Celebrate The Spirit of the Season with Live Arts in the Big Apple
In keeping with its reputation as one of the world’s great cities, each year the Big Apple embraces the spirit of holiday season with the same world-class flair for which the city is known. From the lavish holiday-themed storefronts along 5th Avenue to enchanting pop-up holiday markets in Union Square, New York becomes a veritable winter wonderland in the month of December. So it should come as no surprise that the performing arts offer a myriad of exciting opportunities to celebrate the season. From thrilling dance spectacles at Radio City Music Hall and Lincoln Center to stunning musical productions on the Broadway stage, there is something for everyone looking to keep the days merry and bright.
The Radio City Christmas Spectacular (Radio City Music Hall, 1260 Avenue of the Americas)
There is perhaps no greater New York City holiday tradition than The Radio City Christmas Spectacular starring the Rockettes. The timeless classic features the legendary dance troupe as they usher in the holiday season with bright smiles, high kicks, and pizazz. As iconic as the tree in Rockefeller Plaza or a visit to the ice rink in Central Park is, this beloved holiday show is a dazzling spectacle the entire family can enjoy. The world-famous Rockettes are known as much for their awe-inspiring kick lines and sensational tap numbers as they are for spreading joy and sharing the wondrous spirit of the season with audiences of all ages. The 90-minute production includes annual favorites “The Parade of the Wooden Soldiers,” which has been performed since 1933, and thrilling new numbers combining the magic of live performance with innovative and cutting edge special effects.
The Nutcracker (Lincoln Center, 20 Lincoln Center Plaza)
For ballet lovers, the New York City Ballet’s cherished annual production of Tchaikovsky’s ballet The Nutcracker is synonymous with the holidays in the city. George Balanchine’s iconic choreography brings the classic tale to life with the talent of the entire world-renowned company, including 90 dancers paired with students from the famed American School of Ballet. A live orchestra of 62 musicians plays the melodic and beloved score. The ballet is the story of young Marie, who receives a Nutcracker doll from her mysterious Uncle Drosselmeier at her family’s annual Christmas party. After a miraculous series of events, she finds herself whisked away to the fantastical Kingdom of the Sugarplum Fairy. Along the way, the Nutcracker Prince comes to life and saves Marie from the wicked rat king. Amid dancing snowflakes, dashing princes, and waltzing flowers, The Nutcracker is a delightful dream of holiday wonder. With Tchaikovsky’s soaring melodies and the skill and artistry of one of the world’s premier ballet companies, this is a quintessential production of the seminal dance classic.
Holiday Inn (Studio 54, 254 W. 54th St.)
Every day is a celebration in the toe-tapping new musical Holiday Inn. Presented by the Roundabout Theatre Company, this dazzling new production is inspired by the classic film of the same name. The musical highlights the story of a former song-and-dance man who fuses his love of the holidays with his knack for show business. With the timeless Irving Berlin holiday classics “White Christmas” and “Happy Holidays,” the new production also features many of the composer’s greatest hits including “Blue Skies,” “Easter Parade,” “Cheek to Cheek,” and “Shaking the Blues Away.” Holiday Inn is the tale of Jim, a retired performer who finds respite in small-town Connecticut, where he opens a charming inn. Along with the talented local school teacher Linda, Jim leads wonderful performances to celebrate holidays year round from the Fourth of July to Christmas. When Jim’s best friend, a film star, threatens to whisk Linda off to Hollywood, Jim must find it within himself to win the heart of the woman he loves. The new production stars Tony nominee Bryce Pinkham and High School Musical alum Corbin Bleu.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (The Theater at MSG, 4 Pennsylvania Plaza)
Based on the classic television special, the beloved childhood tale Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer comes to life this season at the Theater at Madison Square Garden in a soaring new adaptation. Speaking to the misfit in all of us, Rudolph is the story of one lovable reindeer who discovers, with the help of Santa Claus himself, that what makes him different is actually his greatest gift. Featuring all the familiar characters audiences know and love from the original TV version as well as jubilant musical numbers, this is one holiday treat for the children in all of us.