Radio City Christmas Spectacular



The Radio City Christmas Spectacular is an annual musical holiday stage show presented at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The show features over 140 performers, lavish sets and costumes and an original musical score. The 90 minute revue combines singing, dancing and humor with traditional scenes in spectacular stage settings. The star performers are the women's precision dance troupe known as the Rockettes. Since the first version was presented in 1933, the show has become a New York Christmas tradition seen by more than a million visitors a year. In 2010, it ran from November 5, 2010 until December 31, 2010.

Radio City Christmas Spectacular: The Show
Credits
Produced by MSG Entertainment
Conceived, directed and choreographed by Linda Haberman
Composer, Mark Hummel
Lyricist, Mark Waldrop
Scenic designer, Patrick Fahey
Costume designer, Frank Krenz
Special effects, Batwin & Robin Productions
Orchestra conductor, Mark Hummel
Santa Claus performed by Charles Edward Hall

Radio City Christmas Spectacular Synopsis
The Christmas Spectacular begins with the Radio City Rockettes performing a new opening number called "Ring Out Those Bells". Before the song is over, Santa Claus appears on stage and they lift off into the air. Now the action shifts to a 3-D film where the audience (wearing special glasses) sees Santa flying to New York City from the North Pole in his magic sleigh. Once he arrives, he flies in his sleigh around some of New York City's landmarks including the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building. Finally Santa heads towards the Radio City Music Hall, for his annual visit.
Once Santa arrives at the Music Hall, the movie ends and the show really begins. Santa appears on stage and acts as host. His introduces the Rockettes who perform "The Twelve Days of Christmas" (Rock and Dance Version).
Santa then announces "Every little girl's dream", which is a scene from The Nutcracker. A little girl dreams about opening her presents on Christmas Day, and dances with the 6-foot-tall (1.8 m) toy bears and rabbits that she finds in the unwrapped boxes.
This is followed by one of the show's original numbers from 1933, "The Parade of the Wooden Soldiers", again performed by the Rockettes. The toy soldier costumes worn in the act are still of the same design created in 1933 by Vincente Minelli. Each costume is made for the individual dancer.
The next scene finds the Rockettes in a big double decker tour bus in front of a set of Radio City. They travel all over New York on the bus singing "New York at Christmas". The bus arrives at Times Square where the Rockettes finish their dance with on-stage fireworks. Two boys, Ben and Patrick, now come up to Santa on a corner in Times Square. Ben asks Santa for help finding a present for their sister, but Patrick claims that the old man isn't Santa. Santa tries to convince Patrick that he is the real thing with the numbers "I See Santas Everywhere" and "Magic is There". Then the boys and Santa magically fly off in a blizzard to the North Pole.
Arriving the North Pole, Santa tells Ben and Patrick to go find a gift in his warehouse. He says "When it's really the perfect present, you don't find the gift... the gift finds you." Then the Rockettes perform the number "Ragdolls". After this number, Ben and Patrick magically return to Times Square where Patrick admits that he does believe in Santa and sings a reprise of "Magic is There".
The next segment features a short video history of Radio City Music Hall and the Rockettes, before going into the show stopping number "Let Christmas Shine". The stage glows in silver and the Rockettes appear in costumes decked with Swarovski Crystal.
The "Living Nativity", one of the show's original scenes now follows. Special effects and a pageant including live camels and sheep dramatize the birth of Christ. There is a new narration by Ben and Patrick, reading to their sister, and a choral number, "One Solitary Life".
The show closes with a singing of "Joy to the World" before the cast takes their bows to a reprise of "Let Christmas Shine".

