Radio City cancels the Rockettes this Christmas

August 4, 2020

Photo by Kevin Poh via Flickr cc

In a not-surprising announcement, Radio City Music Hall says they will not put on their famous Christmas Spectacular featuring the Rockettes this year, the first time since 1933. The decision comes after Broadway said it will stay dark for the rest of the year and other venues like the Met Opera, Lincoln Center, NYC Ballet, and Carnegie Hall cancelled the rest of their 2020 seasons. As NBC New York noted, the Rockettes typically rehearse for more than 200 hours leading up to the show’s November debut.

The chorus line-style dance troupe originally began in 1925 in St. Louis and first started performing in various New York City shows shortly thereafter. For Radio City’s opening night on December 27, 1932, they performed as the Roxyettes, a name derived from showman S.L. “Roxy” Rothafel, who first brought the troupe to New York. They quickly became the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes, but it wasn’t until 1999, that they made their debut in the Christmas Spectacular as we know it today.

In a statement, Radio City owner MSG Entertainment said, “We are disappointed for everyone involved with the show, as well as for the many fans who make the Christmas Spectacular a cherished part of their holiday tradition.” The show usually sells about one million tickets each year. All 2020 tickets for performances that were scheduled to run from November 6 to January 3 will be automatically refunded, but tickets for 2021 are now on sale.


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