I wanna be a Rockette!
Want, want, what do I want?
Ever since I was a little girl there’s only been one thing I want, I want.
I want what every little red blooded girl in America could want, I want.
I want what I have wanted since the first day I learned how to Want!
I wanna be a Rockette.
The Rockettes are magic.
It doesn’t matter if you are six or eighty-six. You see the Rockettes smile, twirl, and KICK, and you are instantly hooked! You want to be like them No, more than that, you want to BE them. You wanna be a Rockette!
In 1999 the Radio City Musical Hall underwent a grand renovation. That year, I was lucky enough to visit the Radio City Christmas Spectacular with my Daddy, my best friend, and my best friend’s Daddy. My Daddy loved it, too. We went back again with my brother and Mother. When I lived in Manhattan after College graduation, I went back again. Once you’ve been to the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall, they become a lifelong love.
|New York at Christmas! There’s no place like it.|
You can’t get enough of the Rockettes. The Radio City Christmas Spectacular is a Christmas tradition not to be missed. Grins take you from beginning to end. The 90 minutes fly by, leaving you sad when the show is over and you have to go home.
While the NYC version differs from the latest Tampa Bay installment (it *would* be hard for them to have real life camels in a touring show), my fourth trip to the Radio City Christmas Spectacular (and first time watching a touring production), did not disappoint. My favorite numbers were there–toy soldiers, the Nutcracker, Santas, Santas, everywhere–and, of course, the Rockette kick lines!!
Even though I had a vague notion of what to come (the show does differ slightly in song and program from the NYC versions), I took so much joy in watching the children’s faces light-up around me as they saw the dancers for the first time. I found familiar joy in knowing my favorite song was going to start (I do love the “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers”, though it’s really hard for me to pick a favorite) and watching the Rockettes dance, dance, dance. And, of course, it’s hard not to get chills when you see the famous kick-line.
|“Parade of the Wooden Soldiers”|
I wanted to clap BEFORE the kick line began, overwhelmed by excitement knowing what was to come. In fact, my only real complain came from the Tampa Bay audience itself. The Rockettes are new to the majority of the audience. They don’t *know* that when the Rockettes do a kick line (or an impressive trust fall a la “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers”), that it is customary to clap. To cheer! The Rockettes are impressive and, as part of the show, they expect you to applaud for them. Dear Tampa Bay, when you see a Rockette kicking high in line, clap! Clap, clap, clap! It’s hard to do in unison and the Rockette’s trademark move deserves to be applauded. It’s expected to be applauded. So don’t be afraid to clap and cheer, that’s what the Christmas Spectacular is all about!!
As a Christian, I am so grateful that the Radio City Christmas Spectacular retains the Living Nativity. I know the the biblical verses of the birth of Jesus by heart, but I still gasp when hearing and seeing the wonder retold on stage. In Manhattan, the true scope is magnified as you see living animals accompanying the shepherds and wise men as they journey to Bethlehem to pay homage to Jesus. The scope may have shrunk for a touring production (for understandable reasons, including the animals well-being, I am sure), but, even on a smaller scale, the splendor remains. The mix of scripture, dance, and music make for a magnificent telling of the true Christmas story, reminding the audience that Christmas is about far more than Santa Clause and presents. In an age of holiday trees, I applaud and thank the Radio City Christmas Spectacular for retaining this live nativity and sharing the real Christmas Story. Thank you!
|Living Nativity, from the New York Production|
From beginning to end, the Rockettes and the Radio City Christmas Spectacular shine. If it is not part of your Christmas tradition, make it a tradition today. I know I hope to see the show up in NYC again next year!
Just a warning–after seeing the show, there is no little girl–young or old–who does not leave wishing she was a Rockette. Almost 15 years after first seeing the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall, I still want to be a Rockette when I grow up. It’s never too late, right?
|Our own kick-line!|
The Radio City Christmas Spectacular is currently showing at the Straz Center, in Tampa, Florida from 12/12/2013 – 12/29/2013.
Tickets are available at http://www.radiocitychristmas.com/tour-cities/calendar-tampa.html or on the Straz Center website. Tickets start at just $35 and some days have as many as four shows, making there NO excuse to miss this show with your family and loved ones! (And men, trust me, any girl would love this for a date, too!)
So kick on, Rockettes, the “greatest dancers of our age.” Let Christmas Shine! 🙂