Radio City Christmas Spectacular Begins Nov 7, 2014

Radio City Christmas Spectacular An Age-Old Holiday Treat

The Radio City Christmas Spectacular is gearing up to begin their seasonal show, to play from November 7th to December 31st.  With performances taking place at Radio City Music Hall on 6th Avenue between 50th and 51st Streets, this is sure to be a dynamic and magical experience.  Led by the world renowned Rockettes, the show features dancing and immersive entertainment that is fun for the whole family.  Every year, the Rockettes train harder and the show design is more innovative, aiming to up the ante from the many years before.

(Insanely) Busy Schedule for Performers

This year, the Rockettes will be kept very busy.  On Saturdays in December, they will play an extraordinary six shows per day.
Furthermore, during the five day Christmas period between December 19th and 23rd, they will do 26 shows.  Fortunately, the dancers rotate so that they do not all do all the shows.  In New York, there are two casts each of about 36 women.  The dancers divide their performances by morning/afternoon and evening casts, so that each cast can get a break each day.  In past years, it was reported that each cast would perform about 108 shows over the course of the season.  They are fortunate the show is only seasonal, because it is actually so tiring that many are so fatigued that they need the 10 months off!

What Do The Rockettes Do for the Rest of the Year?

Rockettes are professional athletes who train rigorously not only in dance, but in other forms of fitness to keep them athletic year round.  Furthermore, many of them are students, or pursuing careers in other areas of the entertainment field.  It is common for them to be models or actors, and many of them work year round in musical theatre.  Still, for many Rockettes, this is their only time dancing on stage in a given year.  The Rockettes tend to be hired year after year, which allows the team to remain strong while the dancers retain a sense of seasonal stability.  This is only one of the many reasons it is such a competitive gig, as year after year countless women compete for the opportunity to dance onstage in the timeless role of a Rockette. in 2014 Radio City was set to launch the Heart and Lights show that was planned to run from the spring to early summer of 2014. The show would have included many of the Rockettes, given that the style of show was similar to The Radio City Christmas Spectacular that runs win the winter in the prelude to the Christmas holiday. The 2014 Heart and Lights show was cancelled prior to opening, but 2015 will see a new version of this show, with a new name, get launched for the Spring 2015 season at Radio City.

 

The Rockettes’ ‘Heart and Lights’ Postpones Its Run

Heart and Lights, the new Rockettes show that was slated to begin performances on March 27, 2014 at Radio City Music Hall, has cancelled its run less than week before its first scheduled show.  The producer, MSG Entertainment, part of the Madison Square Garden Company, cited narrative issues as the reason for postponement until 2015.

heart and lights

Though traditionally successful with their Rockettes Christmas extravaganza in the winter season, MSG Entertainment has often struggled in attracting tourists during the spring and early summer season. They were attempting to turn that trend around with Heart and Lights, a love affair to New York City in which two cousins explore the city of their grandmother’s youth.  With choreography by Rockettes artistic director Linda Haberman, Heart and Lights has a story written by Doug Wright, the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winning writer of the 2004 Broadway play I Am My Own Wife.

While narrative problems were the officially stated reason for the delay, the musical must not have been doing stupendously in terms of advance ticket sales.  Though MSG Entertainment claimed 100,000 tickets were sold out of the 350,000 tickets available, the show did show up on discount sites such as Groupon a week ago.  In any case, because of back-to-back booking at Radio City Music Hall following the scheduled 5-week run, Heart and Lights has needed to delay until 2015.  This decision left the 40 Rockette performers, not to mention the entire crew, jobless at the last minute.  It was reported that several of the dancers broke out in tears in hearing the news.  Furthermore, the producers were estimated to have incurred a loss of at least $5 million from foregone ticket sales alone.

For the final dress rehearsal of Heart and Lights, MSG executive James Dolan invited film impresario Harvey Weinstein, as well as producers Jane Rosenthal and Daryl Roth, to pipe in.  Though these individuals’ opinions have not been stated publically, it is clear that their advice was one of the final straws in Dolan’s decision to cancel the show.  Doug Wright commented only that Linda Haberman is a pleasure to work with, and that the rest of the heartbreaking tale of the deferment would be saved for his memoirs.  While the story was not ready, the intensive special effects and expert Rockettes dancing were said to be in top shape.  Fortunately, the groundbreaking 3-D technology and innovative puppetry will only be put on hold, as audiences will be able to witness their delights when the book has been revamped.

The postponed performances dates have not yet been determined, but MSG will make an announcement when they have reached a decision.  All purchased tickets will be refunded at point of purchase, except Ticketmaster purchases which will be refunded automatically.