Many people who are heading to NYC for the holiday season are probably thinking about attending the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. This amazing spectacle is a longstanding New York tradition, with plenty of lavish scenery and appearances by the high-kicking Rockettes. This post will give you a ‘leg up’ on the details about seeing the Spectacular and how to find discounts.
This year the Radio City Christmas Spectacular runs from November 10, 2017 through January 1, 2018. The number of shows per day varies, but it is usually 4 or 5. The times also vary depending on the show schedule for that day.
Radio City Music Hall is located at 50th Street and 6th Avenue. The closest subways are the B, D, F or M trains at 47-50 Sts Rockefeller Center. Click HERE for a Google Map and link to get exact directions from your departure point.
Though the Radio City show can now be seen across the country with regional and touring productions, there is nothing like seeing it in its original setting: Radio City Music Hall. Take a second to look around when you get inside- the interior is considered one of the most beautiful Art Deco spaces in the world! If you want to learn more about RCMH and the rest of Rockefeller Center, join us for our pay-what-you-wish Midtown Manhattan Tour or use our self-guided Rockefeller Center Tour.
HOW TO GET TICKETS
Tickets can be pricey, especially if you are traveling with family or a group of friends. Before purchasing full price tickets, try to get discounts through these below options, especially Goldstar:
Buy tickets through Goldstar who offers tickets at a special rate. Currently, they have tickets as low as $45.
If you are unable to get tickets through Goldstar, try StubHub. StubHub is a secondary market, so you could get tickets below full price. You could always purchase full price tickets from Ticketmaster.
The first Christmas Spectacular was held on December 21, 1933 at Radio City Music Hall, which had opened in 1932. At the time, the Rockettes and other live performers were somewhat of a warm-up act that was presented before the latest Hollywood films. The first show included the Rockettes doing “The Parade of the Wooden Soldiers” and the “Living Nativity.” Both of these components are still used in the Radio City show to this day. The films that were presented that first year were “Flying Down To Rio, “The Night Before Christmas,” and Walt Disney’s “Silly Symphony.” The show ran for two weeks that first year. Today it runs for almost two months, so you have plenty of chances to check it out!
The show evolved from a 30 minute performance to a 90 minute stand-alone show in 1979, which was the year that Radio City stopped showing films.
As technology has advanced, the show has been brought up to date. It now even includes 3-D film!
The current version of the show includes 14 musical numbers, which feature a huge cast of characters, including the Rockettes and Santa Claus himself.
Even though the Rockettes are largely associated with Radio City and the Christmas show in particular, the precision dance troupe was actually founded in St. Louis in 1925 as the Missouri Rockets.
The “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers” and “The Living Nativity” are the only two elements that were used in the first show that are still used today.
There are 36 Rockettes. All of them are between 5’6” and 5’10 ½ “. The illusion that they are all the same height is created by putting the tallest in the middle and then a gradual slope down to the shortest on both ends. Each dancer kicks “eye-high”, to give the illusion that all of the kicks are exactly the same height.
Over 1300 costumes are used in the show.
The Living Nativity includes a cast of real animals. These animals live at Radio City Music Hall for the run of the show. Throughout the run, they consume 450 bottles of water, 340 bales of hay and 560 loaves of 7-grain bread. Their handlers take them out for exercise late at night or early in the morning. If you are around the theatre at those times, you may see them out strolling.
Approximately two million people see the show each year, between the New York show and the tours.