Monday, November 24, 2014

Radio City Spectacular: A Great Show in a Grand Hall

The Atrium of Radio City Music Hall
While in New York City this past weekend to celebrate our respective milestone birthdays, my mom and I attended a showing of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular starring the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall. We initially bought tickets for this show in honor of my grandmother who attended a performance here over 60 years ago. Her experience in 1951 left quite an impression on the young girl from McDowell, Kentucky. It is remarkable to think that a Senior trip of that magnitude was even possible for such a small rural school of that era. Thankfully, it was possible and had a lasting impact. She never lost her appreciation and regard for the Rockettes, who have made an annual televised appearance in the Macy's Day Parade ever since I can remember.

All of this was in my mind, and my mother's, as we entered Radio City Music Hall for the first time. To be honest, my expectations of the show were low. After all, I had seen their high-kicking song and dance routine a number of times on TV or so I thought. As I sat and watched the performers with their elaborate costumes and technologically enhanced staging and visual affects, I found myself moved beyond words. There were several pleasant surprises during the show including giant, floating snowflakes and a spectacular nativity complete with live camels and a burrow. All this, combined with the opulence and size of the theatre, made for a remarkable experience.

For the second time in two days, I realized the power of a live performance whether it's a comedy in an intimate theatre with compelling actors as the night before or visually stunning displays of musical talent on a grand stage with hundreds of other people in attendance. There is just something about a well-done live performance that stirs the mind and inspires the soul.

I will never forget this past weekend due in large part to this show and the fact that I was fortunate enough to share it with my mother and in a way, share it with her mother. Because of this experience, I now more fully understand my grandmother's fascination with the Rockettes. I get it now. I see how some performances can leave a lasting impression on us. Previously, I have not put much stock in attending live shows of any kind, but not anymore. Who knows, I may even go out of my way to see local performances that before now I would not have even considered. And I now look forward to taking my daughter to Radio City Music Hall one day, God willing. In that moment, four generations of women will have learned to appreciate a great performance in a grand hall.
Art Deco stage at Radio City Music Hall
The Rockettes as Reindeer
A representation of the Nutcracker story 
The Rockettes as Toy Soldiers
Christmas in the City
Drone snowflakes floating around the theater
The live nativity

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