Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes

The Radio City Rockettes Christmas Gala is an annual Christmas musical show presented by the New York City Public Library and the National Theatre of America. The leading actors are the women of the precision dance group, the Rockettes.


Since the first version was presented in 1933, the show has become a New York Christmas tradition. On August 4, 2020, it was announced that production would be suspended in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. A one-hour special titled “Christmas Spectacular” featuring the rockets will air on NBC on December 2, 2020. 

Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes began in 1933 when Music Hall presented the latest Hollywood feature films in an elaborate live stage show. The show was conceived as a celebration of New York City’s Christmas tradition and was one of the first major events at the music hall since it opened in 1932. It consisted of a parade of wooden soldiers, choreographed by Rockettes, a live performance of “The Nutcracker,” and a musical version of Christmas carols, all choreographed by the original Rock and Roll Hall of Fame cast. 


The Christmas show was choreographed and produced by Leonidoff and Markert for Radio City and released as a touring version by the Roadsters in the first year. The last two scenes have continued in each edition of the annual show to date, and the Christmas shows have been re-staged in various locations around the world. 


The Rockettes, who were founded in St. Louis, where they were called the Missouri Rockets, returned home after the spectacle. The first Christmas Gala in Radio City took place on December 1, 1941, in front of 2,000 spectators at the New York Opera House. 


The successful show kicked off a national tour the following year, which ran from 1994 to 2003 and was presented in collaboration with the Herschend Family Entertainment Corporation. A new tour was launched in 2006, which took place in 2007 in selected theaters in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., as well as in London. For the 75th anniversary of this Christmas show, it was updated and updated and designed and choreographed by Linda Haberman. 


In 2011, the show was called “The Rockettes’ Magic Journey,” and this edition of the show was filmed and is now available on DVD. 

The story of the 2011 program revolves around the Rockettes who travel through the North Forest to the King’s Castle of Humbug and steal toys from Santa’s workshop. The production included updated 3DLIVE scenes from the show’s live performances as well as a live performance of the song “The Magic Journey” by the cast. 


In 2012, a slightly modified version of “The Rockettes’ Celebration” was released, which celebrated its 85th anniversary with additional scenes. In 2014, Julie Branam was hired as director and choreographer for the Christmas gala, and the 3DLIVE scenes were removed. The Rockette’s traditional Easter Parade was there, but best of all is the story of two little boys trying to find their Christmas presents for Ben and Patrick, which is an adaptation of their original song. 


Derek Hough and Laura Benanti also appeared in the show as Rockettes, which ran from March 27 to May 4, 2014. The show was originally scheduled to take place at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City but was canceled a week before previews began. It opened as part of the New York Spring Spectacular, directed and choreographed by Warren Carlyle, which ran from March 12 to May 7, 2015. 


After the New York Spring Gala came to an end, it was announced that the show would return the following year, moving its run from spring to summer. Mia Michaels directed and choreographed the program, which was written by Douglas Carter Beane and is now called the “New York Spectacle.” It was performed from June 15 to August 7, 2016, and was scheduled to return in summer 2017. 

On Tape!

The series was filmed in 2007 and released by Time-Life Entertainment on November 4, 2008. DVD, which also includes a documentary entitled “Diamond Rock,” a two-part CD version of the show. 

The show, which was produced by HBO in 1986, was titled “A Magnificent Christmas Spectacular,” and the special, hosted by Joel Grey, aired the show. The special was never released commercially, but clips of it can be viewed on YouTube, as well as an interview with the host. 


Sadly, Broadway is closed. But we had the unique opportunity to see the Radio City Rockettes on NBC on December 2nd!

Merry Christmas! Have great holidays with these Christmas Carols!