‘Tis the season to see holiday-themed theater. For decades, the ultimate Christmastime show has been the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, which continues to bring eager audiences in by the droves to Radio City Music Hall at Rockefeller Center to see the world-famous Rockettes. But in recent years, other holiday shows such as a stage version of Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas and a new musical of A Christmas Carol have turned up in New York City in November and December. This year we have Cirque du Soleil’s winter wonderland of a show, Wintuk, and at the Marquis Theater on Broadway Irving Berlin’s White Christmas has returned for another limited holiday engagement. These shows are closing by New Year’s or shortly thereafter, so if you want to get into the holiday spirit Broadway-style, you should act fast. If you miss them, they may very well be back – and, if not, they will have likely been replaced by something similarly jolly.
It’s heeeeere! The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree has arrived.
The 76-foot-high Norway spruce, which belonged to fifth-grade teacher Maria Corti, was cut down in Easton, Conn. yesterday. It was transported to New York City on a special flatbed truck, and was hoisted into place this morning. (The tree generally travels during the night with a police escort; it usually takes 15-20 people and a 280-ton crane to handle the behemoth.)
The tree clocks in at more than 10 tons; it’s 40 feet in diameter. Minimum requirements say that the tree must be at least 65 feet tall and 35 feet wide; although between 75 and 90 feet high is favored. A Norway spruce is generally preferred (they’re not native to this country, but many were planted ornamentally), and if you were wondering, no money changes hands–it’s the pride of having your tree assume its place near the Prometheus Statue and the ice skating rink.
The tree will be covered in scaffolding as workers start adorning it–over five miles of lights are used to decorate the tree every year.
The first Rockefeller Center Christmas tree was erected in 1931 as workers were building the complex during the depression. First tree lighting? 1933.
The tree is located in the center of the plaza, at 50th Street and 5th Avenue. The official tree lighting is on December 2.