Thrre are three children and three adults sitting in a row at Radio City and five of them are having the time of their lives and one of them thinks it’s all humbug. At least the music is all humbug. With a full orchestra and the promise of non stop syncopation every origian song is a nightmare bereft of anything but rhythms built for tap dancing. And the routines are so old , seventy-seven years old some of them you watch em with your mouth open in disbelief.
Or with your mouth open in wonder. My dates todday are my niece Louba Lababedi and my great niece Juliet Lababedi and from the moment she sees Radio City from the cab she is in a state of suspended disbelief. Juliet is gasping at the lobby, at the chandelier, at the winding staircase. Afterward I asked what was her favorite part she says “All Of it”before pinpointing a scene where Ckause illustrates how he can be in more than one place at a time by multiplying into an army of Santa’s. “There were a hundred of them,” Juliet explained to her Aunt, before adding sagely, “They do it with screens but you see he is magic.”
The show hasn’t evolved much in the twenty years I’ve been going. They were doing an excerpt from A Christmas Carol for awhile but that went the way of all flesh, as did, wisely to my mind, a rock and roll Santa. For some reason the ice skating at Rockefeller Center has been put to bed for awhile and the Rockettes as reindeer, perhaps for reasons of politcal correctness, has been toned down.
Otherwise it’s business as usual. Lotsa Santa, lotsa Rockettes including my all time fave Wooden Soldiers whicjh is still an amazing Busby Berkely like achievement aftar all these years. The scene from The Nutcraker is fine and the Living Nativity a beautiful thing.
For an hour and a half Juliet is enthralled. After its over I ask her if she wants to see it again? “Yes, it’s awesome” Juliet says, settling herself back down. But she’ll have to wait till next year.
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