Radio City Christmas Spectacular Musical tickets

The Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes is an annual musical holiday stage show presented at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The 90-minute show features more than 140 performers and an original musical score, and combines singing, dancing, and humor with traditional scenes. The star performers are the women’s precision dance troupe the Rockettes. Since the first version was presented in 1933, the show has become a New York Christmas tradition. The 2018/2019 production runs from November 9, 2018 to January 1, 2019.

More About Radio City Christmas Spectacular

The “Christmas Spectacular” began in 1933 when the Music Hall presented lavish live stage shows along with the latest Hollywood feature films. The first Christmas show was produced December 21, 1933, along with the RKO musical movie Flying Down to Rio and The Night Before Christmas, a Walt Disney Silly Symphony, and ran for two weeks. This was just one year after the opening of the Music Hall in 1932. The show was created by the Music Hall’s stage producer Leon Leonidoff and designer Vincente Minnelli. It consisted of an overture with Ernö Rapée and the Radio City Symphony; a solo on the Mighty Wurlitzer Organ; a performance by Jan Peerce; a Toy Shop Ballet; The Rockettes’ performance of “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers”, choreographed by their founder, Russell Markert; and “The Living Nativity”. These last two scenes have continued in every edition of the annual show up to the present day. The Christmas show, like all the Radio City stage shows, continued to be produced and choreographed by Leonidoff and Markert through the early decades of the Music Hall’s history. Later, Peter Gennaro and others produced the annual show.

In addition to the annual Christmas show at Radio City, road companies have presented a touring version in theaters throughout the United States. The first Christmas Spectacular outside of Radio City was presented in Branson, Missouri at the Grand Palace Theatre in 1994. The Rockettes, having been founded in St. Louis (where they were called the Missouri Rockets), returned home for the extravaganza. The successful show launched a national tour the following year. The original touring show was presented in conjunction with Herschend Family Entertainment Corporation and ran from 1994 to 2003. In 2008, a new tour consisting of the 2007 edition was launched, playing at select theaters and arena venues around the country.

In 2007, to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Christmas show, an entirely new edition of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular was updated, designed, and choreographed under the direction of Linda Haberman. For a brief time, it was one of the few shows playing in New York in December 2007, during a strike which closed most Broadway theaters. This edition of the show was filmed and has been released on DVD.

In 2011, the show was titled The Rockettes Magical Journey. The production featured an updated 3DLIVE scene and new musical numbers in addition to “The Parade of Wooden Soldier” and “The Living Nativity.” The 2011 program’s story focused on the Rockettes as they traveled through the Northern Forest to the castle of the Humbug King who had stolen toys from Santa Claus’ workshop. In 2012, a slightly altered version was titled The Rockettes Celebration!, celebrating the 85th anniversary of the Rockettes with an additional scene. In 2013, an updated finale entitled “Snow” replaced “Let Christmas Shine.” In 2014, Julie Branam was hired as director and choreographer of the Christmas Spectacular. The 3DLIVE scene was removed and restoring the number “Rag Dolls” as well as adding an updated subplot surrounding Ben and Patrick, two young boys trying to find a Christmas present for their younger sister.