Richard and I saw the New York Spectacular starring the Radio City Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall on 6/24. The theatrical experience started even before we got in the theater. We had to wait five minutes out on the sidewalk before we even got close to the door, then our bags were checked by one security guard, and would you believe we were scanned with a metal detector wand and FRISKED before we got to our seats. FRISKED, I tell you. I've been frisked a few times in my day, but never in this context. Richard said, "I'm not doing this sh-t again. It's like going into a war zone."
That got things off to a rocky start, but I think our opinion of the show was not affected at all: as I said to Richard on our way out, "Moments of magic in a stinking pile of sh-t." I guess that was the key word of the evening.
I'd only been to Radio City once before, when I saw the Christmas Spectacular with Diane Schoff sometime around 10 or 12 years ago. I loved that show, the Rockettes knocked me out. The difference with this show is they tried to make it into a musical, with a plot and dialogue and crap like that. The Rockettes are best seen in a revue, with one number after another, maybe some dippy sketches in between musical numbers, but not an idiotic story about tourists lost in the big city, statues coming to life, and (of course) love, understanding, and forgiveness at the big finish. Enough ta make ya retch!
But there were moments of magic. The "Singin' in the rain" number was cute, it was fun to see them dance in actual simulated rain. The finale was very impressive: it started with the Rockettes doing "One" from *A Chorus Line* mashed up with Sinatra's "New York, New York." They were wearing a variation on the iconic gold *Chorus Line* costume (more about the costumes in a second). The rest of the ensemble took their bows and then the back curtain went up to reveal the Rockettes in short dresses covered with crystals doing the long-awaited kick line. The world's largest bread slicer. Gets me every time.
Our favorite number was "Vogue", the Madonna song, a tribute to Fashion Avenue, aka 7th Avenue. They brought out a red carpet and the Rockettes, all 52 of them, strutted onstage, each wearing a different outfit, all done in black, white, and red. It was a stunner. The costumes were by ESOSA, aka Emilio Sosa from Project Runway. Not just great fashion, but great movement. Bravo to him.