call tickets at the box office, don’t forget to bring the credit card you used when you placed your order.
- Food, drink and souvenirs are available for purchase in the lobby, but are not allowed in the theater.
- Please remember to turn off your cell phones. Nothing spoils the mood like a jarring ring tone.
- Flash photography is not allowed.
- Restaurants within a few blocks of the theater have much higher prices. If you’re on a budget, the $20 price tag on a TGI Friday’s deli-style sandwich might come as an awkward shock.
Some Radio City Christmas Gift IdeasRadio City Christmas Spectacular Featuring The Rockettes (DVD)-- can't get to the live show? Then watch the special 75th Anniversary DVD of the whole show.
Radio City Spectacular- A Photographic History of the Rockettes.
Radio City Rockettes Soldier Christmas Ornament -- a very cute set of toy soldiers in a Christmas tree ornament.