The Radio City Christmas Spectacular is a dance performance that takes place each holiday season. The original and most famous version of Christmas Spectacular takes place at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Christmas Spectacular shows at Radio City run between early November and New Year's, with up to 5 shows per day. The show features performances by the Radio City Rockettes, the world famous dance squad.
The Rockettes have been performing the Radio City Christmas Spectacular since 1933. When it started, the show was put together to entertain people between movie screenings. Since that time the Xmas Spectacular has greatly increased in stature, and now also includes touring performances that take place all around the country. Each Winter the touring versions of Christmas Spectacular fan out to hit a dozen cities across the United States. These shows allow easier access to the Christmas Spectacular show, although nothing truly replaces the excitement of seeing it performed at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. It's estimated that over 2 million people each year see the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall. The audience comes from all over the World to see the show at Radio City in NYC. That vast attendance makes Christmas Spectacular one of the most watched New York theater shows in history.
How to Buy Radio City Christmas Spectacular Tickets
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Radio City Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall Address: 1260 6th Ave, New York, NY 10020
The Christmas Spectacular is performed at the Radio City Music Hall, located in New York City. When filled to capacity, the Radio City Music Hall holds over 6,000 people of all ages. The Radio City Music Hall is host to a variety of special events for all occasions. Each winter, the Radio City Music Hall hosts the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, one of the longest running Christmas productions in the history of the United States. The Christmas Spectacular is the largest grossing holiday show ever produced in the United States. The Radio City Music Hall parking information is covered in our Christmas Spectacular event guide.
The Radio City Rockettes are the finest precision dancers in all of North America. The Rockettes are currently stationed out of the Radio City Music Hall in New York City, New York. The Manhattan dancers originally got their start in 1925 as the "Missouri Rockets" (hence the current adaptation "Rockettes"). The then St. Louis troupe was founded by Russell Markert, who was inspired by a performance of the earliest precision dancers, the John Tiller Girls. The Tiller Girls of Manchester, England were the most popular dance troupe of the early 1900's, and performed all over Europe and in the U.S.
Until Markert's Rockettes hit the scene, the Tiller girls were arguably the most popular dance troupe in the world at the time. The Tiller troupe popularized the art of precision dancing, which was characterized by the highly syncopated and geometric dance patterns. High-kicking dance steps were the centerpiece of the tap-and-kick routines, and mesmerized audiences. The Radio City Rockettes keep the tradition of the Tiller girls alive in their performances, adding a touch of American tradition and style to the art of precision dancing.
The famous Rockette kick-line features 36 women, arranged by their height with the tallest in the center and the shortest at the end of the line. The original Rockette troupe featured a 16 woman kick-line.
Every year, the Rockettes perform the Radio City Christmas Spectacular at the Radio City Music Hall. The performance is the most watched live show in the U.S., being viewed by over 2.1 million spectators each year. The annual performance is one of the longest-running productions in American history. During the Christmas Spectacular season, the Rockettes perform up five 90-minute shows a day.
The Rockettes also perform annually at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, The Columbus Day Parade, America's Thanksgiving Parade in Detroit, and the NBC Rockefeller Center Tree-Lighting Ceremony in New York City. The Rockettes performed for George W. Bush’s 2001 Presidential Inauguration ceremony, and the 1988 Super Bowl.
The Radio City Music Hall is known as the "Showplace of the Nation," and for a good reason. The entertainment venue in downtown Manhattan has thrilled audiences for decades, brining them the best in American music, theatre, film, and television – all in one prime location. Barbara Stanwyck, Jimmy Stewart, Douglas Fairbanks, Cary Grant, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles and many, many more have graced the Music Hall with their presence.
Opened in 1932, the Radio City Music Hall was the premiere venue for stage production and film openings. The Music Hall was the largest indoor theatre in the world at the time of its opening, and it still holds that honor. Over 300 million from around the world have passed through the striking Art Deco interior to see a concert, movie, theatrical production or special event inside the historic building. Since 1993, over 700 films have opened at the Music Hall. The interior of the building is stunningly large and exquisitely designed. The mammoth Great Stage measure 66.5 ft. deep and 144 ft. wide, making it one of the biggest theatre stages in the world. The stage is divided into three sections, and each section is mounted on a hydraulic-powered elevator, making for dynamic stage sets and effects. The shimmering gold stage curtain is also the largest in the world. The Music Hall’s Mighty Wurlitzer organ is absolutely gigantic, and is the largest pipe organ ever built for a movie theatre. Its pipes range in size from a few inches to 32 feet, and are stored in 11 separate rooms. The Music Hall contains over 25,000 lights and uses four-color stage lighting to heighten the stage effects. In addition to these innovations, Radio City still houses the original water pipeline equipment necessary to create rain effects, and cloud/fog effects via a direct steam pipeline drawing from the nearby Con Edison generating plant.
Today, the Radio City Music Hall is the regular home of the Daytime Emmy Awards and the NFL Draft. The MTV Video Music Awards and Grammy Awards galas have also been hosted frequently on-site. The Music Hall also hosts an array of concerts every year, including a sold out Elton John concert held in 2008 to raise money for Hillary Clinton’s Presidential Campaign. The Christmas Spectacular is the largest grossing holiday show ever produced in the United States, showing to over 2.1 million visitors every year.