'Radio City Christmas Spectacular' Courts Controversy



Radio City Christmas Spectacular starring The Rockettes    

Directed & Staged by Dennis Callahan; Original Production Directed & Choreographed by Linda Haberman; Scenic Designer, Patrick Fahey; Costume Designers, Gregg Barnes, Pete Menefee; Lighting Designer, David Agress; Sound Designer, Daniel Gerhard; Musical Arranger/Supervisor, Mark Hummel; Musical Director, Michael Orland; Writer & Original Lyrics, Mark Waldrop; Original Music, Mark Hummel, Billy Stritch; Production Stage Manager, Ritchard Druther; Assistant Choreographers, Annie Gibbons-Syke, Maya Pingle

The Rockettes: Samantha Beary Burns, Bethany Blanchard, Nirine S. Brown, Mary Cavett, Jennifer Clavin, Jennifer K. Fait, Katelyn Gaffney, Alexa Glover, Courtney Michelle Grassia, Talese Hunt, Lisa Jantzie, Nicole Jones, Stephanie Madden, Kerry Margolin, Amber CameRon Miller, Corey Whalen, AlIna Williams, Raley Zofko, Emily Blanchard, Laura Danelski, Kristina Larson-Hauk, Annie Gibbons-Syke

CAST: Santa...John Paul Almon; Mrs. Claus...Crista Moore; Elves: Matthew Gogin, Lauren Webnar, Nathan Webnar, Mitzi Y. Evans; Clara...Madeleine Gardella, Maria May; ENSEMBLE: Jennifer Jong, Lara Moffett Menard, Meredith Ostrowsky, Emily Hayes Perucca, Katie Rustowicz, Staci Wilkinson-De Voogt, Maya Pingle, Mathias Anderson, Evan Autio, Adam Brenner, Levi Marsman, Nick McGough, Samuel S. Turner, Julian Farinas

Performances through December 29 at the Citi Performing Arts Center Wang Theatre; Box Office 866-348-9738 or www.citicenter.org/rockettes

The World Famous Radio City Rockettes star in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular which returns to Boston after a four-year absence. While it lives up to the letter of what is promised, this touring version falls short in the spirit department. The acclaimed line of dancers is half the length of that seen in New York with eighteen versus thirty-six pairs of legs; much to the chagrin of the local musicians' union, recorded music takes the place of a live orchestra; and, sorry Citi PAC, but Radio City Music Hall, you ain't.

That said, even with a smaller troupe, The Rockettes are an amazing group of precision dancers worth seeing, who characteristically clasp their arms around each other's waists, kick their legs to the exact same height twenty or thirty times in succession, and think nothing of it. Oh, and they smile and breathe the whole time, too. They perform in seven scenes with the accompanying number of quick costume changes, but you'll never see them sweat. In the opening number "Sleighride," the dancers are dressed to resemble reindeer and their movements cleverly evoke those of the graceful animals. My favorite scene is "The Parade of the Wooden Soldiers," a meticulously executed military marching routine that has been featured in the Christmas show yearly since 1933.  Rhythmic tap dancing is featured in the new "Twelve Days of Christmas," and we get to sightsee in Manhattan Rockettes-style in "Christmas in New York."

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Nancy Grossman From producing and starring in family holiday pageants as a child, to avid member of Broadway Across America and Show of the Month Club, Nancy has cultivated her love of the art and respect for the craft of theatre. She fulfilled a dream when she became an adult-onset tap dancer in the early 90's ("Gotta dance!"); she fulfills another by providing reviews for BroadwayWorld.com and evolving as a freelance writer. Nancy is an alumna of Syracuse University and a retired Probation Officer-in-Charge in the Massachusetts Trial Court system.

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