Rockettes return to Radio City for ‘Christmas Spectacular’


Bob Jagendorf | Wikimedia Commons

Angelica Tejada, Opinions Editor

The “Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes” returns this holiday season after being canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, the 88-year-old show will run from Nov. 5, 2021 to Jan. 2, 2022.

The show made its debut in 1933 and its cancellation  last year was the first time in 87 years that the production was not enjoyed during the holiday season.

“I think everyone this year needs Christmas more than ever before. Last year was a little bit of a downer and it didn’t feel Christmas, and this year, Christmas is back, and I’m so excited,” Rockette LaTarika Pierce said to CBS. “Christmas is my favorite holiday, so I’m excited to get on the stage and spread joy to everyone.”

This year’s production will feature more Rockettes than ever before and they will perform nine numbers throughout the 90-minute production.

One of the numbers will be its iconic “Snow,” which converts the stage into a winter wonderland with intricate choreography and lights.

Other numbers like the “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers” and the “Living Nativity,” which have been a part of the production since its debut, will also  make their return.

The Rockettes, most known for their high kicks, have been rehearsing and preparing for the production’s long-awaited return.

“We put in a lot of hard work so we get to perform on stage, so we get to wear the costumes, dance in the lights and we all get to do what we love to do,” Joanna Richardson, who has been with the Rockettes for 15 years, said to CBS.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the production has implemented safety guidelines and protocols to be followed by performers and audience members.

All guests ages 12 and older will need to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination. Fully vaccinated guests will not be required to wear a mask, however, everyone else will need to wear a mask inside Radio City Music Hall, according to the Rockettes website.

Kimberly Kerns, a spokesperson for Madison Square Garden Entertainment, told The New York Times that these protocols are in place since the venue is bigger than a Broadway theater and has a good air filtration system.

“We believe our protocols are more than adequate to protect people in our building,” Kerns said. “The show has more than 1,000 employees. While there are a vocal few that don’t agree, the vast majority are excited about coming to work.”

Employees said that they are worried about working in cramped spaces backstage and putting into harm family members that are more vulnerable to getting COVID-19, The New York Times reported.

Regardless, production is set to begin as planned and tickets are now on sale.