Radio City's "The Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes" is a beloved holiday tradition. For 85 years, the annual show has delighted audiences with the Rockettes’ high-kicking dance numbers, a live nativity scene (with real camels, sheep, and a donkey) and Santa Claus' 3-D sleigh ride. , The 90-minute musical stage show is full of holiday fun for the whole family.
Take a peek behind the scenes of the "Christmas Spectacular" with these lesser-known facts about the iconic show.
1. The Rockettes can kick up to 650 times in one day. The girls do more than 160 kicks per show and perform in up to four shows a day.
2. The Rockettes need to be a certain height – between 5’6” and 5’10 ½“. It may look like all the dancers are the same height, but they’re not. They stand on stage in height order to create the illusion by placing taller dancers in the center of the line with the dancers gradually decreasing height on either side.
3. The ice rink in the show isn’t real! According to Radio City, the rink is “an artificial surface with the same properties as real ice, with professional skaters wearing real ice skates to glide across the surface.”
4. The original "Christmas Spectacular," which debuted on Dec. 21, 1933, was 30 minutes. Today, the show is a 90-minute holiday extravaganza and includes two of the original numbers: “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers” and “The Living Nativity.”
5. The quickest wardrobe change is 78 seconds. It occurs between “Parade of the Wooden Soldier” and “New York at Christmas.” It is done right on the side of the stage.
6. During the eight-week run of the show, the (real!) animals in the “Living Nativity” number drink 450 bottles of water, eat 560 loaves of bread and consume 340 bales of hay.
7. The Rockettes’ shoes are mic’d up so the entire audience can hear the tap routines.
8. The rosy red cheeks worn by the Rockettes are red felt circles that stick to their cheeks with double-sided tape. Wardrobe goes through 30,000 cheeks every season!
9. The wardrobe department has their work cut out from them. They do over 350 loads of laundry per week and must keep track of over 1,100 pairs of shoes that are worn in each show!
10. "Christmas Spectacular" is unleashing new technology in its 2018 production: 1,000 Intel mini-drones will create a magical light show for the final scene.
"The Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes" will run from November 9, 2018 – January 1, 2019.