NYC's "Spectacular" Holiday Spectacle

NYC's "Spectacular" Holiday Spectacle

Seventy-five million and counting! That's how many holiday ticket holders since Dec. 21, 1933, have seen the "Living Nativity" and the "Parade of the Wooden Soldiers" in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Radio City Music Hall, restored to Art Deco glory, dazzles now with 21st-century technology—from a 3-D thrill ride (glasses provided) into the city with Santa to a swirling tour of Manhattan on a double-decker bus with the Rockettes. Those precision dancers morph from prancing reindeer to toy soldiers (a highlight: their domino-like collapse in slo-mo), but, never fear, they also don sparkling showgirl gear for the high-kicking numbers.

An engaging narrative threads through five of the 14 scenes: Brothers Patrick and Ben, one cynical and the other wondering, encounter Santa and accompany him to the North Pole in search of a perfect gift and the magic of Christmas. The lesson learned—one muse see with the eyes of a child—ushers in a finale of falling snow and a Nativity pageant graced by the Holy Family, kings and wise men, even two real camels and a donkey. Performances through Dec. 31 promise moments entertaining and uplifting, a tradition worth revisiting.

Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Radio City Music Hall, 1260 Sixth Ave., at W. 50th St., 866.858.0007. For tickets and info, visit

Can't get enough of the Music Hall? Go behind the scenes on a backstage tour and meet a Rockette. See

 (Photo of the Rockettes performing the "12 Days of Christmas," Paul Kolnik for MSG Entertainment)

Jean Lawlor Cohen is the former editor of Where Washington D.C. A part-time resident of New York, she reports on entertainment, dining and art.