Radio City Christmas Spectacular Current Scenes
Ring Out the Bells (2006 - )
Twelve Days of Christmas (2006 - )
The Nutcracker (1979 - )
The Parade of the Wooden Soldiers (1933 - )
New York at Christmas (2007 - )
Here Comes Santa Claus (1996 - )
Magic is There (2007 - )
Ragdolls (1996 - )
Let Christmas Shine (2007 - )
The Living Nativity (1933 - )

Radio City Christmas Spectacular Former Scenes
Sleigh Ride (1980s)
The Rockette Christmas Carousel (1980s)
The Night Before Christmas (1980s)
The Christmas Song (1980s)
Christmas in Los Angeles (1980s - 1985) **
We Wish You A Merry Christmas (1980s - 1989)
They Can't Start Christmas Without Us (1980s - 1991)
Beginning of Santa's Journey (1980s - 1991)
A Christmas Carol (1980s - 1995)
Christmas in New York (1986 - 1998)
The Story of Christmas (1990 & 1991)
We Need A Little Christmas (1990 - 1993)
Carol of the Bells (1990 - 1998)
Ice Skating in the Plaza (1990 - 2006)
Santa's Toy Fantasy (1991 - 1998)
Santa's Gonna Rock & Roll (1994 - 2004)
Santa & Mrs. Claus: In Concert (1998)
Santa's Workshop (1998 - 2006)
White Christmas in New York (1999 - 2006)
Deck the Halls (2005)
(**The song Christmas In Los Angeles was originally written by the Sherman Brothers for Lawrence Welk's 1980 Christmas TV special.)

Radio City Christmas Spectacular Recordings
Video
The Radio City Christmas Spectacular Starring the Rockettes
Released by Time Life Entertainment on November 4, 2008. The DVD features the complete 75th Celebration edition of the show, filmed in 2007. A two disc version also includes a behind-the-scenes documentary called Diamond at the Rock.

Radio City Christmas Spectacular Audio
The Radio City Rockettes Sing Your Christmas Favorites (Mega Media, 2008)
Produced by Grammy award winner John Porter.
The Radio City Christmas Spectacular (Sony, 2000)
A cast recording of the music from the 1999 and 2000 shows, recorded in 2000.
1. Overture
2. Santa's Gonna Rock And Roll
3. Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree
4. First Letter: Parade Of The Wooden Soldiers
5. Second Letter: Here Comes Santa Claus
6. Third Letter: White Christmas in New York
7. The Man With The Bag
8. Toyland Ball
9. Welcome Christmas
10. Suit up the Reindeer
11. The Nativity
Radio City Music Hall Presents Songs of Christmas (Sony, 1991)
The 1990 edition of the show.
1. A Christmas Fanfare
2. Christmas Is Coming
3. A New York Christmas
4. Sing A Little Song Of Christmas
5. A Christmas Sleigh Ride
6. Ringing Of The Bells/Carol Of The Bells
7. A Children's Christmas
8. Christmas Classics
9. One Solitary Life
10. The Glory Of Christmas
Christmas Holidays at Radio City Music Hall (CCD, 1958, out of print)
Featuring: Raymond Paige and the Radio City Music Hall Symphony, Richard Leibert at the Mighty Wurlitzer Organ, and the Radio City Music Hall Choral Ensemble.

Radio City Christmas Spectacular History
The Radio City Music Hall Christmas Show 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 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 Erno Rapee and the Radio City Symphony; a solo on the Mighty Wurlitzer Organ; a Toy Shop Ballet; The Rockettes' "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.
In 1979, after the Music Hall ceased showing feature films, the Christmas show was transformed from a 30-minute stage feature into a stand-alone 90-minute show. It incorporated many new scenes and additional acts have since been regularly added. Technology that did not exist in 1933 has been incorporated to bring the show up to date with many special effects, including the 3-D film which now opens the show.
A corresponding Spring show, the Radio City Spring Spectacular, replacing the annual Radio City Easter show, was produced from 1979 to 1997. It included the popular traditional "Easter Parade" number with the Rockettes.
In addition to the Christmas show's annual production 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 originally founded in St. Louis (where they were called the Missouri Rockets), literally returned home for the extravaganza. The successful show launched a national tour the following year. The original touring Radio City Christmas Spectacular 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 selected 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 Radio City Christmas Spectacular was filmed and has been released on DVD .