“Radio City Christmas Spectacular” opens this week at the Fox Theatre, and even with updated music and modern sets, the show is a serious throwback. Think non-stop song-and-dance variety show, all Christmas, CHRISTMAS IN BIG CAPITAL LETTERS, all the time.
This isn’t about story or suspense, just 100 percent family-friendly theatrical eye candy. Some of the costumes and dances haven’t changed since the 1930s, while others are new twists on old holiday themes. Check out more photos from the show, and a story about what goes on backstage.
I got a glimpse of the show yesterday during a rehearsal that welcomed members of the press, and as expected, the show is high on sparkle, precision and spectacle. Personally, I’m impressed by the dancing teddy bears. I’m usually impressed by mascots that manage to stay upright; these were performing a ballet.
Then there are the famous Rockettes. Three of the 18 Rockettes in the Atlanta production are from this area, and they’ll all move on to Dallas, Texas after the show closes here.
If you’re wondering what the Rockettes do for fun while they’re in town, understand that they’re sometimes performing four shows in one day, and with 300 kicks per show. That means that on some days, their toes meet their eyes 1,200 times. For fun, they like to sleep.
On the quieter days, local Rockette Carolyn Simpson told me she sends her pals to the Georgia Aquarium and World of Coca-Cola, to Buckhead for shopping or to the Atlanta Ballet for drop-in dance classes. On Thanksgiving, they’re all invited to her mother’s house in Gwinnett County. (This is her fifth year on tour, and her first that brought her back to the South. She’s looking forward to dressing, not stuffing, for the big meal.)
Here’s a video of the Rockettes from the first act. If you’re looking for the quintessential Rockette kick, they don’t come till the end.
Want to go? “Radio City Christmas Spectacular.” Nov. 19-Dec. 6. $25.50-$65.50. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. N.E. 404-881-2100, www.foxtheatre.org.